KP Cienega-Blue Ridge Primitive Area

"Strawberries, cherries, and an angel's kiss in spring. My summer wine is made from all these things." Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazlewood-Summer wine 1967

Que pasa amigos,My son Jacobo and I just returned from our campground at 9000' where weescaped the valley's intense heat and found our summer wine.K. P. Cienega is five miles south of Hannegan Meadows on US route 191 andthen 1.5 miles east of FR 155. There are only five loosely spaced units ofthis campground that lie on a loop road on the fringes of the conifer andaspen forest. Below the campsites, lovely meadows grace the area where anabundance of wildlife can be viewed. Every time that Jake and I have beenhere we have had the campground to ourselves.The last time we were here weheard some of the Mexican Grey Woves. There are forty lobos roaming thearea.Close to where we camped are a number of small but perennial streams linedby magnificent forests of hardwoods. There is excellent fishing in the Blueand Black Rivers, home to brook, brown, and rainbow trout as well as a fewof the endangered Apache trout. We may have seen a couple of these on ourhike in the Bear Wallow Wilderness. This is a hiker's paradise, withexcellent conditions for wildflowers.And, the best part is that very few of our species come here, due to thisremote location. I know that I am gushing, but with good reason.Highlights of this trip include:-Wildlife sightings of 2 black bears, flocks of wild turkeys, deer and elk.-Wildflowers galore! and where there are wildflowers there arebutterflies-- everywhere.-Magnificent hiking: Bear Wallow Trail-16 miles Upper Fish Creek Trail-5 miles West Fork of the Black River-6 miles-Over cervezas, viewing the brilliant display of stars in the Arizona sky.-Dinner at the Hannegan Meadows LodgeMen Behaving badly-Jacobo, for refusing to study or even take interest in the display ofanimal skat in the Ranger's office. Jake doesen't know SKAT!!!-Jacobo & El Lobo, real men, enjoying butterflies and wildflowers?

Montana Mountain Superstitions

Montana Mountain-5557'-10 miles-2800 ft. elevation gainI haven't hiked in the Superstitions for about five years, I had coveredmostof the trails and simply felt that there were better alternatives to deserthiking.I decided to go on a Sierra Club Hike and check out the environmentalimpactduring the last five years.The hike was a lot fun and it restored my love of the Supers. I amplanningon doing an off trail ridgeline trek for 15 miles. I will go up throughSyphon draw.We hiked through Whitford Canyon on portions of the Arizona trail and thehistoric trade route used by Elisha Reavis. On top of Montana mountain wewere treated to a panoramic view, looking down on most of the SuperstitionWilderness.I hiked with John, whom is 79 years young. He was the first to the top. He asked me if I would like a beer? I said I would love one, and to myastonishment, he pulled two Old Milwaukee's out of his pack that had beenonice!John Chugged his. I sipped mine.On the road we met a group resembleing the characters from Mad Max, dunebuggies etc. One interesting looking fella asked if I wanted a cool one?I responded that I would love one! He then took the beer out of hissignificant other's hand and gave it to me, half gone. He then cracked openanew one.I thanked him and his significant other and downed the rest.If I recall, the same thing happened to Clark Griswold in the movieVacation.His brother in law-EDDIE -made the same offer and gave Clark theopen beer and cracked a new one for hisself.

Superstitions Backpack

Superstition Wilderness Backpack

Participants: Bruce Corey and John HofdahlI picked up Bruce at 6:00 AM and we embarked on what was supposed to be atwo-day loop in the Superstition Mountains. The forecast was sunshine witha high of 68 degrees. We arrived at the Peralta Trailhead at about 7:15AM.We agreed on a twenty-one mile loop that basically circled Coffee FlatMountain. The Dutchman, Coffee Flat and the Red Tanks Trails were thetrails we would travel. The Coffee Flat Trail veered off the well-traveledDutchman Trail.We were basically the first ones at the trailhead and the only humans wesawon the route were two hunters. They were decked out in camouflage huntingJavalina with bows. We spoke to them for a short moment as we all agreedonwhat a beautiful day it was. It felt like it was 75 degrees and there wasnot a cloud in the sky. The mountains were beautiful. We took inspectacular views of Miner's Needle and Buzzard's Roost.We noticed how well the Saguaro's looked. They were very plump whichsurprised us because we haven't had much rain. We also saw some greatChainFruit Cholla's. They were as big as trees.As we traveled down the Coffee Flat Trail we began to notice increasingamounts of horse droppings. I didn't think much of it; I guess I justwatched my step. On two points along the trail we had to open a rugged,barbed wire gate. It then occurred to me, they were cattle droppings andthey were everywhere. The Superstition's allow for the grazing of domesticlivestock provided by the Wilderness Act of 1964. (Said it in the map)The trail began to become more difficult to follow. The trail traveledtrough a wash, so it really didn't have continuity. There were no trailmarkers to help and the cairns were sparse. We tried to use the Topo mapsbut we really were not sure of our position. As we continued to hikethrough the wash and brush we realized that we desired to hike on abetter-traveled trail. The elevation change was very minor, but hiking onrocks and sand for several hours makes the bottom of your feet hurt. Wehadhiked for about nine miles when we decided to backtrack to a spring thathada nice campsite. We would set up camp and build a campfire and then hikeout the next morning. As we hiked back to the site, it lost its initialappeal because of all the Cow Shit. It was everywhere. We decided to justhike back to the car and go home for the night. It ended up being an18-mile day hike with a 40-pound pack on our backs. We got back to thecarat about 4:30 PM. Props to Bruce, he had brought a beer for each of us andit was awesome.Demerits:Bruce- lost his reading glasses; the hunters found them and placed them onthe trail marker.John- while leading the hike went ½ mile up the wrong trail until Brucerealized something was wrong.

Montana & Canada

Olla,Gerry and I both love to tour Montana and Canada.Canada is a great summer destination for Phoenicians. The weather was inthe60/70s and the exchange rate favorable. Canada enjoys just 10% of the USpopulation with more square miles of land mass offering unrepeatable beautyand serenity.We flew into Spokane Washington and set out from there. This is a greatgateway to Glacier NP in lieu of flying into Kalispel Montana. The cost ofairfare is much cheaper, and the four hour drive through Idaho and Montanaison a scenic byway.Cost per person $175 round trip and we were able to get first classupgradesboth ways. Air travel to Kalispel from Phoenix is between $600 and $900each.Year of the Great BearWhen you think of Glacier/Waterton you think of grizzly bears. Withintheseprotected lands roam one of the densest concentrations of "GRIZ" in NorthAmerica.We have seen many Grizzly bears in Alaska at Denali National Park, andwerehopeful that again we would see the bears at a distance. In Alaska theyweremeandering in the tundra eating berries.We got our wish, with two encounters, a little too close for comfort, oneinGlacier and one in Waterton. In Glacier we met Griz, only 20 yards away onthe Iceberg Lake trail. They had closed this trail the week previous due totoo high a concentration of Grizzly and black bears. A Mother with her twocubs had been surprised by a group of hikers and charged the group twice.Thefirst charge was a false one. The second one had the Bear within four feetbefore pepper spray was invoked.We did not have pepper spray but fortunately our encounters wereuneventful.We just carefully kept moving.Gerry thought that the Iceberg Lake, nine mile trail was the most beautifulshe had ever experienced. The Wildflowers were brilliant! Iceberg lake wasaqua blue. We were in awe of the mountains and glaciers.Other highlights of this trip include:--Hiking in unbelievable beauty in six National Parks-- Shopping and dining at the River Front Restaurant in Calgary. Calgary isa wonderful progressive city.--Seeing the splendor of Lake Louise--Visiting the icefield region, including the Columbia Icefield--Hanging out in Banff, feasting our eyes on the Canadian Rockies whileslamming down Molsons--Relaxing in soothing Radium Hot Springs--Enjoying the uncountable aqua green lakes, rivers, and waterfalls--Wildlife viewing of elk (one with the biggest racks I have ever seen),moose, fox, deer, mountain sheep, prairie dogs and of course the Griz.--hanging out in Sandpoint Idaho, visiting the Clear Water Creek store(ClearWater Creek Catalogue sales) that spans across a river, walking along PendOreille Lake--hanging out in Spokane Washington, walking the Riverfront walk to Gonzaga

Exploring Oregon

Exploring Oregon957 mile loop. Portland- Mount Hood, Bend, Ashland, Eugene,Corvallis-Portland-Trip Rating 10.0We left Phoenix eight days ago with first class upgrades in hand. From thatvantage point I gazed down on the harsh and unforgiving Arizona landscape,happy to escape to a mellower more colorful environment that appeals to allthe senses.Although I have made countless trips to Oregon, I always look forward toreturning. I love the culture. Oregon is the running capital of the world.Oregonians are conscientious stewards of their beautiful state.I have been told that I rate on the superlative end of the scale, however,this tour of scenic, GREEN western and central Oregon was nothing short ofsuperlative! The weather was perfect. We also enjoyed some of the highdesert.Gerry has dreamed of Ashland theater all her life. I dreamed of returningto Hayward field at the U of O in Eugene.The American west is a dream to me. We should not, and cannot let terrorismtake away our dreams.Highlights of this trip include:-Hiking along the Metolius and Deschute Rivers-Slamming down Pale Ales at various Oregon Microbreweries-Tasting Oregon Pinot Noir-Hanging out in Sisters and Bend-Touring the Oregon High Desert Museum-Visiting Newberry National Volcanic Monument and Crater Lake National Park-Ashland Theatre-MACBETH and Cupid and Psyche performances-Walking in indescribable beauty in the park in Ashland-Visiting with the Cornelius family-Running on the track at Hayward field and along the Willamette River inEugene (Track City)-Climbing Spencer's Butte outside of Eugene in thick forests and sword fernOregon High Desert MuseumIf you like the Arizona Desert Sonoran Museum in Tucson, you will love theOregon High Desert Museum. It is Smithsonian class, a wonderful place tolearn about the nature and culture of the High Desert. Having lived in theHigh Desert for many years in Reno, I really appreciated the exhibits,animal habitats/interpretations, and the history. Don't miss it if you arein the area!Cornelius EstateWe had an absolutely wonderful visit with our good friends Rick andMichelle Cornelius and their two young sons, Josh and Jacob. Josh is quitea good 400 runner and Jake is outstanding in Babe Ruth baseball. They bothare good looking young men.The Cornelius family has a beautiful historic home on three acres. They areall doing very well. Rick and Michelle and quite involved and proud of theAshland community. We were treated royally and really appreciate their downhome hospitality. Rick makes the best martinis in the western world!The MECCA-Hayward FieldIn Eugene, my first order of business was to return to-Hayward field.Hayward field is even more holy to me than the old Boston Garden and FenwayPark.Hayward field is where Pre ran. Other legends, including Mary Decker andAlberto Salazar still work out on the track. Nowhere, is more important toNike, than Eugene and Hayward Field.The women's hurdle team was working out on that morning. They gracefullyglided over the hurdles, a beautiful sight.As youths, both of our boys won National TAC/AAU events on this field.I stretched and laid out in the infield with my eyes closed. I could hearthe announcer introduce their names and lanes. I could visualize theirfinishes.Exciting times.Track and Field may be losing it's popularity, but not in Oregon. It is myabsolute favorite sport.Hayward field also brought back the memory of golf balls driven by Delta's"Otter" that struck ROTC cadets on the helmet causing Neidemeyer's horseto buck him in National Lampoon's classic "Animal House" movie that wasfilmed at U of O. Unfortunately, the Delta house has now been torn down.This reflection brought tears to my eyes.That was then, Do it now!With that thought in mind and caught up with the spirit of the moment, ElLobo decided to do an all out 400, tight hamstrings and all.It was worth the pain and agony.The last time I ran a 400 was on my fortieth birthday at the UNR track. Inspite of a tremendous hangover I was able to break a minute. I didn'tbother to record my time this time around.I then limped to the OSU book store and purchased a hooded and pouched"Oregon track" sweat shirt. It is a prized possession.The very popular Men and Women behaving badly section.-Who needs a GPS along when Gerry is in the car. She started her driving"suggestions" as soon as we left for the Phoenix airport and continued to"suggest" driving tips for the full 957 miles.Gerry-For wining about being hungry and cold while she was telling me howto drive and then complaining about how cold it was at Crater Lake. Themanly El Lobo wore his sandals in the snow just to get a glimpse of themagnificent lake.El Lobo-For drinking three beers before the MACBETH performance and havingto find the rest room 10 minutes into the performance and then not allowedto return. He was exiled into a room with a television monitor to watch theduration.El Lobo for refusing to apologize to his soul mate on the way to thePortland airport for rude and bad behavior. After all, there werecircumstances warranting such behavior. We were late and there was a hugetraffic backup due to an accident. The helpful motorist advising El Lobothat his rear tire was going flat put him over the top.Home againLifting down into Phoenix, the surrounding landscape reminded me of kittylitter. I love sunny Arizona but it is not Oregon. I will return to theRepublic in August for a backpack with Rick to the Sister's Wilderness andthen in September for a backpack with Sawtooth Steve to the Eagle CapWilderness in Northeast Oregon. In the short term, I guess the canyoncalled the "Big Hole" by Chevy Chase will have to do. In the long term wewill continue to dream of building in Placerville California.


White Canyon Wilderness

On Saturday Steve Yahner and I attended a hike sponsored by the Sierraclub.This hike was a 11 mile off trail exploration of the eastern rim of theWhiteCanyon Wilderness. At the heart of the Wilderness is White Canyon itself, adeep drainage ringed by Soaring Cliffs.This hike had countless vistas of wild and spectacular slickrock terrain,resembleing the slickrock terrain in Southern Utah close to Moab. Animalsresident in this watery environment include the Sonoran Mud turtle.We had never tried a Sierra Club hike before and thought that this onewouldbe a good one to try.There was a group of 15 that assembled at the trailhead. Ken Mcginty, thetrip's leader asked everyone to identify themselves and their favoritebeer.El lobo hates to participate in this type of activity but was a good sportandresponded cheerfully if not a little sarcastically, with "Fosters" thatsAustralian for beer. Steve replied "rootbeer". How boring. Many of theyounger Sierra club singles responed with a micrbrewery beer. This was suchgreat fun to start out on. At this point we were looking at each other andasking what did we get ourselves in to?I was dubious of this group's ability to handle this rugged terrain, butmosteveryone proved to be strong hikers. There was only one incident where ayoungdamsel got in trouble on a steep climb to a peak and fell and could not getup. She was on very loose, crumbling rock, and in a dangerous situation.ELlobo came to her rescue, and she was very greatful. She told Steve that Ihadsaved her life, and he was very Jealous of El Lobo's heroism. When I toldSteve that she had to grab my leg to get up, he was really upset.The hike was great. We hiked relentlessly up and down hill, ascended highridges, and bagged peak 4023.The views from above were incredable. Never ending panoramas!!!The ascent to the ridges were clogged with sharp brush . We went throughCholla cactus and pulled spines out of our bodies most of the day. Webalanced our way along knife sharp ridges and fought through the spiny,brushy, truculent vegetation.I will bring gloves next time!The group was a fun group, and we really enjoyed everyone, although wewouldprefer not to be hiking with a herd.We saw no one else but our group. Steve was up to his old antics, makingloudnoise on the trail-quite an embarassment- and generally anoyed anyone hecould. He did bond with a broad named "Sudsy"Overall this hike is rated a solid 9.0. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves inthis beautiful area.It is a great alternative to hiking the Superstitions.We do plan on going again, perhaps this weekend. Ken McGinty has a 9 mileexploratory off trail ridgetrek, north of Carefree. Plans are to bag 5,013Kentuck peak then follow a series of ridges to Maverick Butte.MEXICAN WOLF UPDATETo date, 5 of the 11 Mexican wolves reintroduced have been shot. El LoboGrande, conservationists, and all Sierra club members are outraged. ARichardHumphrey of Tucson shot the first wolf in April near Turkey creekcampground.The US fish Wildlife service refused to prosecute him even though it wasclearthe wolf was shot from the side while standing still and was not a threattoHumphry's family as he later claimed. The other 4 wolves were shot fromAugustthrough November.Anyone that believes that they have information that might be helpful inapprehending the perpetrators should call US fish and Wildlife specialagentsat 602-835-8289.

Mt. Pinos

This weekend I stayed in Southern California and drove 2 hours North tomeetmy hiking partner Hannu Haarma.Hannu had an orienteering meet at Mt. Pinos. Orienteering is a little knownsport in this country but very popular in the Scandavian countries of theworld. It was an Olympic sport at one time.Hannu was one of the best in the world and competed on the Fin Nationalteam.The competition involves running overland routes to various coursecheckpoints, utilizing the provided topo map and a compass. This course wasabout 8K.Hannu finished with a good time but badly twisted his ankle early on.Always the warrior, he heavily taped it and we went on a moderatelystrenuoshike up Mt. Pinos and along the Los Padres forrest ridgeline. The Mt. Pinosarea is Southern California's winter destination for cross country skiiing.Mt. Pinos at 8831 is the highest peak in the Los Padres National forrest.This hike involved continuing along ridges to the summitt ridge of GrouseMountain.It afforded great views of the San Quaquin valley, the most fertileagricultural area in the world. We went for about 11 miles start tofinish.I rate this hike a 7.5 It is one of the best in the area.The next day we chose to hike "Pothole" close to Lake Piru. Hannu's anklewas quite swollen and blue as a glacier, but wanting to get a workout afterhis long drive to Southern California. He had flown back from Virgina onFriday night and didn't get home until past midnight. He got up at 3 in themorning to drive South from his home in San Ramon Northern California."Pothole" ended up not being a good choice. The 1994 California Hiking bookis in need of update. We had to hike an additional 3 miles to gain accesstothe trailhead.The road had been closed. Once we finally found the trailhead we climbed1000+ ft on a very feint trail to the top of a ridge. We spooked a herd ofcows that were sleeping in a side canyon and almost got crushed in astampede. I hate bovines!!!!!!Death to Open grazing!!!From here it just got worse. The trail was so badly overgrown we werepummelled bysharp branches and our legs were attacked by stickers. This "trail" hadnotbeen used for years. We were defeated! We would not get to the beautiful?natural depression caused by an earthquake fault , filled with grass andlined with trees.The views of Lake Piru gave us some salvation but overall this 11 milepunishing walk was not my idea of being in Harmony with nature. I thinkthatHannu liked it because it was similar to orienteering!Not recommended -Overall rating a 2It was great to see Hannu-we have other adventures planned this summer. Iheaded back to Marina Del Rey for a nice relaxing 15 mile bike ride on thebeach. Hannu headed for Northern California. He had an early flight out thenext morning.