Grand Wash Cliffs -Grand Canyon

“I’d like to sleep with you in the desert tonight, with a billion stars all around.”
Eagles 1972

I had the pleasure of spending five days in the Grand Wash Hook area of the Grand Canyon, assisting the National Park Service with an archeological survey. Grand Wash Hook is at the far Western end of the Grand Canyon, an area that I had not yet explored. Getting there involved a two hour back road drive from Kingman. Our camp was set up like a River trip camp, but in a Joshua tree forest. The meals served were close to gourmet. Early evenings were spent discussing the Canyon around a campfire with beer or favorite libation in hand. Temperatures got down to the teens. It was a little chilly in the old bag. One evening, strong winds blew my tent over with me in it.
The days were spent hiking and searching for parts and pieces constructed by those that came before us. We also were looking for desert tortoises and their burrows. Day time temperatures were in the high fifties and quite pleasant.

Apocalypse Now

Our camp was close to the flight pattern of the 80+ daily helicopter flights that bring tourists from Las Vegas to the view at Quartermaster Canyon. It is a splendid view. A great representation of the Canyon. I hiked down as close to the river as I could get.
The helicopters land on a pad on Hualapai Indian land and the tourists have a lunch of barbecue beef at the modest Hualapai facility. There is also a small gift shop. Cost of a trip from Las Vegas is about $275
We witnessed several helicopters flying much too low and barely clearing the Grand Wash Cliffs.
According to the recently published book “Death in the Canyon,” these flights are piloted by low paid and thus inexperienced pilots. In addition, many aircraft are not equipped with the proper power necessary to negotiate the Canyon.
A helicopter crashed late last year and took six lives. The only survivor lost her husband, child and her leg. Apparently the Canyon down drafts require a high level of skill and experience to navigate the complex environment.
Limiting the flights over the Canyon has been a controversial issue. In certain areas of the canyon the noise pollution is horrible. Grand Canyon air tours is a big business with a lot of money involved. This will not be an easy battle.


We found a plethora of roasting pits and a dense concentration of potsherds in numerous areas. We also found a dense concentration of post archaic assemblages. (Arrow heads, chips, spear heads, stones used as tools etc.
We did not sight any desert tortoises but did find and record numerous burrows.
Each area was mapped and data was collected. This was an interesting process and afforded me the opportunity to learn a lot about archeology.
Wildlife sightings included a herd of pronghorn antelopes, coyotes, mule deer, and rabbits.


America and Kansas

“Now don’t hang on, nothin lasts forever but the earth and sky, it slips away and all your money won’t another minute buy”
Kansas –Dust in the wind –1/78

Late Saturday afternoon, after a long day of rock climbing followed up with yoga, I sat down and contemplated our evening plans to attend a concert at the Celebrity Theatre in Phoenix. A nagging cold had zapped my energy and the following morning I had to get up real early for a day of canyoneering down the Bill Williams River. Why go? After all, we had seen America four times previous, that included a performance in a beautiful outdoor pavilion in Maui. Gerry was indifferent.
I appealed to my compulsive side for motivation, but adding Kansas to my lifelong group and concerts list was not enough. Had age finally caught up to Lobo? Was he through living his life with passion? – Not! - Old Lobo reached up and found a hand hold, stepped to the bar, where he filled up a flask with Captain Morgan demon rum, took a big swallow and ready to go.
So, my concert partner of thirty three years and I took off for our fountain of youth, the Celebrity Theatre. Outside, we negotiated seats in the tenth row for a good price from a scalper. Inside, we were a teenage couple on a date.
After attending 439 lifetime performances, it is my humble opinion that the Celebrity Theatre is absolutely the best venue to see a concert. It is a circular with a revolving stage, small, and all seats up close and personal. The Celebrity is simply charming.

America opened the show, and all 2667 seats were occupied. The group started out as a trio of Air Force brats in 1969 at an American school in the UK. In the early 70s they put together a remarkable string of million-selling albums that included two number one hits and six other classics that were in Billboard’s top ten. Now a duo, Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley have also partnered for 33 years. Three members of their support band have been with them over 25 years.
Their distinctive sound of clean harmonies and evocative lyrics continues to have great appeal and had the delighted crowd singing along, and grooving out to their disarming sound. They sounded better than ever!
A horse with no name (# 20 on Lobo’s all time hit list) was the encore song and it brought the house down.

Kansas closed the show and they were, well, loud! But this was a Kansas crowd, and they were really into it. Kansas is a progressive rock group that was formed in Topeka, also in 1969. Their sound is a unique blend of violin with hard rock.. Folk Rock? Gerry thought that they were a 70s version of ZZ Top. They were anything but disarming except for their million seller haunting melody-Dust in the Wind. (#325 on Lobo’s all time hit list)
Dust in the wind sent shivers up my spine and it was worth staying through the loud hard stuff.

Over all I rate this concert a 9.7 and look forward to a future evening at the Celebrity.

South Eastern Seashore -Shenendoah NP

Just returned from a great little adventure with my mate, Gerry. Gerry hadaconference in Norfolk, so thanks to her this trip was possible. We jammeda 7day vacation into 3 1/2 days, but that seems to be our way. The quality ofthis mini vacation made it well worth traveling 4400 air miles and 1200 carmiles.This little trip back East took us to brilliant fall colors, sparkleingseashore, interesting colonial and civil war sites, wildlife refuges,Universities, National Parks, Appalacian trail, and an island full of wildponies.(Assateague)EL LOBO SEZ:See Virginia in the fall!!! Norfolk is a great launching point.On Saturday we drove up the Eastern shore of Virginia through Virginiabeachand went over to a couple of Islands on the National Seashore. We stoppedatseveral National Wildlife refuges including Chincoteague and saw manyinteresting bird species as well as butterflies. The walks were reallymellowand relaxing.We spent most of the afternoon at Assateague viewing the wild ponies. Twoherds make their home here between Virginia and Maryland. Each year horsesfrom the Virginia herd are rounded up and many of the foals are sold at thePony Penning and auction held in July.These wild ponies are descendantsfromdomesticated stock that were grazed here during the 17th Century. Thesehorsesswim in the ocean. Overall this was just too cool!!!! Certainly thehighlightof our trip.We drove up the Maryland coast to Ocean beach. This strip is where theEasterners go for their summer vacations to the beach. We ended up inDelawareat a local all you can eat crab house for Dinner. They just roll out brownpaper on the tables and bring on the crab and clams. Cracking all that craband drinking a few beers made for a long 200 mile drive back to Norfolk.The next day we headed towards Charlottsville, our launching point forShenendoah National Park. We stopped at Williamsburg, Yorktown battlefield,Jamestown, and a couple of plantations on the way. So much rich history!!!Williamsburg was pricy and a bit of a rip off.In Charlottsville we toured the University of Virginia, our country's firstPublic University. UofV is on Jake's short list for his doctoral work, sowewanted to check it out.On Monday we drove through Shenendoah National Park and hiked a couple ofnicesections of the Appalacian trail. The trees were gorgeous and the hikingverymellow. The park was not crowded and we really enjoyed our time there.El Lobo wanted to see Harpers Ferry in West Virginia -rich in all kinds ofhistory-the most notable being John Brown's slave rebellion. We arrived atHarpers Ferry at quarter to five and unfortunately had to to do a realquickietour of this great park.Again, it was a long drive that night back to our hotel. (200 miles)The next morning we went to Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. This is a firstclass deal. Beautiful scenery and very interesting history. The tours wereexcellent.Jefferson was certainly a great man but a contradiction-owning over 400slaves.Overall I rate this mini vacation a solid 10. Very enjoyable, andstatistically beneficial.3 states added to list- total 46 -only four more to go-Kansas, Arkansas, SCarolina, N Dakota1 National Park-total 30- 22 left-5 in Alaska, 10 in the East 7 in the West4 added to the National Park System -Total 125- 250 left which includeshistoric sites, National parks, memorials, monuments, battlefields,recreationareas, Seashores, lakeshores, rivers -There are a total of 375 of thesebeautiful places in our country!!!! Only two people have been recorded asvisiting all 375-both college professors.El Lobo sez start seeing them now!!! and update your list!!!A little known fact is that the National Wildlife refuges (close to 400 ofthem) in the US are managed by a different agency than the National parks.They are managed by the Fish and Wildlife service.El lobo needs to start tracking the Wild Life Refuges visited and start anewlist!!!!


Tanque Verde-Rincons

There are two types of people in this world. Those that have guns, and those that dig.

Blondie (The Good- Clint Eastwood) to Tuco (The Bad –Eli Wallich) in the graveyard.

Que pasa amigos,

Como estas tu?

February and March are primo Arizona months. The weather is absolutely perfect for an outside adventure.
The hombres were getting a little soft around the middle and requested that El Lobo plan a challenging viaje. El hijo, Jake, amigo Lorennzo and I departed for the Old Pueblo (Tuscon) temprano las cuatro y treinta de la manana for what would be a very long day.
A bald eagle has been nesting just outside of Tuscon and there were two jaguars recently spotted and filmed south of Tuscon. We spotted a cardinal and a coyote on the way to the trailhead.
We started our trek at the Tanque Verde trailhead in Saguaro National Park and for seven hours followed the strnuous and sometimes torturing route following Tanque Verde ridge to 7049-foot Tanque Verde Peak. We logged 18 miles and close to 10,000 feet of elevation gain/loss. Mucho dulce-Kit Kat Bars and Snickers were consumed to take the painful edge off the trip. Along the way the trail winds among tall saguaros , climbs wildflower dotted slopes, and passes through delightful forrests of oak, pinyon and juniper. I absolutely love this blend of ecosystems! We passed through a beautiful Juniper Basin Campground (5900’) where there were several pockets of water. This would be a superb spot for an overnight. There were only small patches of snow along the higher elevations unlike the Rincon Peak hike last year at this time where we had to wade through waste high powder for the last ½ mile to the summit.. Tanque Verde Peak requires a bit of a tricky scramble but affords a commanding view of Tuscon and the Rincon Mountains backcountry. Included in this 360 degree panaramic view are the Santa Rita and Huachuca Mountains, the little Rincons, the Galiuro and Santa Catalina Mountains and the city of Tuscon.
The climb back was arduous but Pacifico cervezas were excellente treatment for our tired feet at Zo’s carro.
The Rincons offer a wonderful remote backcountry experience, close to a metroplitan area. I rate this hike a solid 9.
The hike was only half the adventure as we stopped in the Old Hotel Congress on our way to El Minuto for dinner. The Old Congress is really a funky enjoyable experience.
John Dillinger was apprehended in this hotel. The atmosphere is one out of the 40s.
The eclectic bar served Schlitz, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Old Style. The cliental was something similar to the bar in Star Wars. We made numerous friends, one being a Supai woman that many years ago left the land of blue/green waterfalls in the Grand Canyon to get an education at the U of A. She requested that I play R E S P E C T by Aretha on the jukebox with great selections. Sadly, she left the reservation for a better life and is now a regular at the Old Congress.
In the corner of the bar, one gentleman gave us hard looks and was growling like a wild animal.
When informed that I was “El Lobo Grande” the bar manager reponded with a “No shit!”
If you are in Tuscon don’t miss this slice of life.
It was years ago when Gerry and I stayed in the same Hotel bar when we were told about the best Mexican restaurant in the Universe by locals. Since that time I don’t miss a meal at El Minuto when in the Old Pueblo. This was no exception as the three of us again greedily scarfed down the tasty specials and superb margaritas.
We arrived back in Phoenix en tarde but safe thanks to Lorenzo.

The very popular

El Lobo, busted at the trailhead by a ranger for merely marking his territory.
Jacobo, constantly upsetting the serenity on the trail by yelling GEEEEZZ when detecting an odorous wind.
Jacobo, vowing to never hike again at mile 17. At least he quit at the end of the hike and not ½ like Steve Yahner.
Lorenzo, making large cat type sounds on the trail after a weak emission.

Question: Where’s Steve?
Answer: Napping in Scottsdale after a huge breakfast of Jimmy Dean’s pure pork sausage.

Grand Canyon-Fishtail Royre -North Rim

“Two Rabbits in a ditch, Must be the season of the witch”

On the Esplinade of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon below Fishtail Mesa, two large rabbits were sighted in a drainage, running in opposite directions. Both maintained their sprint at exactly equal distance from our point of vision, rapidly widening the picture frame.
I commented that this was a bad omen. This scene turned out to be symbolic of the group’s wander.

Slawa and Lobo left Phoenix at 2:00 P.M. on Thursday and seven hours later, we arrived at Indian Hollow on the North Rim. The last fifty miles were driven on back roads.
We camped on the rim with Bob.
The following morning, Amy, Kelly and Trace arrived at 8:30 A.M. and we headed down the Thunder River trail. This was a first trip into the canyon for Amy and Kelly.
After a couple of miles we departed from the trail and went West, in search of Ghost Rock and various cowboy camps reported to be in the area.
Ghost Rock was located and we climbed up to find magnificent large pictographs etched into the rock.
A short while later we located under an overhang, an amazingly well preserved cowboy camp. This “hideout” included historic coffee mugs, coffee pot, axes, hammers and other tools. It was all very interesting.
We set up our camp close by.
The afternoon was spent searching for water at a local spring. Dripping water was sighted, however a safe passage was not found and limited daylight necessitated giving up the hunt for the day.
That evening, a storm system moved in. Bob left early in search of the Spring. He returned in a short period of time with full water containers. Due to the storm most of the group desired to retreat to the trailhead. Bob preferred to weather the storm and go out the following day as planned.
The storm intensified and we trekked out in wind and snow flurries. The canyon views in were splendid. The group maintained good spirits and thanks to Slawa and Trace’s navigation skills we arrived at the cars around 11:00 A.M.
On the return trip Slawa and Lobo stopped at Macey’s, an eclectic coffee shop in Flag and enjoyed a great lasagna dinner. We arrived back in Phoenix at 8:00 P.M. Saturday evening.

The always popular Men and Women behaving badly.

-Trace, Amy and Kelly for staying up late and consuming demon rum, laughing and telling stories late into the evening.
-Amy and Kelly for making loud cat and coyote like sounds while climbing out of the
-Lobo for barking frequently


Aztec Peak

"Perhaps living through these petty days will get us ready for the dangerous ones." -Bukowsk

iSierra Anchas Wilderness -Aztec Peak -14 miles -3125' elevation gain-Buenos dias muchachos,This past weekend was spent in the Sierra Anchas. We stayed at ASU's experimental station in rustic cabins, built by the CCC in the 1930s. These cabins had everything we needed, including hot showers. Black bear warnings were posted throughout the complex. This was a Sierra Club outing and was extremely enjoyable and relaxing. The company was great and the wilderness special. My love of Arizona and nature was restored, after too many compulsive, excessive outings in the Grand Canyon. The question of balance was answered.The Sierra Anchas (wide mountains) Wilderness is a relatively small area at 20,850 acres. The wilderness is located 45 miles northwest of Globe and is approximately a two hour drive from the Phoenix area. Although defined by steep box canyons and high cliffs the area offers an impressive number of hiking trails. The wilderness also features numerous prehistoric ruins. Mule deer, javelinas, gray fox, mountain lions, bobcat, elk, ringtail, and black bears inhabit the Sierra Anchas.I found it interesting that none of the trails are contained in any of the dozen or more hiking books that I have on Arizona hiking.On Saturday, our group started up the Parker Creek trail, hiking through a mixture of oak and Mountain Mahogany at the lower elevations and worked our way to the higher elevations to Ponderosa and Douglas Fir. The group enjoyed several clusters of wildflowers, which is a rare sight this year due to the lack of precipitation. We marveled at the brilliant Monarch butterflies that had found the wildflowers. The temperature was in the low 70s.We hiked up to a primitive road and then on to the highest point in the Wilderness-Aztec Peak, and its active fire lookout at 7748 ft.Edward Abbey, author, and environmental "voice of the Southwest," was a lookout in this tower for many summers. He did some of his writing here, and asked us to look around and take stock of what we value, before it is too late.The summit of Aztec peak offers some of the best panoramic views in Arizona. The top has been likened to the Flintstone's bedrock home and included several stone easy chairs.We spent a couple of relaxing hours having lunch. We engaged in the dangling conversation, while gazing at the magnificent view. "Can analysis be worthwhile? Is the theatre really dead."On such a mellow day I could not imagine the horrific event that would come later that evening.Upon return to the camp, the famous Dingo Dan paid our cabin a visit. Dingo had come up in the morning to hike with us but somehow missed us? and did a solo to the top of Aztec. Dan went back to Phoenix that evening and missed the terror.That evening, a variety of cervezas and vino flowed, accompanied by a delicious pot luck dinner in the dining building. The conversation was light and fun and everyone seemed to really enjoy.Jim Roosen mentioned that while he was sleeping the previous evening upstairs in one of the cabins, he was awakened by sounds downstairs and when he went downstairs in the morning, several drawers and cabinet doors were open and the front door was open.Everyone laughed nervously, but dismissed his story as one of "Jim's stories"In retrospect, this was a big mistake, however I do not believe that I could prepare for, or prevent the event that may haunt me all my life.We retired in the darkness back to our cabins around 9:00 P.M. It was one of those brilliant clear Arizona nights, thousands of bright stars in the sky. Someone thought they saw some yellow eyes in the darkness. But again, this was dismissed as joking.El Lobo had a hard time getting to sleep and heard noises outside that sounded like heavy scratching but thought that it was just the wind and finally dozed off.Later that evening, Lobo was in a deep sleep when his roommate (unnamed due to liability) let out a blood curdling scream!Then it was over within a few seconds.Roommate-"Something was clawing at me" Lobo-"I don't see anything"Roommate, with flashlight in El Lobo's yellow eyes- "Something tugged at me!"Lobo-"It wasn't me"Roommate-"I'm telling you something grabbed me"Lobo-"What did it look like? Where did it go?"Roommate-"It was huge and it ran away"Lobo-"Really?"Roommate-" Do you think that I am having a nightmare?" Lobo-"I dunno"Roommate-"I can't believe that I hiked that trail today where there are all those bears and mountain lions!"Lobo showed teeth, barked, turned over and went back to sleep.Oh well, you can't expect a perfect trip. Now can you?Thanks to Jim Roosen and "Chuckwalla" for organizing a terrific outing.



“Walk away quietly in any direction
and taste the freedom of the mountaineer.
Camp out among the grass and the gentians of glacier meadows,
in craggy garden nooks.”
John Muir

Ten days of adventure back home in Reno/Tahoe. The mission was to maximize the 240 precious hours engaged in quality activities that included visiting as many family and friends as possible. A plan was developed loaded with schedules, itineraries, alternatives, and escape routes.

Mission Accomplished!

“The Fabulous Spook” picked me up at the airport. The “Image of a girl” flowed like a mountain stream from his speakers and I immediately plugged into the moment, past and present. We hit the Hunter Lake trail a half/hour later.
Almost forty years ago SpOOk and I sampled cases of Colt 45, Oly and Coors on this road/trail in the company of several other bad boys.
(J latourette, Bo Ewald, Bob Shea to name a few)

The next day we hit the all class Reno High Reunion, a slice of life. It was a great surprise to see Dave Slagle again after 14 years.
See Spook’s trip report sent out on 8/28.

I found out at the reunion that my beloved YMCA with the best steam and Jacuzzi in the world would be closed for the week. This was considered a major crisis, causing me to settle for the hot tub at my son, Clint’s apartment.

Other Highlights-

- “Cruising” and Listening to 103.7 “The River” 60s and 70s radio station.
- The post hike party along the hosted by the Damon’s
- Fly fishing the Truckee (The River)
- Running along “The River” with the old gang
- Valuable time shared with great friends and family
- Running into old friends and enjoying the steam and hot tub at the Y when it finally reopened.
- Downing “Ickys”(short for Ichthyosaurs, meaning fish lizards) and Sierra Nevadas at Tahoe Microbreweries
- Crystal clear and the bluest of blues-Lake Tahoe the gem of the Sierras
- Camping at Dl Bliss campgrounds at Tahoe and hiking with Hannu-
Tahoe Rim Trail section from Echo Summit-15 miles

Granite Chief Wilderness to Bear Pen-Cross country- connect to PCT -Barker Pass loop (Hannu & my nephew
Justin) 14 miles

The Rubicon Trail contouring the lake- 11 miles

-Attending Cyd’s wedding (Bob Ewald’s beautiful daughter) at the Lake Tahoe Golf Course. I was honored to sit at the Ewald family table.

Note: The Granite Chief Wilderness is a scenic area of exposed rock formations, granite cliffs, and glacier carved valleys, forests and meadows.
The wildflowers were spectacular-lupine, mule ears and pennyroyal to name a few. At the headwaters of the American River, this Wilderness receives light human use, a big attraction to those of us that seek solitude. We saw no one. It is a great alternative to the heavily used Desolation Wilderness to the South. “Bear Pen” is a small meadow at the end of a canyon. It is appropriately named as we found numerous mounds of bear scat.

“Old friends, old friends, sat on their park bench like bookends.”
Bookends album 4/68 Simon & Garfunkle

I had the opportunity to visit with two extra special old friends this trip. Joe Duhart (Mike’s dad) and Buzz Moore.
Joe is in a extended care facility suffering with Ahlzeimer’s disease. I do believe that he recognized me.

I visited Buzz at his home off Lakeside Drive. Buzz is battleing Parkinson’s disease.
At one point in our conversation, Buzz whispered “Do it while you can” when I was telling him about our trip to Italy.

They both continue to be great Truckee meadow warriors.


-Disco Will (Willie Molini) for being Disco Will
-TF SPOOK for declining life saving water from a couple in a dune buggy and then wining about his blackened toes after the hike
-Hannu for turning a recreational hike into an intense orienteering training session, travelling at break neck speed and impatiently pacing whenever I would stop for a breath taking view of Lake Tahoe.
-Hannu for taking a long break on the Rubicon trail to view a top less sunbathing beauty on a boat. He continues to put the “dirty” in dirty old man.
-El Lobo for screaming obscenities in the killer shower at DL Bliss campgrounds. The high velocity rivaled a fire hose and hurt certain valuable parts of the wolf’s anatomy real bad.

Overall this trip is rated a 10+++++++++

Thanks to the Damon’s and Clint for their hospitality putting me up. I appreciate the time all friends and family shared with me. You are simply the best!

Republic of Oregon

957 mile loop. Portland- Mount Hood, Bend, Ashland, Eugene, Corvallis-Portland—Trip Rating 10.0

We left Phoenix eight days ago with first class tickets in hand. From that vantage point I gazed upon the harsh and unforgiving Arizona landscape, happy to escape to a mellow environment that appeals to all the senses.
Although I have made countless trips to Oregon, I always look forward to returning. 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 of superlative! The weather was perfect. I also enjoyed some of the high desert.
Gerry has dreamed of Ashland theatre all her life. I dreamed of returning to Hayward field at the U of O in Eugene.
The American West is a dream to me. We should not, and cannot let terrorism take away our dreams.

Highlights of this trip include:

-Hiking along the Metolius and Deschute Rivers
-Slamming down Pale Ales at various Oregon Microbreweries
-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 in Eugene (Track City)
-Climbing Spencer’s Butte outside of Eugene in thick forrests and sword fern
Oregon High Desert Museum
If you like the Arizona Desert Sonoran Museum in Tuscon, you will love the Oregon High Desert Museum. It is Smithsonian class, a wonderful place to learn about the nature and culture of the High Desert. Having lived in the High Desert for many years in Reno, I really appreciated the exhibits, animal habitats/interpretations, and the history

Cornelius Estate
We had an absolutely wonderful visit with our good friends Rick and Michelle Cornelius and their two young sons, Josh and Jacob. Josh is quite a good 400 runner and Jake is outstanding in Babe Ruth baseball. They both are good looking young men.
The cornelius family has a beautiful historic home on three acres. They are all doing very well. Rick and Michelle and quite involved and proud of the Ashland community. We were treated royally and really appreciate their down home hospitality. Rick makes the best martinis in the western world!

The Mecca-Hayward Field
In Eugene, my first order of business was to return to -Hayward field.
The women’s hurdle team was working out on the field. They gracefully glided over the hurdles, a beautiful sight.
Track and Field may be dying but not in Oregon. It is my absolute favorite sport. I find it more exciting than all the other sports that I love.
Hayward field is even more holy to me than the old Boston Garden and Fenway Park in Boston. This is where Pre ran. Other legends, including Mary Decker and Alberto Salazar still work out on the track. Nowhere is more important to Nike, than Hayward Field.
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 hear the announcer introduce their names and lanes. I could visualize their finishes.
Exciting times.
Hayward field also brought back the memory of golf balls driven by Delta’s “Otter” hitting ROTC cadets and Neidemeyer’s horse on the field scene in National Lampoon’s classic “Animal House” movie that was filmed at U of O. Unfortunately, the Delta house has now been torn down.
This memory 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, El Lobo decided to do an all out 400, tight hamstrings and all.
It was worth the pain. The last time I ran a 400 was on my fourteeth birthday at the UNR track. I spite of a tremendous hangover I was able to break a minute. I did not record my time at the ripe age of fifty four.
I then headed for the OSU book store and purchased a hooded and pouched track sweat
shirt. It is a prized possession.

The very popular Men and Women behaving badly section.

-Who needs a GPS along when you are driving. Gerry started her driving instructions as soon as we left for the Phoenix airport and continued to tell me how to drive for the full 957 miles.

Gerry-For wining about being hungry and cold while she was telling me how to drive and then complaining about how cold it was at Crater Lake. The manly El Lobo wore his sandals in the snow just to get a glimpse of the magnificent lake.

El Lobo-For drinking three beers before the MACBETH performance and having to find the rest room 10 minutes into the performance and then not allowed to return. He was exiled into a room with a television monitor.

Lifting down into Phoenix the surrounding landscape reminded me of kitty litter. I love sunny Arizona but it is not Oregon. I will return in August for a pack with Rick to the Sister’s Wilderness and then in September for a pack with Sawtooth Steve to the Eagle Cap Wilderness in Northeast Oregon. In the short term, I guess the abyss called the “Big Hole” by Chevy Chase will have to do. In the long term we will continue to dream of our retirement in Placerville.


San Jacinto-Cactus to Clouds

To every day, (Turn! Turn! Turn!) there is a season,(Turn, Turn, Turn) and a time to every purpose unto heaven”
Byrds 1/65 (lyrics adapted from the Book of Ecclesiastes)

Que tal,

On Friday evening, my lovely spouse and I were privileged to see a fabulous performance of South Pacific starring Robert Goulet at the Gammage theatre.
This was a time of joy, appreciation and applause.
On Sunday morning, after climbing 10,400’ vertical feet I was high above Palm Springs California, on top of San Jacinto with four good friends.
This was a time of pain, misery and profanity.

Mother of all USA hikes –“Cactus to Clouds”

In the continental USA there is no higher and longer elevation gain in one day than the “Cactus to Clouds” hike. This hike, from the desert floor of Palm Springs to the peak of San Jacinto takes you up a torturous10,400.’ This is the equivalents of climbing up and down Camelback or Squaw Peak ten times only in much higher progressive elevations. It is a 23 mile round trip that we completed in just under twelve hours. When you tack on four plus hours of driving (eight for Hannu) it makes for a very long day.

Dingo, Zo and I met Hannu in Palm Springs late Sunday afternoon. We checked into our hotel and proceeded to the two possible trailheads to scout them out. One is at the end of Ramon road and the other is at the Desert Museum on Museum Drive. Trails from both starting points converge at a saddle.
We elected to begin this epic journey at the Desert Museum where we read a sign that warned- No water on faint trail, beware of rattlesnakes, scorpions and ticks.
Dingo exclaimed “TICKS!!!!!” and sent terror into Hannu’s heart. Five years previous on the Lost Coast trail, Lobo had to burn and cut into Hannu’s posterior to remove several ticks. Hannu and I have become very close since that delicate operation.
The early evening was spent on the patio at the Blue Coyote restaurant, enjoying cervezas and people watching. The Palm Springs main drag is quaint and interesting. The California culture keeps rolling on.
There just happened to be hundreds of lovelies walking by, dressed in their summer pretties. Ahhhhh-Southern California.
The girl watching appeared to motivate the men, and Lobo (Jefe) regarded it as a good thing and did not issue any demerits for dirty old man type behavior. Jefe learned this skill in management school.
After dinner we shuttled Zo’s car to the parking lot at Palm Spring’s Aerial Tram and retired early.
The following morning we got a predawn start with headlamps to avoid some of the heat and ensure daylight on the return. It was close to 80 at 4:15 A.M. We immediately started gaining elevation and were already sweating just steps into the hike. We were treated to a beautiful sunrise from the trail.
The trail to Long Valley is an unending secession of upward-reaching switchbacks in a barren landscape. Nothing appeared to be alive. Hannu would pace back and forth whenever we stopped for a short break.
We were however, blessed with a thick cloud cover to shield the sun.
Eleven miles later, we reached the ranger station at Long Valley (Valley adjacent the Aerial Tram Station at 8600’) in six hours.
From this point you can “bail out” and catch the next tram down to Palm Springs. Hannu did not give us enough time to even think about that option!
Zo, later on admitted sinful thoughts of a early return via the tram.
We acquired our Wilderness permit at the self-service Ranger Station and El Lobo scored a San Jacinto patch much to the group’s chagrin.
We proceeded the next six miles through Round Valley then up a moderately graded trail to San Jacinto peak. A scramble was required to get to the top and in our exhausted condition it was not easy to finally reach this seemingly impossible goal. Dingo Dan literally crawled to the top, but with a big smile on his face. He maintained his good sense of humor all day. I found this to be remarkable. Zo appeared to have lost his sense of humor somewhere between the cactus and the clouds.
The view of the Coachella Valley and surrounding mountain ranges was great. This is an awesome panoramic view.
Drew(ski) greeted us at the top. He had driven up from San Diego that morning and took the first tram up and then hiked the six miles to the peak.
He treated us to cookies and chocolate. Unlike the rest of us, he was energetic and thoroughly enjoying himself. Needless to say, he is the only smart one of the group.
After resting at the top we hiked the six miles back to the Ranger Station and barely had the energy to finish a 300’ climb up to the tram station.

Pic by Drew(ski)
Zo & Dan-2 miles left- “When will it end? I want my mommy”

Hannu treated us to cervezas at the station bar and we took the next tram down to Palm Springs.
Zo, Dan and I arrived back in Phoenix close to midnight. Thanks to Zo for the clutch driving home. An earlier email confirmed that his sense of humor has been restored.
I have no idea what time that stalking animal Hannu arrived in the Bay Area.

Editorial comment:

Perhaps there may be a few Grand Canyon elitists that seem to think the Canyon has an exclusive on harsh, strenuous hiking. Of course the Canyon is tough, but they may want to venture beyond and try this one out. It just might kick their ass.

Men behaving badly

All, except Drew(ski) for exhibiting disgusting behavior from start to finish of this expedition.
All, for cursing at Lobo during the climb for formulating this fun trip.
Jake for being smart enough to stay home, and then when contacted by cell phone while we were laboring on the trail, he flaunted his cool air-conditioned status and the fact that he had doughnuts for breakfast.
John Hofdahl for conveniently taking off to Kona when this outing was scheduled.

Over all I rate this hike a 9.9 due to the challenge it presented and the tenacity demonstrated by all. No one was in the industrial strength condition required to complete this type of outing. Determination, experience, and perhaps the gift of cloud cover got us to the top.

South Bass to Boucher-Grand Canyon

"Your life is in your canteen, draw it down with a zealous eye."--Gass

Down South Bass-Up the Boucher via the Tonto WestFive days, forty three miles, 10,000' + elevation gain/lossThis hike began at Bass Camp, 28 rough miles of back road west of Grand Canyon Village. Although this site is now isolated, it was once home (built in 1880) to William Wallace Bass and family. Bass was an industrious pioneer of Grand Canyon tourism. Bass introduced adventurous people to the canyon for forty years before selling to the Fred Harvey Company. He built the trail that we would take down close to the river. The Bass camp was demolished in 1937 per the Park Superintendent. The feral mules that created the Tonto trail were eliminated. The Bass corridor has returned to its natural state. All proposals to make it an industrial tourist site has been rejected by the NPS.The expedition group (PIC by Mooseman)Steve (El feo)John (El viento hediondo Grande)Mooseman (El buen)El Lobo (Malos)We started the steep descent at 8:00 A.M. and just before we arrived at the Tonto Junction Steve almost stepped on this poor guy.PIC by MoosemanAt first we thought it was the Grand Canyon Pink Rattlesnake but the color was salmon. It has since been identified as the rare Massaugua rattler.After our wildlife observation we headed down the Tonto west where we would trek 28 distant miles to Boucher Creek and then up the killer Boucher trail. The Tonto trail follows the Tonto platform for it's entire length, winding in and out of side canyons with multiple drainage's.The Tonto west is the faintest of paths, hard to follow in places with small stretches that overlook the Colorado.This area (The Jewels) has the reputation of "no man's land" because of limited water and extremely difficult emergency escape routes. Our plan was to stop at Serpentine, Turquoise and Slate Canyons.Backcountry and GCFI had told us that there was water in each of these drainage's. We travelled along the top of Serpentine with much trepidation as we could not see any sources of water below. No water would put us in a decision making process to either make a difficult climb down to the Colorado River or continue on to Turquoise and pray that we would find water at that location.The temperature was in the 80s. Steve, a self proclaimed "water freak," is always after us to carry more water. Why didn't we listen?PorqueAt the very end of Serpentine our anxieties ended with the discovery of several water pockets. (tinjas) That evening while enjoying gourmet freeze dried meals we were startled by a lone hiker that stumbled into our camp in serious need of water. He came in from the East where few travel in that direction. When we asked where he had come from, he replied "Copper Canyon" Copper Canyon was many miles to the East? He said that he had been boiling his water and requested to use our filter? He said he was from Sedona and we thought that he had seen too many vortexes. We gave him a plentiful supply of water and offered our camp to him. He then told us that he was with a group that had done the Royal Arch route. He had left his group behind and missed the turnoff to go up the Bass Trail. He did not have a map. He was insistent about getting back to the Bass turnoff even though there was little day light left. He said that he had a radio and had contacted his party at the top of Bass and they were waiting for him. We gave him explicit directions to the well marked turnoff. He left in a hurry and we all hoped for the best. It seemed like his judgments made him a candidate for update to the Death in the Canyon publication. We started out early the next morning and found water pockets in Turquoise and Slate on subsequent days. We would arrive around 2:00P.M. and have a leisurely afternoon.This section of the Tonto offers it's own set of unique rewards in the form of solitude and the opportunity to experience the canyon's natural rhythms for extended periods of time. PIC by John DA JackalMooseman would usually take up some distance to the front or the rear.In the evenings he would camp a good distance away from the rest of the group. He would spend the afternoons reading "The Man who walked through time" by Colin Fletcher who traversed the Canyon in the early 50s.Perhaps the Mooseman shared the same thoughts that Edward Abbey once articulated: "I find that in contemplating the natural world my pleasure is greater if there are not too many others contemplating it with me at the same time." Or, he thought that he was "The Man who walked through fumes" when he walked too close behind John DA Jackal, perhaps the most prolific windbreaker ever to travel the Canyon.We reached Boucher Creek early Saturday morning and decided to knock out half of our torturous climb up the Boucher and camp on the Redwall close to White's Butte.Louis D. Boucher, the Grand Canyon "hermit" built the trail in the 1890s. Along side Boucher creek he worked a copper mine, built a cabin, planted an orchard and worked a garden. We visited the ruins of his cabin.What a great camp view we had! El Lobo Grande PIC by John DA JackalSunday morning we climbed out and headed for the showers. John and I stopped at the Beaver Street Brewery in Flag for fabulous burgers and brews. This trip was a rewarding experience, thanks to John, Mooseman and Steve for the time we shared. The weather was close to perfect. The trip was well planned and executed. Everyone contributed to it's success.Men Behaving BadlySteve for barking profanities at John and I when we would ask Steve questions in Espanol.John DA Jackal for reading the trails illustrated map countless hours and then asking if the Colorado River was Boucher Creek!!!John DA Jackal for polluting entire side canyons and then pleading"Hey it's the freeze dried food"John DA Jackal for not bringing any deserts and then greedily looking at El Lobo's stash like a hungry coyote.Steve for complaining about the noise El Lobo Grande & John DA Jackal made coming back from the Bright Angel Bar bar late the night before we went hiking.Steve for making his lovely sainted wife Joyce, carry two gallons of water when they go to the movie matinee, and then refusing to spring for any popcorn.Mooseman for acting like an adult the entire trip.Mooseman for being a lightweight farter.El Lobo Grande for consistent bad behavior the entire trip. (After all we were hiking the Tonto (Spanish Translation: silly, foolish) Trail.


Sala, si puede usted!

"It's the Road, not the Inn
"Delivered boxes of clothing in Aqua PrietaPeople's card board box homes destroyed by the rain
The stock market has crashed, what a shame
The sky darkened, we pushed onSal Si Puedes was the camino's name
Only 100 miles of dirt and rockThunder roared, clouds burst and arroyos filled
The adventure with a pupose rolled onEl Tigre montana range,
rare birds, also a peacock
The engine stalled, the plugs were dried
Halfway the el camino was washed outWe did not stop
Stuck for an hour, under the wheels we moved rock
The storm moved the rain stopped
Shrines, virgin beauty and serenity
A loud noise, the muffler was broke
Barbed wire patched it together, no more drag
We rolled onAfter 70 miles
A raging arroyo we could not cross
We were done going south, and turned back
Children riding bare back, roosters crowing, yearlings bleating
Sleeping dogs, brick casas, tall trees, floral displays
A paradise found, surrounded by the El Tigres
The pueblo Colonia Morelos, suspended in time
Smiling, friendly people, just living, no portfolio, just live stock
Homemade tortillas, papas, carne and frijoles
Get out if you can
Back to Aqua Prieta in the dark
Crossed the border to Douglas at ten
Fourteen hours on the road
By the time I get to Phoenix it will be four more
But first a tecate and then head home