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