Rolling Stones

“Time is on my side, yes it is”

The “Forty Licks” tour stop in Phoenix was one of the mothers of all concerts that I have attended (#422) and Mother’s Little Helpers were focused and near perfect. Rolling Stones concerts have been called the greatest show on earth and I agree. Clearly, Mick Jagger is the best front man that the business has seen, and many consider the Stones the greatest Rock and Roll Band of all time. Others would argue that Led Zeppelin deserves that honor but my vote goes to the Stones.

The British group was formed when I was a sophomore in high school—and getting no satisfaction. Two years later “ I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” became the Stones’ first number one hit and an anthem for all young frustrated guys.

The Rolling Stones, who were heavily influenced by American rhythm and blues, took their name from a Muddy Waters’ song. The guys were the original “bad boys” of Rock and Roll.

The Rolling Stones were woven into the fabric of my misspent youth. There are so many memories, such as returning from a draft physical in Oakland on a bus filled with Reno boys. Ralph Gabrazano had his portable radio cranked up to “Paint it Black”
Every guy on the bus was singing (screaming) and beating their hands on the seats in tune with the music. When my girl friend dumped on me I would silently hum “Don’t play with me cause your playing with fire.”

Forty years later my concert partner and mate, Gerry, are at America West Arena seeing them in concert. Remarkable!
Forty years and forty albums released. Eight number one hits!
Mick Jagger, Keith Richard, and Charlie Watts were there from the beginning. Mick and Keith are both pushing 60. Ron Wood has been a Stone for thirty years. Original band member Brian Jones was found dead in his swimming pool in 1969. The official coroner’s report listed his death as a result of “misadventure.”

In the 60s, before they appeared on his show, Ed Sullivan ordered Mick Jagger to sing “Lets spend some time together” instead of the original lyric “Lets spend the night together.”
At a free concert at Altamount Speedway in California, a nightmarish murder committed by Hell’s Angels hired as security guards occurred in front of the stage while the group played “Sympathy for the Devil.”

Over the years there has been a long list of drug busts. But things have changed. The bad boys are focused and solid. They are filling arenas wherever they go and have amassed enough wealth to be on the cover of Fortune magazine.
Tickets to see the legends were expensive. But like a birder wanting a rare bird sighting for his lifelong list, El Lobo needed this rare gem for his lifelong concert list. So we paid the price. And it was worth every penny!
This concert at America West Arena has been sold out for months. The lights went out and thousands of red and blue battery powered flashing tongue pins filled the arena. Mick and Keith opened the show with Street Fighting Man. The roar was deafening.

The ageless Jagger pranced throughout the show. Gerry commented that he moved like a man 35 years younger. He started the show wearing a blue jacket and ended in tank top. He demonstrated incredible fitness while he danced and flung his wiry body and well sculpted arms around. The show was astronomical energy from start to finish. Keith Richards smiled throughout the performance and all band members seemed to be thoroughly enjoying their work. Their timeless sound was superb.

The first part of the show they played mostly new stuff, including their latest single release “Don’t Stop.” It went down real smooth. The second part was all about old classics. We really enjoyed their upbeat version of Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”
They finished with “Jumpin Jack Flash, and by this time the crowd of, mostly, bad boys and girls in their 30s 40s and 50s, were in a frenzy. We would have liked to hear more of their old classics but they could play only a fraction in the terrific two hours that they played. The four old friends who have sustained their close relationship took numerous curtain calls for the appreciative crowd.

This was an alcohol free concert for Ger and I (the limitations of our diets and fitness regimen). We agreed that we would not let that happen again. Therefore it would be hard to rate this concert compared to the other 441 that I have seen that were far from alcohol free. It is definitely in my top 10.

Thanks for the gifts, guys, I can’t imagine this life’s journey without the Stones.

“I know it’s only Rock and Roll, but I like it” sums up it all up.

“Don’t stop!”

Veteran Cosmic Rocker

Kelly & Pumphouse Wash Canyons

Caving without roofs-Kelly & Pumphouse Wash Canyons-

I love wild canyons,--dry fragrant, stone walled, with their greenchoked-niches and gold tipped ramparts.Zane GreyUSA Weekend featured Sissy Sedona as their number one pick of our country'sten most beautiful spots. Although I am not in agreement with theirselection(s) I do think that the surrounding area's telegenic canyons arespecial. That is why we returned to the canyons of the Mogollon Rim forthe third time in the past month.Excursionistas DE canonDingo DanEl LoboZoWell fed, pampered "I can't go" guysJohn DA JackalJake DA snakeDingo Dan put together a plan to explore two of the three major headwatercanyons of Oak Creek--Kelly and Pumphouse. The third, James Canyon requiresrappelling and swimming. It is best suited for much warmer weather, as thedeep dark pools are icy cold.Our route involved shuttling two vehicles.Kelly Canyon was an easy walk along a game trail through most of thecanyon. Dingo and Dan practiced climbing on various limestone rock faces.It is a nice four mile walk, along old growth ponderosa pines, firs andaspens.(Embedded image moved to file: pic24010.jpg)Kelly Canyon-PIC by ZoPumphouse Wash offers a bit more of a challenge. Pumphouse is essentiallyupper Oak Creek Canyon. We had a boulder hop for about the first two milesbefore coming to a 15 foot waterfall and large pool below it. A dead Elkwas submerged in the pool. This is the second weekend in a row that we havecome upon a dead elk in water.(Embedded image moved to file: pic23325.jpg)One of many pools-PIC by ZoAbout 1/2 mile below the falls, James Canyon comes in from the West.Here the canyon deepens, with sheer rock faces of Coconino sandstone, firand maple trees covering the slopes. This contrast creates a scenic, lush,backdrop. A variety of colorful butterflies added to the splendor.We came across numerous pools, alive with frogs, and a water snake. We wereable to climb on the shelf around most of them, but a couple requiredwading. The water was so cold that it numbed my entire body. You would notlast long in these pools. We will bring wet suits when we do James.We came into a section of slot narrows and climbed along the top.(Embedded image moved to file: pic06754.jpg)Slot Narrows-PIC by ZoZo spotted a couple of owls on a dead tree branch. This was quite asurprise as these magnificent creatures are nocturnal.(Embedded image moved to file: pic19243.jpg)Hooters-PIC by ZOAfter five miles through Pumphouse, we came out on Highway 89A close to oneof our shuttled vehicles, and drove to the second vehicle parked nine milessouth of Flag. Here we set up our customary PUB with camp chairs andenjoyed a few Pacificos.We drove back to Phoenix and had dinner with Gerry and my good friend JohnKing at Carlsbad Tavern, a New Mexican restaurant.John was visiting from Walnut Creek and participating in a Masters swimmeet at ASU. The food and company were estupendo!Men Behaving Badly:El Lobo for trying to stiff the national government out of the Red Rockparking permit. ( because it's a Republican administration)Zo for whining, I can't do that, I might fall into the water and get mycamera wet.Dingo for thinking he is a world class climber but can only climb up threefeet and then fall to the ground with exhausted arms.Dingo for forgetting his socks in the shuttle vehicle, borrowing Lobosextra pair, wearing them all day and then throwing the sweaty, mud soaked,smelly gross items in Lobo's lap, saying "here, sniff these!"Dingo for being paranoid that "the mighty wind" might blow in his wife'scar. He repeated and whined several times, "Now don't do it in Jean's car,she warned me, and I don't want to get in trouble!"



"There are two types of people in this world. Those that have guns, andthose that dig."Blondie (The Good- Clint Eastwood) to Tuco (The Ugly -Eli Wallich) in thegraveyard.Que pasa amigos,Como estas tu?February and March are primo Arizona months. The weather is absolutelyperfect for an outside adventure.The young hombres were getting a little soft around the middle andrequested that El Lobo plan a challenging viaje. El hijo, Jacobo, amigoLorennzo and Lobo departed for the Old Pueblo (Tucson) temprano las cuatroy treinta de la manana (very early) for what would be a long day.A bald eagle has been nesting just outside of Tucson and two jaguars wererecently sighted and filmed south of town. We spotted a cardinal and acoyote on the way to the trailhead.We started our trek at the Tanque Verde trailhead in Saguaro National Parkand for seven hours followed the strenuous and sometimes torturous routefollowing Tanque Verde ridge to 7049-foot Tanque Verde Peak. We logged 18miles and close to 10,000 feet of elevation gain/loss. Mucho dulce-(Kit KatBars and Snickers) were consumed to take the painful edge off the trip.Along the way the trail winds among tall saguaros, climbs wildflower dottedslopes, and passes through delightful forests of oak, pinyon and juniper. Iabsolutely love this blend of ecosystems! We passed through beautifulJuniper Basin Campground (5900') where there were several pockets of water.This would be a superb spot for an overnight. There were only small patchesof snow along the higher elevations unlike the Rincon Peak hike last yearat this time where we had to plow through waste high powder for the last ½mile to the summit.Tanque Verde Peak requires a bit of a tricky climb the last 20 feet, butaffords a commanding view of Tucson and the Rincon Mountains back-country.Included in this 360 degree panoramic view are the Santa Rita and HuachucaMountains, the little Rincons, the Galiuro and Santa Catalina Mountains andthe city of Tucson.The climb back to the trailhead was arduous but both Jacobo and Zo arestrong hikers and we made excellent time. The Pacifico cervezas at Zo'scarro were excellente treatment for our sore and tired feet.The Rincons offer a wonderful remote back-country experience, close to ametropolitan area. I rate this hike a solid 9.The hike was only half the adventure as we stopped in the Old HotelCongress in downtown on our way to El Minuto for dinner. In the spirit ofadventure, Lobo changed into his cowboy attire.The Old Congress is really a funky enjoyable historic establishment.John Dillinger was apprehended in this hotel. The atmosphere is one out ofthe 40s.The eclectic, crowded bar served Schlitz, Pabst Blue Ribbon and Old Style.The cliental was something similar to the characters in the Star Wars barscene or those that frequent Warsaw Wally's in downtown Phoenix.We made numerous friends, one being Gerine, a Supai woman that many yearsago, demonstrated great courage and left the land of blue/green waterfallsin the Grand Canyon to get an education at the U of A.She requested R E S P E C T by Aretha on the jukebox filled with fineselections. Sadly, she left the reservation for a better life andapparently spends much time wasted at the Old Congress bar.In the corner of the bar, one gentleman gave us hard looks and continuouslygrowled like a wild animal.Bobby, a Russian immigrant was drinking beer glass size tumblers of Vodkaand humming a Rusky classic.When informed that "El Lobo Grande" was present, the bar managerresponded with an impressed "No shit!" A couple of Hell's Angels hoistedtheir glasses for a toast.It was fun!If you are in Tucson don't miss this slice of diverse life. You won't findit in a five star hotel.It was years ago when Gerry and I stayed in the same Hotel, when we weregiven a tip from locals in the bar about El Minuto, the best Mexicanrestaurant in the Universe. An establishment where you will have a hardtime finding touristas.Since that time I don't miss a meal at El Minuto when I am close to the OldPueblo. Saturday evening was no exception, as the three of us greedilydevoured the tasty specials and superb margaritas. After dinner we visiteda religious shrine next door.Tres hombres arrived back in Phoenix en tarde but safe, thanks to Lorenzo,road warrior extraordinaire. The trip and company was excellent, Ithorougly enjoyed the time we shared.Adventure rating 9.9
The very popularMEN BEHAVING BADLY SECTIONEl Lobo, busted at the trailhead by a ranger for merely marking histerritory.Jacobo, constantly upsetting the serenity on the trail by yellingGEEEEZZ when his keen sense of smell detected an odorous wind.Jacobo, at mile 17, promising himself to never hike again. At least he quitat the end of the hike and not ½ way like Steve Yahner, at Nankoweep GrandCanyon.Lorenzo, making large cat type sounds on the trail after weak emissions.Question:
Where's Steve?Answer: Napping in Scottsdale after a huge breakfast of Jimmy Dean's purepork sausage.

Indian Maid Route-Grand Canyon

Like a Rock, I’m going to roll over you”
Rock N’ Roll over you-Moody Blues –1986

Indian Maid Route (rim to Little Colorado)
Estimated distance: 1 mile. Total estimated elevation gain: 2000 feet

Be afraid, be very afraid.
After a good night of climbing at the Phoenix Rock Gym, Zo Dingo and I met at our Tempe after climb hang out. Over margaritas and cervezas we worked out the final details for our Saturday adventure trip to the Little Colorado River Gorge at the Grand Canyon .In December, Dingo had climbed the Indian Maid route down cliffs and through cracks with a couple of Grand Canyon warriors. He was confident that he could negotiate the maze of back roads on the Navajo reservation, locate our entry point and find the passage to the river. Zo was enthusiastic. The posted cerveza special for Sabado was Rolling Rock. This was not a good sign.
I was concerned, very concerned. After all, this looked like a class five free climb with no safety devices. The pictures and the description clearly reflected a very steep, dangerous, route with much potential for rock fall and exposure. In addition, this drop drains a large area on the mesa top when rain could turn the passage into a flash flood death trap.

Why was I going? I had cashed in my chips and gotten out of the business of extreme canyoneering. This adrenaline junkie went through treatment and was cured.
Needing a little comfort, I went home and wolved down two large pieces of chocolate cake and an ice cream sandwich before going to bed. Those guys are crazy! I’m not going.
We left my house Sabada manana at five A.M. equipped with four Jerky Boys CDs.
It would be a long ride and needed some intellectual stimulation. Personal growth is always a side benefit on these trips.
After three hours we were slowly driving through a thick layer of fog on Highway 89. This was not a good sign. Fifteen miles into the Navajo outback, visibility was zero and we did not have a clue as to our location. And then, Wallah! The fog lifted and we had a magnificent view of the snow capped rim. This was a good sign! Or, was it? The snow on the rim probably meant wet rock below.
We passed a Hogan, Dingo recognized the landmarks and was able to follow his road log to the point of entry.
We walked down a dry wash and reached a steep pour off. I looked down the 500’ sheer drop off and casually screamed “ No *@**&%ing way! The Dingo man just smiled and headed West to a steep narrow crack. Zo gleefully followed. Here we descended into the abyss. All the rock was crumbly and you could not trust any hand holds or foot plants. The crack gradually widened where we down climbed over rubble and boulders through steep ravines. We constantly heard falling rock sounds. We descended long and safe distances apart, but as careful as we were, each of us dislodged dangerous boulders that crashed below.
We found some interesting petroglyphs and pot shards on the Coconino layer.
With the benefit of Dingo’s route experience, it took us just two hours to reach the LCR. ( Little Colorado River) It had taken Dingo and his group four hours in December.
The river was running thick with silt and mud from recent rains and looked like gooey Hershey’s chocolate syrup.
We took a break for lunch and took in the solitude in this stark environment. The LCR Gorge is sixty miles from Cameron to the confluence with the Colorado. We were in the middle section. I know of a few that have packed through the gorge.
It is a long lonely journey dealing with quicksand and water issues. Blue Springs is about ten miles down stream. The water there is salty but filterable.

Sala, si usted puede (Get out, if you can)

Dingo and Zo wanted to do a little exploration down stream but they indulged my desire to return without delay. Although physically a lot more demanding, the climb out went smoothly and was a lot of fun. Having route knowledge and in better climbing control went a long ways towards having fun. It took us less than two hours to climb out, again half the time that it took the previous group.

Our cerveza celebration at the rim quickly ended when a couple of Navajos came out of now where in an all terrain vehicle. They were not happy and wanted to know what we were doing there. When we told them that we had climbed down to the river, they looked at us in disbelief. When I mentioned the Indian Maid route they told us we were lost.
They said that over the years they had seen some cars on the rim in Marble canyon and could not understand what anyone would be doing down there.
Once they were convinced that we were not rustling their livestock, they relaxed a bit, and then bid us a friendly farewell. They sped off in search of a lost cow.
On the way out we saw a huge herd of sheep and the attendant sheep herding dog.
The dog saw our vehicle and immediately set chase to escort us away from the herd. Good boy!
We stopped for dinner at Black Canyon City at a café famous for their pie and arrived at my house close to 8:00 P.M.
I rate this adventure a solid 10. It was well planned and executed. Thanks to Dingo and Zo for the time we shared, there are not two better guys to explore with.

Men Behaving Badly:

Dingo Dan for wearing the same Hawaiian dirt shirt and Islands baseball cap yet again. (532 straight outings)
Dingo Dan for again excitedly reminiscing about another old kinky girlfriend.
Dingo Dan for getting very excited when he saw the herd of sheep.
Zo for wearing “girlie” tights under his hiking pants
Zo for his insensitive remark “Lobo you are one rotten dude”
Lobo for his tremendous wind breaking virtuosity in the crack.

Hopi Salt Trail

Hopi Salt Trail-Grand Canyon

“The longing to be primitive is a disease of culture”.
George Santayana

Hopi Salt Trail-Grand Canyon- Rim to the LCR (Little Colorado River-- Approximately ten miles R/T and 6000’ elevation gain/loss. Access to the trailhead is on the Navajo Reservation and thereby requires a Navajo permit. Finding the trailhead can be a challenge with the maze of side roads. It is 21 miles from Cedar Ridge and you must follow the road log very carefully.
The Salt trail is more of a route than a trail and in some sections it becomes a steep descent requiring some down climbing. The route is well marked with cairns but it is very rough and time consuming.

Cast of characters: (Men behaving badly)

Dingo Dan
Jake the Snake
John DA Jackal
El Lobo Grande

Now that Spring training is over it is time for some serious canyoneering.

We left Saturday afternoon for the destination of the legendary Hopi Salt Trail to investigate a myth.
When you think of a historical Indian trail you may think of the Inca Trail in South America. Unlike the heavily used Inca Trail, few know of the Hopi Trail and fewer have traveled it. Some locals make the journey when they are on a ritual quest for salt. According to the belief of some Third Mesa Villages, the Grand Canyon contains not only sacred salt beds and shrines but also “Sipapu” the center of creation, or place where humans emerged.

We wanted to investigate the myth.

This group has a routine when we hike the canyon. We stop at Flagstaff for dinner at the Beaver Street Brewery and camp at the Cameron trading Post in one of their beautiful rooms.

In Flag, a beautifully painted George Mancuso memorial on the side of a building, got our attention. George Mancuso was a photographer and Grand Canyon explorer that was killed by a flash flood last year in the next canyon over from the Salt Canyon. About eight years ago he was featured on the cover of Backpacker magazine as a warrior of the Canyon.

At Beaver Street we enjoyed a great dinner and slammed down several Microbrews while we watched (with mixed feeling) the NCAA basketball tournament and numero uno seed University of Arizona go down to Kansas.

The Little Colorado was flowing heavily at Cameron. This meant that our destination at the river would look like thick chocolate syrup flowing instead of the mineralized spectacular blue green water that flows from the Springs.

The following morning:

We finished breakfast at 6:30 A.M. at the Trading Post and headed for Cedar Ridge. We had no problems negotiating the back roads and started on the trail (route) at 8:00 A.M.
The initial descent was steep with some exposure. The Canyon walls however blocked out the lethal sun through the Coconino until we almost reached the canyon floor. It was perfect hiking weather and there was not a cloud in the sky. Potholes were filled with water from recent rains.
The route stayed on ledges through the Supai. It dropped steeply into a drainage at the top of the Redwall and climbed steeply out the other side. We easily located the descent through the break in the Redwall. It was marked with two large cairns. The trail stays above the bottom of the canyon until the river. We arrived at the Little Colorado at 11:00 A.M. three hours after starting.

Brown Sugar

The river was indeed, flowing milk chocolate. We had talked about trekking over to the next canyon to where George had met his fate, but decided against it due to the heavy flow that created a time consuming difficulty factor. We enjoyed a lunch on the beach and relaxed for an hour before starting back up.
We were now totally exposed to the sun and the climb was laborious. Thoughts of our people in Iraq drifted in and out of my head. With that in mind, the climb didn’t seem so difficult.
The views, cool breezes and the water that some had frozen the night before provided relief to the arduous grind. We were out in a little over three hours.

On the rim we celebrated life and our freedom with a cooler full of fine cervezas. John cranked up the Rolling Stones on the stereo while Jacobo, Zo, and Dingo relaxed in camp chairs. John brought baseball gloves and a ball and we played catch on the rim. I have never played catch in a more beautiful setting nor enjoyed it as much. We all appreciated our comradery and the time we had shared together.
Perhaps we had found Sipapu after all.

Overall I rate this adventure as a 9.9. There are not better people than mi amigos to do these adventures with. Thanks to all and particularly John for driving.

Men Behaving Badly:

John Da Jackal, for his thunderous outbursts and trying to kill us with his own brand of lethal gas.
ZO, for flaunting his gear. A declared minimalist that always comes hiking with all the latest and greatest.
Dingo Dan, for finally not wearing the same Hawaian Dirt Shirt for a record 5, 255th time. However his replacement of a Telecom shirt with a picture of a chicken with it’s head cut off gets him a gold star for not flaunting his gear like Zo.
John Da Jackal, for drinking all my Moosehead.
Jake the Snake, for telling stories about “the Doobs” (an old girlfriend of his friend Giddy) and her prolific wind breaking virtuosity.

Buffalo River Arkansas

“Take my hand in yours, walk with me this day, in my heart I know, I will never stray”
Neil Diamond- Brother Love’s Traveling Salvation Show-2/69

Hey Bubba,

Just returned from the Ozarks in Arkansas, where folks pack up the babies, grab the old ladies and head for the revival. This is where you consider a six pack of beer and a bug zapper to be quality entertainment.

After landing in Little Rock, I turned my car rental’s radio to one of the many cryin and dyin stations and headed for the Zig Zagg mountains and Hot Springs National Park. Hot Springs was the child hood home of Bubba Clinton. This was our first National Park and unusual in that it is a blend of highly developed park in a small city. It is number 43 of our 54 US National Parks that I plan to visit in my lifetime.
After visiting historic bathhouse row, I returned to Little Rock and found myself a $30 minus five star motel room with a biker bar located conveniently down the street. The Buffalo River, the next day’s driving destination is located in a dry county so the biker bar was my best shot at a beer.
It seemed like a good opportunity to take in some of the local culture and discuss ecosystem protection with the boys.
This establishment had an impressive Confederate flag that spanned the length of the building. I ordered a local beer (BUD) from the bartender, but apparently I needed to be screened, and qualify for service. “You just passin through, son? You ain’t one of those Yankees are ya?” After explaining that I was from Arizona, not a state, but a territory during the civil war, I still did not have my beer. However, when I explained that I was going to a family reunion and viewed it as a great chance to meet some girls, I was finally served.
The next day I headed for the Buffalo River where I would do some volunteer work for the National Park Service, and spend some time fly fishing, hiking and canoeing the River. The Buffalo National River is one of the few remaining unpolluted, free flowing rivers in the lower 48 states. The Buffalo originates as a trickle in the Boston Mountains. It drops steadily for 132 miles to it confluence with the White River.

I stopped for gas at the wonderful hamlet of Toad Suck on the way. It took a half- hour to pump $2.00 worth of gas.. The attendant told me that the pump was not workin so good. A young fellow driving a low rider 1972 Pontiac, drove up. Bullet holes riddled the hood and windshield of the car. Since it would take me another hour to fill the tank, I had plenty of time to chat with him, and he told me that the car used to be his daddy’s but his daddy was now with the lord. He also told me that he had lost his three dogs when the family porch collapsed and killed them.

The frequent road kills along highway 65 included several dogs and cats that made it a more scenic route. I stopped at Wal Mart in the Metropolis of Harrison to pick up some stove fuel. Camouflaged style clothing appeared to be the attire of choice by the shoppers. Displayed on a mannequin was matching green camouflaged bra and panties on sale for $15.00. I seriously thought of gifting a set to my wild woman but was not in the extravagant mood.

I camped at the Tyler Bend Campgrounds, the group next to me woke me up with a prayer meeting at 11:00 that night. The Tyler Bend Visitor Center is a very nice facility and the area is absolutely gorgeous. The fall colors had just started but already were brilliant.
In between building some trail steps and clearing some of the Park’s trails I took the opportunity to drive some of the Ozark’ s back-roads and see some of the historic cabins built by early settlers. Many families have multiple generations in the area. (This is where some folk’s family tree mayt be a straight line) The NPS leader, Zed was a fifth generation resident.
The Ghost town of Rush, where zinc ore was mined in the late 1800s was particularly interesting and included several well preserved structures. During my visit I saw an abundance of wildlife that included elk, wild turkeys, beavers, white tailed deer, armadillos, opossums, and raccoons. In the evening several skunks with long white tails visited my camp. The fishing was very good, the Buffalo contains long pools and I caught several large mouth bass and catfish.
The hiking in the surrounding thick forests of Oak and Hickory offered wild mountain beauty and was easy walking on the fallen leaves. Hiking the trails in this area took me back in time to an era when the natural and cultural world, were one.
I did have some anxious moments when I lost my trail in the dense forest. This spur trail was not on my Trails Illustrated Map and I had difficulty back tracking.. The only sound that I could hear was blood curdling howls from hound dogs in the distance. The sounds seemed to get closer and closer and I felt like an escaped prisoner being tracked down. I used my compass and was able to find a back-road and followed that back to Rush.

"Now let's you just drop them pants."
Don Job-Deliverance- 1972

The highlight of the trip was a twenty mile canoe trip down a stretch of the Buffalo. I started this part of the adventure with thoughts of mountain men with sodomy on their minds. My partner on this float was Stan. (Da Man) Stan is a 75 year old retired chemist from Yugoslavia. He was also helping the NPS with trail work. He is just a delightful guy and I thoroughly enjoyed his company. Stan is a worrier and worried when we were in shallow water that we would get stuck and have to portage the canoe. When we were in deep water he would worry that we would fall out. “I would not like to fall out here” was voiced several times.
We did not meet up with any weird mountain men and saw absolutely no one. We enjoyed total serenity and solitude down the River that cuts its way through massive limestone buffs. Our isolation and the wildness became dramatized by side trips into a number of hollows flanking the river. We were later told that these served as guerilla hideouts during the civil war.
After the trip Stan was a real happy guy –“I think we did good”.
I just love the guy. He lives in up state New York.

Men Behaving Badly

Bubba Clinton-It’s no wonder he developed dysfunctional behaviors growing up in these parts!

This was a fabulous adventure, a real slice of life. I rate this trip a 10++++ Arkansas may be a little different to some of us, but the state’s natural beauty will take your breath away. Touring Arkansas completes El Lobo’s USA 50 state roam. I would like to do the same in Mexico and Canada.

Now, let me leave you with a little down home foot stompin verse.

Old Zip Coon was a very fine scholar
Old Zip Coon was a very fine scholar
Old Zip Coon was a very fine scholar
And he played upon his banjo, coonie in the holler

What do you think old Sukie had for supper
What do you think old Sukie had for supper
What do you think old Sukie had for supper
Chicken foot, sparrow grass and apple butter

Consider cheap retirement in the Ozarks!!


To Extremes

“To really live, you must almost die”
Frankie Laine-The Hanging Tree

Little Colorado River Gorge
Blue Spring-1 Mile- 2200’ Drop-A steep route with big exposure into an incredible gorge


Dingo Dan
El Lobo Grande

Start: 4:00 A.M. December 21
Finish: Midnight December 22
Elapsed time-20 hours

After 7 hours of driving, including 3 ½ hours on the maze of back roads on the Navajo Reservation, we arrived at our descent point. Along the way we caught a glimpse of a herd of pronghorn antelopes racing over the ridgeline. Too Cool!

Horizons turn Inward

This steep route is an unprotected scramble/free climb into the Little Colorado River Gorge, to Blue Spring, the source of the little Colorado’s azure blue flow. The exposure is huge; you must be totally focused on your moves in a number of areas. If you have a fear of heights, this isn’t the place to be.

Blue Cathedral

We arrived at the bottom in two hours to find the bluest of blue waters gushing out of the river’s left bank of Redwall limestone.

The climb out was difficult but went reasonably well. The ascent took two hours. We set up our camp chairs on the rim and enjoyed our traditional cervezas. Fosters! That's Australian for beer!

We allowed too much time to elapse and were challenged to find our way through the maze of back roads in the dark. Dingo did a stellar job of getting us out of there.

In Flag, we stopped at the Beaver Street Brewery for Burgers and mas cervezas, then home.

This was another fabulous adventure with the best of the best. Trip rating, a solid 10.

Men Behaving Badly:

Zo: For thinking that he left his cell phone on the bumper of the SUV, when it was actually in his pack. Time lost -15 minutes searching the freeway for it.

Arizona Highway Patrolman: For giving pobrito Dingo Dan a ticket for merely speeding 33 miles over the speed limit. Time lost 15 minutes

Dingo Dan, always the explorer, for insisting on crossing the river over Lobo’s objections, getting his shoes soaked, which added to his jeopardy on the climb out.

Dingo Dan: For screaming into the gorge after getting out: “You tried to F*#K us, but we beat you!

Mooseman: For being a no show.

El Lobo Grande: For flaunting his gear, sporting a new REI hydration pack, convertible pants, and REI 1 windproof waterproof gloves.

Dingo Dan: For bragging about giving his wife backrubs.

Dingo Dan: For enjoying his hike up Syphon Draw with Jacobo a little too much. (the day before) Dingo kept mentioning how the two of them enjoyed watching the beautiful clouds together?

Women Behaving Badly

Shoppers (for their husbands) in REI that want to see every knife in the case and want to have every tool explained on a large Swiss Army Knife.
Two of them wanted the same knife, got into a fight, and the victor ran off with the prize. The loser then turned on El Lobo and blamed him for letting the other shopper take the last knife.