"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed."
- Mohandas Gandhi


Larry The Mountain Man
Dingo Dog
El Lobo H. Grande

The Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, close to Sedona is relatively unknown and seldom visited. The defining feature is the canyon itself, which cuts through the Mogollon Rim, and winds for more than 20 miles. There are dozens of place names in Arizona containing the word sycamore, and when you find these places you find their name sake tree, the ghostly, pale barked Arizona Sycamore.
We chose to "cowboy up" and hike the remote, obscure, 11 mile(r/t) Dogie trail, where back in it's day, cowboys drove cattle through this spectacular Wilderness. 
"Dogie" is cowboy for a motherless calf. 
We caught magnificent views of sandstone ramparts and had a nice lunch at the junction with the Sycamore Basin Trail. The Dogie dips in and out of many drainages . Cottonwoods and willows lined the banks of a very dry Sycamore Creek. Little wildlife, were out in the heat of the day, only a couple of King Snakes.
We hiked for about 6 hours and ended it with our traditional camp chair/cerveza ritual at the trailhead. The back road (525C) to the trailhead requires a high clearance vehicle.
Our plans include returning for a winter backpack skirting the entire Wilderness.












Dave Brubeck and Concert Joe

Dave and Joe probably don't know each other. Both are legends.

Dave Brubeck

Gerry and I spent an evening with jazz pianist/icon  Dave Brubeck accompanied by his talented  rhythm section of Chris and Dan Brubeck and horn player Robert Millitello, at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts. 

It was an evening to remember, an exquisite performance. Refined and perfect.

 Dave is 87 years young, but his joy of performing continues to excite his audiences. Dave grew up on a 45,000 acre  cattle ranch in the Sierras, managed by his father. The lure of piano and Jazz had him playing professionally by his early teens. In 1942 he entered the army where he served under Patton in the European Theatre.

Brubeck and his trio cut their first records in San Francisco in 1949 and launched what later became known as "cool jazz" By 1954, his popularity was such that his picture appeared on the cover of Time Magazine and his recordings were being played throughout the world. 

In 1959 the album Time Out was released and became the first instrumental jazz album to sell 1 million copies. The single, Take Five, remains the best selling jazz single of all time. When I was 12 years old,  listening to my transistor radio on the way to basketball practice, I fell in love with that song. It remains my favorite jazz piece.

During his long career, Dave has recorded with many legendary jazz artists. His musical contributions over the past half century as both pianist and composer have earned him many honors including, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Benjamin Franklin Award for public diplomacy presented at the White House by Condoleeza Rice.

Dave Brubeck-Concert number 491-El Lobo Life long list

Concert Joe

Concert Joe has absolutely no affiliation with the music business. Concert Joe has won no awards. Concert Joe simply goes to concerts. He lives in Manhattan and is a "mostly unemployed" construction worker that has been going to college for 3 decades. In 1989 he claims to have spent 15 grand on concerts.

Concert Joe tried to get into the Guinness Book of World Records -- something like Most Concerts Attended by Someone Outside the Music Industry -- but Joe says, "I called them and they laughed. I think they're more interested in people who can throw cow turds the farthest. They told me to call them back if I ate more than 176 snails."

A highlight of his two decades of concert-going, a night he remembers fondly, he saw a Grateful Dead concert then caught Ella Fitzgerald, then Kitaro, and finally closed the night with the Butthole Surfers. Only in New York can this be achieved!!!
Concert Joe, went out 350 nights last year and saw over 730 live shows. He has spent more than half his life running around clubs, bars, theaters, and arenas, catching some 6,000 shows and documenting his presence at each one. 
"I'm getting older. I can't keep this up any longer," Joe says
Like Dave Brubeck, Concert Joe is also a legend and deserving of White House recognition. His life's work serves as a fine example for the youngsters of this country. Select a goal and "Get Errr Done!""
Note: El Lobo's lifelong list of concerts does not include performances at clubs, bars garage bands etc. I mean, if I included the Justus Five and all the other stuff I have seen, God only knows what my number would be, taking nothing away from Joe.  My list is exclusive. An artist or group must have had at least one hit on the Billboard Charts. Also, Concert Joe does not have a wife that saw the Beatles in Candlestick in 1966.
Screw Concert Joe!!!!
Concert Joe

The mountains are calling and I must go.
 -John Muir

Highlights of this trip include

-Visiting many friends and relatives
-Staying at the Damon Five Star Resort and relaxing at the Arroyo de Tranquiidad
-Fly fishing the Truckee River
-Slamming done cervezas at local breweries and Scruples
-Listening to the "River" radio station that includes "River Runs" of 7 songs in a row
-Going to Hot August Night's Concert-Gerry and The Pacemakers (Concert # 494)

-Road trip to Pyramid Lake
-Seeking and finding the secluded Baron's Beach Lake Tahoe, secret location of summer time keggars and parties when I was in high school
-Backpacking to Warren Lake in the Sierras-awesome sights, sense of remoteness and wild flowers
-Attending the Reno High School all classes reunion picnic

Warren Lake from above-PIC by James Cabanas

Warren Lake from below-PIC by James Cabanas

 Secluded Baron's Beach-Lake Tahoe  PIC by Bob Shea


Scamdanavia On Da Cheap

Scamdanavia on Da Cheap-A budget travelers' guide by ELG

-Go someplace else like Mexico or South America where beer is cheap!!

If you still go-

-Carry all the snacks and food you can, unless you want to combine this trip with a diet
-Buy all your beer at the state run store, and buy your vodka at the duty free shop in the airports
-Stay at Youth Hostels in the dorm. Bring earplugs so that you can't hear snoring or other loud sounds of the night. Bring your own liner or you will get charged for a sheet.
-Shop at grocery stores for your food. Get condiments from a restaurant, although they might try to charge you. Note ELG got into a fight with an old bat that wanted 7 Kroners for 1 little cube of butter!!!
-Spend much of your time looking and talking to all the beautiful blonde women. This is the only thing free in these countries and I believe that this natural resource is why these places are so expensive!! Note, do not exercise this option if you are traveling with a significant other. They will hurt you bad, if you do!
-During breakfast at the Hostels, eat everything that you can, and then stick huge volumes of food like hard boiled eggs in your pockets for later.
-Use bathrooms in the museums, you will get charged everywhere else.
-Use the Internet at the library
-Get on the bus in the middle door and don't pay. In Oslo they never check.
-Bring a sink stopper and wash your underwear in the sink of the Hostel.
-Do a lot of walking/hiking and go to the few "free" places like the Parks


-If you don't mind smelling a little gamey, don't shower very often. This option was employed by Jake. Warning: This method of saving money may have a negative impact on the freebie of talking to beautiful blondes!!
-Bring your own towel and TP --Remember you are heavily charged for everything
-You only get five minutes of shower for five bucks, so have your partner time you and yell out time in 30 second intervals and after 2 minutes and 30 seconds, get out and let him/her in.
-Check to see if all time has been used in other shower stalls, if not-get in!!!
-Go to the office and claim that the timer machine "ate your Kroners" and didn't deliver any water. This might get you one or two free showers.
-Rent a two wheel drive vehicle in Iceland and make it more of an adventure
-Go in the off season and freeze your ass off.

These are just a few of the ELG tips in Scamdanavia on Da Cheap. If you want more, buy my book and don't be so cheap!!!


Sounds of Silence-Simon & Garfunkle

"All Come to Look for America"

In the sixth grade Paul and Art met while performing in Alice in Wonderland, a school play in New York City. They first performed in the 50s as Tom & Jerry.

"Tom get your plane right on time.I know your part'll go fine.Fly down to Mexicooooo. The only living boy in New York."

Fifty years later the old friends were at America West Arena in Phoenix on a nation wide concert tour. Thirty four years ago, two friends in Reno Nevada played and listened to Simon & Garfunkle albums into the wee hours of the night.

"Time it was, And what a time it was, It was....A time of innocence, A time of confidences."

Last Sunday evening it all came together. Paul and Art had finally broken the silence after breaking up more than three decades ago. They have had a fractious relationship since.

"And a rock feels no pain;And an island never cries."

They opened with "Old Friends" and slowly worked the full house into a mellow frenzy. Garfunkle beamed with joy as he surveyed the crowd.

"Home where my thought's escaping, Home where my music's playing."

Two songs into the set, I looked over at Gerry and watched tears stream down her cheeks.

"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?A nation turns it lonely eyes on you."

Garfunkle frequently talked to the crowd and mentioned several times how happy he was to be reunited with Paul. The master craftsman Paul, spoke rarely but at one point talked about their relationship and how he had won at least 70% of the arguments spanning the 50 years.

"And so you see I have come to doubt All that I once held as trueI stand alone without beliefsThe only truth I know is you."

The large screens displayed fun shots of the boys in their youth and clips of Benjamin Braddock and Mrs. Robinson.

"And here's to you, Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know."

Their patented sound was as harmonious as ever.After six songs, came a special surprise. Paul introduced the Kings of Harmony-The Everly Brothers!

"Bye Bye LoveBye Bye Happines Hello loneliness, I think I'm going to cry."

Phil and Don wailed out four of their signature songs including, All I have to do is Dream".Art & Paul returned and performed "The leaves that are green turn to brown". This was the first time that they had played this great song in concert since 1967.

"Here is my song for the askingAsk me and I will play"

They continued playing all their folk rock that has spanned five generations---- and then it was over way too soon.

"Remember me to one who lives there. She once was a true love of mine."

The crowd would not let them go, knowing that this was it, they probably would never return together.They double encored with "Cecelia", "The Boxer" and closed out with "Feelin Groovy"

"Life I love you, All is groovy"

We walked to our car holding hands, saying nothing. In my pocket I clutched my souveneir ticket keychain.

"And the signs said The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls And tenament halls. And whispered in The Sounds Of Silence".

El Condor Pasa-----And the leaves that are green turn to brown-ELG


Lockett Meadows

OK, OK, for all you Men Behaving Badly junkies, here is your fix!

A perfect calm; that not a breathIs heard to quiver through the closing woods, Or rustling turn the many-twinkling leaves Of aspen tall.
So where's the calm and the golden leaves?

El Lobo H. Grande after 6 cervezas

El Lobo doing all the camp chores while Dingo sips coffee.

Quaking aspens are my favorite trees. For me, there are few prettier sights than a grove on the side of a mountain. Or, perhaps Pam Anderson, naked in the sauna. (Inside joke with Hannu)
Mountain Men

Digo Dan
El Lobo

The boys and I went on a short road trip to catch some fall color and to do some mountain biking and hiking in the high country. We persevered high winds and cold nights but it was a lot of fun. A roaring camp fire, cervezas and good company is a hard combination to beat. It's too bad there wasn't any good company!

This small primitive campground offers views of the San Francisco Peaks and camping opportunities in the cool aspen trees that surround Lockett Meadow. This is a terrific campground for those who cherish a real mountain camping experience and love to hike/bike Wilderness trails.

Although the camp aspens had shed all their leaves, we did come across a few brilliant yellow groves of aspens quivering in the breeze. AAHHHH!

We enjoyed some great single track mountain biking on the Schultz Creek Trail.
Next year we will make it up here the last week of September.

Thanks to Dingo for driving, we returned in time for game 7-(Yeah Baby-Red Sox Nation comes back from a 3 game deficit again) and a great Mexican dinner prepared by the beautiful and charming Gerry.
What a great day!!!

The immensely popular and syndicated

Men Behaving Very Badly

Dingo for planning this trip too late in the month for full fall color and early enough for freezing conditions.

Dingo and Zo for opening cervezas within seconds of arrival.
Dingo - for planning a pasta & sausage dinner and forgetting the spicy italian sausage.
Jake - for bringing the slim jims that were used as sausage substitutes.
Lobo - for feeding the slim jims to his stomach.
Lobo - for going to bed immediately after dinner to begin filling the tent with smells of 'used' slim jims, and for continuing to expel those noxious slim jim odors every 2 minutes throughout the ENTIRE night. They say everyone has a gift - why did this have to be Lobo's!?
Dingo for wanting to go on the coldest mountain bike ride ever, too early in the morning causing Lobo's hands and nose to suffer mild frost bite.
Zo - for contributing nothing to the trip except complaining, especially about having to be the one that slept next to Lobo. He used to complain about his old boss Reechard and now talks smack about his new boss claiming that the new guy farts all the time in meetings.
Zo for taking a new "executive position," getting a fat raise and now working more hours than ever and is broke again, thereby causing him to sell El Lobo his SUV with minor problems that cost the poor wolf (on a guide's salary) a piddly $2200 in repairs at Rayco.
Zo and Dingo for forever banishing Lobo from the big tent, and ordering him to bring his own tiny bivy sac next time.
Jake - for forgetting his sleeping pad and having to use poor Lobo's and Zo's parkas as a pad.
Lobo - for pretending to be a famous outdoor guide, when in reality he always brings his pee bottle because it gets too cold to leave the tent.
Jake - for wanting to take a nap after lunch instead of going for a hike while Lobo and Dingo THOUGHT they would do a mountain bike ride [a 1/2 mile trip does not constitute a ride.]
Lobo - for wearing ridiculously tight biking 'pants' and wearing them into Macy's, the legendary Flag hippie, commie joint, to get his hot chocolate - cover yourself hombre!
Zo - for being the only one that did not prove his manliness by chopping wood.
Lobo - for waking everyone when the sun came up, but refusing to get the kooffee started. He continuously chanted Where's my koofee? Where's my koofee?
Lobo, Jake, Dingo and especially Zo - for actually having 3 beers left over after the trip.
Zo for being such an adventurous guy and buying a new Nissan SUV exactly the same (color and all) as the lemon he sold poor Lobo.
Dingo for driving off with Lobo's $5000 mountain bike (my office) on top of his car and claiming that he was not trying to steal it.


Mountaineering Arizona


"I climb because it feels so good when I stop"


Dave who has gotten to the top of  Aconagua and Kilimanjaro
Dingo who has climbed Camelback
Lobo who has climbed Squaw Peak

Formation in the San Francisco Peaks

Taken from the saddle of Humphreys Peak


Dave and Dingo da Dawg

Men Behaving Badly:

Jake, Lorenzo, Larry and Juan for coming up with feeble excuses for not going.

So put me on a highway
And show me a sign
And take it to the limit one more 


Goldon Gord

"Sometimes I think its a shame
When I get feelin better when Im feelin no pain"
"Sundown" G Lightfoot-1974


How was the weekend?

Homework and taxes here. We were able to get out last night for a splendid Gordon Lightfoot performance at the old Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix. A classic venue

Gordo, legendary singer and songwriter is the quintessential Canadian. He was very important to our lives in the early 70's.

To us, "If you could read my mind " is the defining Gordon Lightfoot song.(reached number 5 on the charts in 70) In 1974, his classic single, "Sundown", from the album of the same name, went to No. 1 on the charts.

We saw him too many years ago and as Gerry put it, "Maybe we shouldn't purchase such good seats for these concerts". We were in the third row. The years have not been kind to old Gord(66) And vocal cords get old too.

In the fall of 2002 he was in Orillia Canada when he suffered a near-fatal abdominal hemorrhage that left him in a coma for nearly two months

But, he played, and he was good. The crowd of aging boomers loved him!

His voice may not be as strong, but the lyrics remain the same and Sundown was as rich and deep as ever.

"The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" written by Gordo, about the Great Lakes Ore Carrier sinking during a severe storm (true story 29 dead) was as haunting as when we first heard it in 1976.

We really enjoyed "Carefree Highway", his follow up single.
Carefree Highway is a road north of Phoenix and Gord related to his audience that he wrote that song at 1 in the morning coming back from Flagstaff. He almost left it in the rent a car's glove box. It peaked at number 10 on the charts.

Gordo encored with "Old Dan's Records"

Gord is a survivor and continues to perform at 40 or 50 concerts a year.

If you Could Read My Mind:

I wonder if it would be better to remember these people in their prime, spare the expense and not attend these concerts.

NO! I still need entries for my Life Long List-----Going for 500
Gordon Lightfoot ----Concert #472.


The Big Beaver does the Canyon

"We are all but pigmies in the canyon"
John Wesley Powell


Juan da Jackal
The Big Beaver from Minnesota (Gaylen)
El Lobo H. Grande

Trek-3 days

Grandview Trail to Cottonwood around the Horseshoe Mesa and out-20 miles

Last Monday I received a phone call from Juan requesting a private trip to the canyon. A young fella that works for Juan is being deployed to Iraq very soon and Juan wanted to get him a backpack in the canyon this weekend.

I explained to Juan that this was impossible. This is peak time and permits are simply not available. It is a four month lead time. Juan offered me a princely sum. I said no that I could not charge him. He then begged and pleaded. I said that I would try, I knew how important it was to Juan to have his friend experience the canyon before departing for Iraq.

However, a famous guide sometimes knows how to do the impossible.
Through my contacts I was able to learn of a cancellation and an associate at the canyon hustled to the back country office and secured the golden permit.

Thank you Elaine!!

Juan certainly does not need a guide for the canyon. He is a seasoned Grand Canyon trekker and has logged many miles in the canyon, often times in the remote areas. Juan is a strong hiker and a joy to be with. He absolutely loves hiking the canyon. He is the only guy I know that will tote a 50 lb. pack up 5000' and smile the whole way. He is also legendary in another way.

He is the most prolific farter that has ever roamed the canyon.

This was Gaylen's first back pack. Juan had him totally outfitted with a 50 lb. pack.
Juan also had a heavy pack. El Lobo, a minimalist, sported a 30 lb. pack. I wondered why their packs were so heavy?

We descended into the great abyss, every step we took represented 10,000 years of the age of the canyon.

Gaylen is a big guy whom used to play semi-pro football. He was eager to learn and also a lot of fun to be around. Although he suffered some nasty blisters from his new boots, he "cowboy upped" and hiked tough.

At cottonwood camp, while relaxing in our camp chairs and listening to the rhythm of the water, I found out why their packs were so heavy.
They pulled out liters of the finest Pinot Noir that I have ever had, along with pounds of goodies.
It was here that we christened Gaylen "The Big Beaver" from Minnesota based upon his eagerness and some unmentionable dialogue.

That night high winds tormented us, but we slept like babies.

The next day we thoroughly enjoyed the rhythms of the canyon while hiking on the Tonto Trail. Horseshoe Mesa was a dry camp and we filled up with water at a spring 700' below the Mesa and took turns toting sixteen pounds of water up.

On the Mesa we set up camp in strong winds and the boys went exploring, looking for a certain cave. They came back with a tent that had blown away. The owner was nowhere
to be found. The storm system continued into the late hours of the evening and then like magic was gone.

The trip out was relatively easy and we rewarded ourselves with our cerveza ritual at the rim -----Sierra Nevada's and Johnny Cash on the CD Player. An RV cruised by and a beautiful young woman yelled "Johnny Cash!" with thumb up.

Showers, and then to Flag and the Beaver Street Brewery, excellent habitat, for The Big Beaver---- pizza, burgers and pitchers of India Pale Ale to recap a fabulous canyon adventure. Juan bought da Beaver a Beaver Street Brewery T-Shirt and I gave him an Arizona on the Rocks" baseball hat. Da Beaver promised to wear them in Iraq.

We made a pact to return to the canyon when Gaylen completes his tour of duty.

Thanks to da Jackal and da Beaver for the time we shared. It was a great trip!

Men Behaving Badly:

-Juan & Da Beaver for carrying heavy packs with everything imaginable except eating utensils.

-El Lobo for holding the only spoon in camp for the ransom of more wine and chocolate.
Lobo was like a hungry coyote and every time the boys opened one of their treats would ask "What you got there?"

-Juan da Jackal for telling the pretty ranger at the gate that she was the most beautiful ranger that he had ever met. Juan, now that you are 40, that type of behavior qualifies you as a dirty old man.

-Juan da Jackal early one morning for stopping a hiker in his tracks that was passing by our camp. The poor hiker had a look of fear, despair and agony after hearing a horrible blast launched from Jackal's tent.

-El Lobo for greeting other hikers and scaring foreign tourists at the rim with a resounding(but friendly) "Howaya?"

-Jacobo and Lorenzo for being total slugs and not hiking the canyon with us, employing the excuse that they are too busy with work, when in fact they would rather stay at home and eat huge scoops of mashed potatoes and gravy and then wash it down with a gallon of chocolate milk! Nankoweep too tough for you boys?


The Who

"Ever since I was a young boy, I've played the silver ball."

Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend......Rock & Roll Legends. They did not disappoint!!
Daltrey's vocal chords are a little weakened after 40 years, but the intensity was still there.
Townsend's sweeping guitar moves are still amazing.

Playing to many generations, their song selection ranged from their classics to the present.
They played several songs from their new CD, "Ëndless Wire" which were quite good but not the vintage "Who" that we wanted to hear.

They included their 1981 hit- "You better go bet" (#18 on the charts for 15 weeks) Gerry recognized only three of the songs that they played. Their new stuff was played at the expense of not including their late 60s classics "Magic Bus" and "Ï can see for miles and miles" MMMMMMMMMMM.......... Bummmmmmmerrr!

"Pinball Wizard" was extraordinary!!! I have waited 40 years to see the Who do that one.

Overall, a great performance but without the two classics, and because they didn't smash their guitars on stage, it was a little disappointing. However I was able to score a Who poster and shirt.

OK that's it!! Concert number 474-a 26 mile marathon to go!


Belize, Guatemalla, Chiapas

Security is an illusion.Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.Hellen Keller

El viajeCashcoon, (Cancun) Chichen Itza, Telum, Chetumal, Belize City, Belmopan, Flores, Tikal, Palenque, Playa del Carmen, CashcoonOver 2800 miles -4 Southern Mexican States, Belize & GuatemalaHighlights-Exploring in awe, the mysterious Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza, Telum, Tikal & PalenqueEl Castillo-Chichen Itza Palenque (PICS by Zo)-Hanging out at Flores Lake in Guatemala-Hiking along Agua Azul and Misol-Ha WaterfallsAqua Azul Misol-Ha -Canoeing up Rio Usumacinta in remote jungle territory, bordering Mexico and Guatemala where a heavy concentration of Zapatistas continue to wage war with the Mexican government.-Hanging out at beautiful Playa del Carmen-Motorbiking around Cozumel Isla-Hiking the Hotel Zone-- 20 Kilometers of storied beach in CashcoonMy Amigo Zo and I wasted no time getting out of Cashcoon where the T-shirt of choice seems to be.......One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, Floor! We considered a flight to the forbidden island- Cuba, only a half hour away on an old Russian built aircraft, but did not want to risk getting fined.Our first stop was Chichen Itza, the most famous and best restored of the Yucatan Peninsula's Mayan sites. We took in the light and sound show that evening and dined at a street taqueria for $2. Our favorite part of the day was the trek up to the Red Jaguar.Red Jaguar Throne"El Tunnel," the passage up to the throne, is up a steep, narrow stairway. The climb was slippery, sweltering, and a bit claustrophobic. From Chichen Itza we traveled to Telum on the Caribbean Sea. We consumed several cervezas at a beach side bar before retiring to our primitive cabana.The next day we headed for Chetumal on the border with Belize. Our plan was to do some snorkeling in Belize, but we hit Belize City in a torrential downpour and so decided to continue on through Belize to Flores, Guatemala, close to the Tikal ruins.Zo was having chills and feeling sick. Upon arrival, we checked into a minus-10-star hotel, for $8 , and went to dinner on the lake. Zo was barely able to get anything down. I stuffed myself with shrimp and cocktails.A hard days nightZo developed a fever and was not doing well at all. After making another trip to the bathroom, he fainted and hit the floor with a crash.His shoulder was injured and he had no range of motion in his right arm.The rest of the evening was pure hell for both of us as we were feverishly sweating and ants were crawling all over us. The next day, Zo stayed in bed and I went to the ruins at Tikal but was struggling with nausea. I felt better after a nice vomiting session.Although I was not feeling well enough to fully appreciate these fabulous ruins in the middle of the jungle, I did enjoy sightings of several howler monkeys, a coatamundi, red parrot and a crocodile.Sala, si usted puede (Get out, if you can)That night we decided to continue with our original plans of making a loop and going to Palenque Chiapas. We were both feeling lousy but we had to suck it up and get back somehow. We contracted with a local tourist group to get us to Palenque. We were told that it would take four or five hours on a good road. It didn't quite work out that way. Good roads are relative to the environment.We spent close to eight hours on a dirt road traveling through the Guatemala jungle. At the end of the road was a wide river. Our bus trip was over. Here we took a canoe upriver for about ten miles through the Lacondon Jungle to a Mexican Army control point. Rio Usumacinta (PIC by Zo)This remote pocket of jungle area (written up in the world's most dangerous places book) is where many EZLN (Zapatista National Liberation Army) hide and operate, presently waging only a propaganda war against the Mexican Government.History (Note: This data was extracted from Lonely Planet)In 1994 this left-wing peasant group took over government offices in three location of Chiapas. They were dispersed by the Mexican Army within a few days but more than150 people were killed in the fighting. The peasants retreated to the mountains and jungle. Their goal was to overturn the corrupt wealthy power in the state, where most indigenous people were impoverished, lacking education, health care and other fundamental civil rights.Subcommandante MarcosThe Zapitistas attracted world wide support and sympathy.Their leader, subcommandante Marcos, became and continues to be a folk-hero in Mexico and beyond.In 1997 & 1998 tension and killings escalated in Chiapas. Zapatistas' enemies formed para military organizations to drive Zapatista supporters from their villages. Violence reached it's worst point with the Acteal massacre.In 1999, the Mexican Army had approximately 60,000 troops in Chiapas and launched a campaign of intimidation against dozens of pro-Zapatista villages. Thousands fled to the Jungle.In 2001 the Zapatistas made a much publicized journey to Mexico City.The president, Vicente Fox, presented a bill granting rights to Mexico's indigenous people, however Congress watered down the provisions and today there is still an impasse as the Zapatistas rejected the law as a basis for peace talks. Back to the control pointAfter we were thoroughly interrogated regarding the possibility of being pro-Zapatistas, we were allowed to move on. We got a ride to a bus and then finally made it to Palenque.Palenque is gorgeous and we had a good day hiking. We planned on traveling to San Cristobol next. However, the following day Zo started having more "episodes" and was not eating. Lobo had been treating his ailment with cervezas and burritos but was not feeling real crisp. So we decided it would be best to move towards Cashcoon and spend some time relaxing in Playa del Carmen.Riders on the StormWe took an 11 hour, all night bus to Playa del Carmen through torrential rain. The air conditioning was cranked up all the way, freezing our shorts clad bodies. Time after time we were stopped by imposing roadblocks. The Federales would board and search for Zapatistas and/or banditos who make a living robbing night buses. It was impossible to get any sleep.In beautiful Playa del Carmen we treated ourselves to a very nice hotel and hung out for a few days. Zo had not eaten for five days and decided to seek "professional" attention. We went to an emergency Doctor's office located in a sleazy hotel room. Inside, we heard loud grunting noises. We knocked on the door.A loud "uno minuto" came from inside and then we heard the toilet flush.I decided to forego treatment. Zo was given an ampicillan prescription that, as it turned out, can be bought over the counter in Mexico. He was also given a prescription for a big bottle of horrible tasting anti-diarrhea serum.On to Cashcoon (Cancun)We returned to Cashcoon in order to see a bullfight. Although we hated the hotel zone we nonetheless stayed in a nice resort room that overlooked the beautifully colored Caribbean Sea. We had cervezas at the Hard Rock Cafe but failed to make it to the Mecca--Senor Frog's.It was wonderful to pay $7 for a one-scoop ice cream cone at the mall.The World Trade Organization was meeting and the atmosphere was tense. Military and police were everywhere. Three Mexican naval vessels (WW2 vintage) could be seen from shore.A Japanese protester had stabbed himself, and rocks were being hurled at the riot squad. Access to the Toro Bravos arena was barricaded and our cab driver had to turn around and try to get in from the South. He did a stellar job of driving around and through protesters, army, and police to get us to the arena on time. We were estatic. We would finally see the bullfight that has eluded us for many years. But, what's this? The bullfight was canceled--with no refunds!Somebody else stole our cab and we were left in the middle of this melee. We decided to head for the Mercado, have a few cervezas and forget about this whole ugly incident. En route we somehow ended up crossing through the protesters' tent camp and headquarters. We resisted the urge to become violent after missing the bullfight and went shopping instead. Get Back to where you once belongWe arrived at the airport five hours early to be certain that we would get out of Cashcoon. Fifty cent Coronas and a free shot of tequila at the airport did not change our attitude about Cashcoon. We hate it!!!Men Behaving badly-Zo for having frequent "episodes" and at one time dropping our only roll of TP in the toilet.Zo for becoming cranky and irritable and at one point, after an 11 hour all night bus ride, snapping at El Lobo Grande.-Zo for accusing El Lobo Grande of behaving like a dirty old man when encountering topless beauties on the beach. This is such a crock! I hardly noticed those luscious, perky TaTas.-Zo's grunting doctor, who charged $80 to write a prescription for an over the counter medication.El Lobo for estimating a beach walk to a point in the hotel zone to be only a mile. So I was short by only seven miles?Playa del Carmen venders--Lobo had to endure cat calls of "Bandito" when walking down the street due to his tough negotiation skills.EpilogueThe day after returning, Lorenzo was not having any "episodes." He left for a decadent weekend in Las Vegas to see the De La Hoya fight.Lorenzo Martinez lives in Mesa Arizona and works at the State Legislature. He enjoys rock climbing.El Lobo went to his doctor and is currently taking a strong dose of Ciproflaxin and Matronidazole. (His costs were only $60) Lobo attended a reception with spouse at the Nelson Fine Art's Museum at Arizona State. It featured Mexican folk Art. After the reception El Lobo polished off an entire pizza. He presently is able to pass gas comfortably and confidently. He enjoys Canyoneering and rock concerts. Daily activities include working on his yoga practice, tennis and listening to surf music.El Lobo Grande lives in Scottsdale Arizona with his wife Gerry and daughter, Cody.


Ruins Seldom Seen-Sierra Anchas

“Similarity of intention with others marks the fool from the explorer.” - Bukowski

Dingo the Bad Dog
Drewsky-Bachelor Party Boy

The Sierra Anchas is a relatively small wilderness, forested with Ponderosa Pines within the Tonto National Forest and offers some great remote natural features, but travel in some areas is very difficult due to the extreme topography.

We took a rough Cherry Creek back road to the middle and upper reaches of Cherry Creek where we could set up cowboy base camp and explore ruins in the heartland of the Anchan world. The Anchan developed out of an indigenous Archaic population dating at least as far back as A.D. 800.

Here we sought to find the Pueblo Ruins, hidden in the rugged steep walled canyons leading into Cherry Creek. We had been here once before and had done an intimidating climb to the Cooper Forks Canyon Ruins. Travel and route finding was extremely difficult and we struggled to return before dark.

We started our bushwhack at ten in the morning, hopeful to be back in camp before dark and not requiring a return with headlamps. After about 2 steep miles we were able to spot them with binoculars. Awesome!!!!

We finally arrived, bloody by the thick brush, but elated to find this prehistoric apartment complex. Quite a few of the rooms reach a second story and one building stands three stories high with a partially intact wooden ceiling between the first and second floors. There were wooden beams the size of telephone poles that once supported roofs or second stories lying on the ground. A number of seeps answered our question of "did they have to climb all the way to Cherry Creek for water?" Still, why had the Anchans chose to live in such a challenging environment?

We returned to cowboy camp well before dark, in time for an extended Cerveza Happy Hour.

EL Lobo H. Grande romping in the Sierra Anchas

Hard to find San Pueblo Ruins across the canyon (middle of the picture)

Ruins portal
Zo examining the Anchan culture
Zo the ancient wood gatherer, laboring for the cowboy fire

Cowboys Behaving Badly
Dingo & Zo - for having a pre-hike beer and leaving poor Lobo short of beer for his dinner.
Group - for reenacting the infamous Blazing Saddles scene, after having a steak, potatoes and Cowboy BEANS dinner, mmm.
Lobo - for turning down post dinner seegars and 16 year old single malt scotch, and instead going straight to his sleeping bag after his belly was full.
Zo, for perhaps having a vision of Brokeback Mountain and yelling at Lobo to zip up his sleeping bag. Note: Zo could not sleep with his head outside the tent because of high winds and rain.
Dingo, Zo and Drew for having the rest of the scotch in their morning coffee.
Lobo for getting up very early and yelling "where's my koffffffeeeeeeee!!!! at Los Borachos to get them up. Also for dancing wildly to "What a Feeling" by Irene Cara.
"Take your passionand make it happen.Pictures come alive, now I'm dancing through my life."
Drew - for ignoring the group’s combined wisdom and still planning on going through with his wedding. (Good luck Brendan)
Drew - Whom on a previous trip to Gila Wilderness New Mexico handed Lobo a useless bottle of Beano and proclaimed "This is ridiculous" On this trip he often had a satisfied smile followed up with MMMMMMMMMMMM

Woodstock Redux

"The New York Through Way is Closed, Man!"
Woodstock -Arlo Guthrie July 22, 1969 1:33 A.M.

If you're going to Scottsdale, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.
Yes, that's right, there is flower power in Scottsdale!

A lot of freaks, Man!

Continuing the tradition that began in the 60's, of traveling from rock show to rock show and camping out with fellow music-loving nomads, thousands showed up Friday morning to the venue at Westworld to dig in, many came in Volkswagen buses.
Amazing! Just like old times. Where do these people come from?

The McDowell Mountain Music Festival festival went non stop all weekend, I went Friday night with Juan DA Jackal and Saturday night Ger and I opted to go to the Scottsdale Center for the Arts.

Friday night-Concert #476.....The Neville Brothers and Bob Weir and Ratdog
Saturday night-Concert #477 .....Arlo Guthrie and Family -Legacy Tour

The Mountain Festival featured an eclectic lineup of rock & soul bands from around the world."

Juan is a "Deadhead" and was decked out in a colorful tie die shirt when I picked him up.
I was wearing my outfit of choice since the 50's-501 Levis, nothing has changed there.

I was very interested in the Neville Brothers, a very fine New Orleans soul band. When we arrived Aaron Neville was singing his classic "Tell it Like it is" which hit number 2 on the charts in December of 1966. I love that song and have been waiting all my life to hear Aaron sing it.
The Neville Brothers were excellent!!!

The festival had all the ingredients of a mini Woodstock less Wavy Gravy and Max Yeager.
Peace love and music. There was not a police presence and everyone was having fun. Beach balls, frisbes and cannabis were in the air. People were dancing crazily to the music, many food and head booths, and appropriately, large trucks selling Sierra Nevada Beer brewed out of Chico California. The best beer in the world!

Juan transitioned from a conservative Republican to a let your hair down liberal. Always the people person, he interviewed several attendees and made friends with a guy selling magic mushrooms.

The deadheads were bobbing their heads like bobble dolls and in unison, pointing to the stage when Bob Weir played. Reefers were passed around. Our drug of choice was slamming down Sierra Nevada's.

I wondered why the deadheads bobbed their heads and pointed, but half way into the concert I started doing the same and fully understood the importance of this ritual. Perhaps this was because of the second hand smoke or that I simply just plugged into the feeling.

On the way home, I stopped at a convenience store so Juan could get some chew. I had developed a serious case of the "munchies". This was treated with the largest ice cream cone in the world. Best one that I have ever had!

"This Land is your Land"

Saturday night was a fantastic evening under the stars. Ole Arlo and Co. put on a vintage performance. His group included many talented family members. The crowd absolutely loved them.
Arlo told a lot of funny stories and to his credit he kept the politics to a minimum. He played a lot of Woody's stuff. His legendary father was all that a lot of people had for comfort during the depression and dust bowl of Oklahoma.

"You Can Get Anything that you Want at Alice's Restaurant"

Before playing his Woodstock Classic-Coming into Los Angeles bringing in a couple of keys" Arlo told a funny story about a Bush secret service guy that he recently met in the airport that was our age. After shaking hands with Arlo he blurted out "Alright Guthrie, are you carrying a couple of keys?"

Coming into Los AngelesBringing in a couple of keysDon't touch my bags if you pleaseMister Customs Man

We both love that song!!!

It was a great evening and a great weekend, just like old times!

El Lobo H . Grande

Supai Reload-Zion

"A free spirit must be able to surmount anxiety time after time."
Mason Cooley

I returned from a six day Supai Grand Canyon trip with an Arizona Highways photography group late Thursday night and took a final at ASU early Friday morning. After, I spent an hour pacing the hall in front of Ger's office while she frantically tried to get everything in order so that we could get on the road for a seven hour drive to Zion National Park in Utah for a special wedding and some hiking.

So this email is all about a couple of wonderful people, free spirits that were united in matrimony at the altar of Zion. Brendan is a fine writer from Denver and Emily is in graduate school preparing for social work. They make a beautiful couple and have been soul mates for quite a time.

We really enjoyed the ceremony and reception and all their wonderful friends and family.
The following day we did some mild hiking, checked out the legendary "Narrows" and took in the incredible Zion National Park.

On the way home we stopped in Vegas and had a really nice visit and dinner with our friends Al and Chris Yates. And yes, we split the bill --Mckimmeeeee!!!

OK, for you sickos that only read these reports for the MBB section, I have included a particularly disgusting entry. For those of you that are mentally healthy and enjoy natural beauty I have included a few nice photos
Mooney Falls Grand Canyon
Brendan & Emily in a gopher field at Zion

WOW! Who is that Lady??

Men Behaving Badly

El Lobo Grande for redefining the term "draining your lizard"
While in Supai, Lobo was taking a leak under a tree, out of the scorching sun, when a lizard poked his head around the corner of the tree to see what was going on, then incredibly, scurried under the man made waterfall for a shower! El Lobo accommodated the little fellah and was happy to be part of the circle of life.
You see, lack of water creates a survival problem for all desert organisms, animals and plants alike. Fortunately, most desert animals have evolved both behavioral and physiological mechanisms to solve the heat and water problems the desert environment creates. Behavioral techniques for avoiding excess heat are numerous among desert animals.This little fella caught a shower when the opportunity presented itself.
The Turkey Vultures excrete urine on their legs cooling them by evaporation, and circulate the cooled blood back through their body. This behavior is called urohydrosis.
I just love nature!


The Jersey Boy and Good Vibrations

"Inside, outside USA"

Can you believe it? The Beach Boys opened for Frankie Valli! Who would have thought!
Last night at the Phoenix Dodge Theatre we caught an unbeatable combination, a contrast of the best from the west and the east.

The theatre was packed with the geritol crowd, mostly people in their 50's and 60's, some with their grand kids. New energy injected into our veins through "real music",(and alcohol) us aging boomers were on our feet for the better part of both performances. Lit cell phones were waved. We were alive again!!

Ger and I came to see Frankie. We had seen the Beach Boys a dozen times previous and were not that interested in seeing America's Band with only Bruce Johnston, the sixth Beach Boy and Mike Love remaining and trying to keep the summer alive. I mean Mike Love is now 65. Can he really still be the consummate front man?

I remember one performance up at Tahoe, in the late 70's when the band had the same powerful impact as a Stealth Bomber flying over a football stadium.

But we were really surprised! Although not originals, the rest of the band was a very talented group and they put on a DYNO-MITE show.

Tears came to my eyes when .Bruce sang and dedicated "God Only Knows" to the deceased Carl Wilson. Carl co/wrote and sang that song at their performances. For many years he was the soul of the Beach Boys.


God, I love Bruce Johnston and the memories of Carl. Bruce has been with the group since 1965 when Brian became ill. He has penned several number one hits including Ï write the songs" crooned by Barry Manilow.

We both loved the show and the summer was indeed kept alive.

Walkin Like a Man

Frankie is truly a rags to riches story. He grew up in the projects of Newark. He told the story of how at the age of seven, his future course was set when he saw a young Frank Sinatra perform at the Paramount.

Today the story of Frankie and the Four Seasons is a Broadway hit that has won the Tony award. They have sold over 100 million records, had 8 number one hits and thirty seven hits in the top 40--Remarkable, and he is performing like a thirty year old in his seventh decade of life.

Frankie and his group put on a riveting performance. His signature sound, a stratospheric falsetto is almost as strong as ever .Do not miss him if he comes to your town!! He went through about 25 of his hits.

Frankie and Bob Gaudio. Bob penned many of the Four Season hits.

Frankie has a new album coming out in late summer doing songs of the 60's.

In the fall of 1962, "Sherry" was a number one hit on the charts. It was my first year of high school at Reno. I have been waiting all my life to see him do that classic and it plugged me back into that incredible period of time.

Needless to say, we were blown away by the show.

OK that's it, concert number 478. Projected time to break the all time record-2009.

Tryin to Keep The Summer Alive


Baja-Hotel California

The 2002 Baja Sur Cerveza Challenge
El Bueno, El Hambre,& El Sed

Baja Sur-

San Jose Del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos, La Paz, Loreto, Mulege, Santa Roasalia, Los Barriles, Santiago, Todos Santos. -
Overall trip rating 10++

After eleven mucho calor days, 1600 miles of driving,(Zo) and over sixcases of cerveza my traveling companions and I returned to Cabo San Lucas for our flight home. And, yes, on a dark deserted highway we found The Hotel California.
El Lobo (The Good), Jacobo/El Hambre (The Hungry) and Zo/El Sed (Thirsty-for Pacificos) were ready for the comforts of home. We had slept on the beach, stayed in cock roach infested hotels, driven miles of dusty back roads, were attacked by insects in the Laguna Sierras, scorched by El Sol, harassed by Federales and received the "Big Bite" from police in La Paz.

But, we just loved it. Every minuto, including the gringo populated Cabo
San Lucas.

The California Baja is where the bright blue waters flirt with the harsh desert coast. The Sierra Laguna Mountain range splits Baja Sur. These "sky islands" are rich in biodiversity and accessible from the East or West.
Our journey did not consist of all adventure activities and wasting away in margaritaville. Jacobo (Hambre) led us through museos, galleries, and Catolica iglesias (Catholic churches) at every pueblo and ciudad that we stopped. Yes, he got his cultural depth from the Lobo of all seasons. Or, perhaps his madre.
In Santa Rosalia we visited a church designed by same Senor Eiffel that was responsible for a little tower in Paris.


-Kayaking to vqrious islands in the Sea Of Cortez from Eco Mundo camp near Mulege.
-The comida (food) particularly Restaraunte, MI Casa in Cabo San Lucas. (Highly recommended)
-Colonial Loreto and the Istituto Nacional De Antropologia & Historia.
-Climbing (fourth class) and Hiking in the desert near Eco Mundo with our new amigos, Carlos from Ensenada and Eco (the wonder dog) from Eco Mundo. Sighting two grizzly foxes.
- Hiking to Cascada Sol de Mayo outside of Santiago. Swimming in the deep pools.
- Walking on the endless beaches on the Pacific and Sea of Cortez.
-The rustic zoo in Santiago that had a Bengal Tiger as a guest.
-Scoring great souvenirs, including "Dan" the monkey man, a large Mayan monkey carving. Donde Esta Dan? (Shapiro)

"Welcome to the Hotel California"

-We toured the Hotel California in Todos Santos. The Hotel and souveneir shop claim that it was here, that several of the Eagles Rock Group hung out in the late 60s. The hotel's owners stated that the writer (Glen Frey or Don Felder)of the famous song (one of 5 number 1 hits for the Eagles) has publically stated that some of them stayed there. Don Henly has publically stated that he has never been there.
It is a classic hotel built in 1928 with interesting rooms and architecture. It has not been open for four years. There are dozens of old, dusty suitcases left and stored in one room that has never been opened. A Canadian couple recently purchased it and plan to reopen in Noviembre.

Eco Mundo-(written by Zo-Sed)
Our longest stay was 3 days/nights at Eco Mundo, which is just south of the town of Mulege. Mulege is worth checking out for its old mission which affords a view of a sea of palm trees and 'undeveloped' river walk. Accommodations consisted of hammocks under Palapas (huts with dirt floors covered with palm fronds) situated on the beach 5 feet from the water. The typical day consisted of El Lobo (ahem, El Bueno) getting up with the sun and making his usual morning noises - MMMMMMMMMMM! LORRRRRRRENZO! JAAAAAAAAKE! in an attempt to motivate the unmotivated into a morning hikes up one of the surrounding 'hills'. The motivated were usually joined by the always motivated Carlos (programmer from Vera Cruz/Ensenada/Tijuana) and Eco the resident and possibly most fearless land/water dog in Baja.
We were blown away one morning when we spotted Eco swimming towards an island that we had kayaked to. She had swam close to 5 kilometers. When she arrived, she laid on one of the kayaks, sending a clear message that she wanted a ride back. Jacobo managed to paddle back with her on board without capsizing.
Hikes were followed by a dip in el mar proceeded by a breakfast, prepared by Fabi the caretaker, of huevos con ham (or veggies or chorizo or...) with a side of frijoles, and beer for the still motivated (or smoothie for those think sculpted stomach muscles mean something).

The rest of the day would be spent napping, swimming, hanging out with Eco, Carlos, Tamra from San Diego who came to Baja to find some solitude and found the perfect place for it, and the adventurous Christina and Marta from Spain who provided the spark for profound worldly discussions and plenty of laughs while enjoying cervezas in the dark.

Deep Sea Fishing
We spent a couple of days in Los Barriles. There was a sports fishing tournament in progress and in the afternoon we watched a number of large El Dorados and Blue Marlin "trophies" brought in, weighed and recorded by bonita bikini clad gringo senoritas to add a little spice to the event. We had considered doing some deep sea fishing but decided that seeing these magnificent creatures alive while snorkeling or diving was a better choice for us. Commercial fishing by foreign fleets had seriously depleted the Sea of Cortez but recent Mexican regulatory coastal laws have assisted in restoration. I doubt if sports fishing has had much of an environmental impact.
All of the tourney participants had the same profile, shaped by years of sedentary activity while consuming gallons of Bud and mashed potatoes. We simply had not trained hard enough to participate this year. El Hambre and El Sed are on track for next year's tourney.

Sol De Mayo (written by Zo)
While checking out the zoo and Divo Jacob Iglesia in Santiago, we stopped at a hotel to try to get info on the Sierra Lagunas and were recommended a hike to a 30 foot waterfall with a swimming hole. We took the trusty rental car down the dirt road and hiked down to the picturesque waterfall cascading down to a refreshing and very welcomed swimming hole. This fresh water diversion rivaled our salt water/beach activities.

Men Behaving Badly

-EL Sed for having a beer at 8:36 A.M. on the airplane
-El Lobo for getting caught smuggling El Sed beer from the First Class section
-Jacobo for saying "Tengo Hambre (I am hungry) 97 times on this trip.
-El Sed and El Hambre for screaming "Get em off me" in the Sierra Lagunas while swatting away thousands of flies, knats and mosquitos.
-El Sed for bringing insecto repellent that not only didn't work, it actually attracted malaria carrying mosquitos. What was the DEET content of that product El Sed?
-Pequeno Pr*@K Fedarale that got into El Lobo's face and asked if he had been smoking Mary Juana.
-Grande Pr*@K La Paz policeman whom forgot his ticket book at the estacion and told us that if we were in a hurry could just pay him the 720 pesos for not slowing down somewhere?
-El Hambre for the numerous images of a gringo running off into the desert with papel de banos, loudly moaning-MY ESTOMAGO!! MY ESTOMAGO!!
-El Hambre and El Sed for spending a good portion of the day in the hotel room at La Playita, laying on their beds drinking beer and watching Mexican horror films starring killer alligators and sharks. El Lobo kept appealing to the chicos to get up and do something. Anything!! No se!
-El Lobo for singing "La Cucharacha" whenever he was in the banos
-ALL for producing room clearing odors at least once.

So, did we stop at THE Hotel California, or is the Hotel California a state of mind? Either way, we were there.

Because in the Baja, "you can check out if like, but you can never leave."

Hasta luego