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


Muderous Mountain Bike Ride

When you ride hard on a mountain bike, sometimes you fall, otherwise you're not riding hard."President George 'Dubya' Bush, July 2005, following a crash into a bike cop at the G8 summit, Gleneagles, Scotland
Dingo must have been riding hard because he flew off his bike took a 360, landed on his pack and came up smiling. We let out a big sigh off relief. This was no place for an injury. There is no shade and no water.We were in the middle of no man's land.
After driving to the Cameron Trading Post late Friday night, our group got up early and spent 2 hours on a gnarly Navajo back road in order to ride, carry and walk our bikes for 24+ miles in 90 degree temp at 6000 feet. We each carried in excess of a gallon of liquid and it was not enough. We cached some along the way. Elevation gain/loss was estimated at close to 3000 feet.
Our route was a closed jeep trail across the scrubby, gully, carved erosion surface of the Kaibab formation atop the Coconino plateau. Our destination was Cape Solitude. Now we understand why this promontory was named such by Clarence Dutton because, as he put it, "it stands solitary and alone". The Cape towers above the confluence of the Little Colorado and Colorado rivers.
The bike ride was totally gnarly and bone jarring. Large rock, deep sand, and the heat wore us down. We lost the route several times. When we attempted to take a break under one of the few trees along the way hundreds of ants climbed onto our sorry carcases.
It was a short break.

Little Colorado River Gorge-Navajo Land

Keith the Hawk, Dingo Dan and Larry the Mountain Man from Alaska

This trip ended up being exploratory. We badly underestimated the degree of difficulty.
A Grand Canyon Ranger had told us that he had done it on a mountain bike and we were stupid enough to believe him. Perhaps he did do it, but not in one day.

The Gates of Hell?

At 12 miles, the watch showed 12:30. We had started riding at 9:30. We gazed across the plateau and Solitude looked a long ways away. Below us was a side canyon requiring about 600' of up and down one way. We estimated that we had a couple of hours left to get to our destination and calculated between 5 and 8 more grueling miles to negotiate. Coming back would be mostly uphill and a two hour drive out on the maze of back roads was necessary. A projection of our water, day light time, and personal tank capacities netted the correct decision, to turn back and log this one as a tough recon ride. We backed down. We would have to settle for views of the Chuar Valley region and the Painted desert. There would be no dramatic overview of the Colorado River today. It would be unfinished business and we would deal with that later.

We arrived back at the car at quarter to five, somewhat exhausted and fell into our camp chairs for the after adventure cerveza ritual.
The unfinished business was discussed and a future strategy developed. Like Angel Eyes in the Good Bad and the Ugly-we always finish the job.

Next time-
Cooler Temps-in the fall
Take another back road route and try to get within 7 miles of Solitude. Our recon indicated that this is possible.
Get a Navajo permit and camp.
Day hike, Mtn Bike to solitude and return or get a NP permit and backpack in and carry more water.

We stopped in Flag for our traditional dinner at the Beaver Street Brewery and arrived back in Phoenix after midnight.
Thanks to Dingo for driving and to Larry and Keith for being such tough hombres in order to share such a "fun" adventure

Men Behaving Badly

Dingo Dog for constantly saying "Whose idea was this?" along the torturous route. This coming from the guy that absolutely loves this kind of stuff and is in his element while driving the worst back roads known to mankind.


Still a Ramblin Man

"Änd the Cowboys ride-Against the wind"

Real quick, for those that wanted feedback on the Bob Seeger concert-He brought the house down at US Air Arena. Everyone was on their feet for two hours. Unlike a lot of old rockers, his voice is as strong as ever. The sax player has been with the Silver Bullet Band since 71 and was unbelievable!
Seeger has not toured for 10 years and missed Phoenix then. He has a new album that has already sold over a million copies.
I rate this concert in my top ten. (Of 473)