Tuesday, November 24, 2009


at the start of this year I set out to 'be relentless in the pursuit of what I've not done before'. often I've had to remind myself, but I'm sure of the path that I am on.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

where did autumn go

Most of my friends were bemoaning the 100+ degree heat wave that moved into Arizona this past week, and to be truthful about it my first reaction was not very positive. Getting that glimpses of autumn an the spirit that it brought with it lifted my spirit and brought a whole list of possibilities; it seems like just as I had finished making plans for cool weather hikes, and snow capped accents, Mother natured stepped in and said “whoa there cowboy, I’ve got other plans”. I was bummed for the better part of that first 100-degree day, I cancelled my plans for a cool weather climb up Humphrey’s peak and was planning to work around the house doing chores. That feeling didn’t last long though my feet were itching for a hike, so I followed in formation behind Mother Nature and did a hike I usually will do in the heat of the summer months.
There are many hikes along the Verde River; some are well-worn paths others are newly created every year after the spring thaw floods subside. People who take time to enjoy the river know instinctively what a gift the Verde is to the desert region of central Arizona. The cool year round water forms the lifeblood of an environment that holds a unique habitat for water fowl, amphibians, fish, and plant species; these riparian wet lands are a treasure that desert dwellers can appreciate but escapes most people.
Taking advantage of the hot day, some friends and me enjoyed the water and being able to skinny dip may be for the last time this year, but who knows what surprises father earth holds next.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

images of summer

I'm sorry to see summer go, but excited about autum, and winter adventures that wait ahead.

summer time races

late spring snow melt on the salt

camping in the bus at deadhorse during the summer rains

hiking in the rain forest in WA.

love lost

hunting for missing bus bits

Moab offroad adventure

grand canyon hiking permit score

weatherford trail hike in july.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Alturnate camping weekend

The alt. camping weekend got off to a banging start on Thursday night when the aircooled addicts showed up with some really cool vintage buses, each one with a very distinctive personality I had troubles getting my camera working so I missed the chance to get some great photos. By mid Friday the camp was starting to look like an invasion of air-cool people, the ghostwagens started to come in and bring with them their own brand of fun. The Ghostwagens being an eclectic group of people makes any gathering a new adventure. On Saturday Mingus Mt. trail made a good mid day hike, which starts right outside of the camp area. by night a large group of people moved in and I got to meet some really interesting new friends. The group separated a few times, but everyone eventually made it back to rest and recoup. By late afternoon the sky turned black and we were all ready to escape the wrath of the gods and run down the hill, the storms raged all around us, but all the good vibes kept the weather from moving in and spoiling the party

Monday, August 31, 2009

wet beaver creek

I completely enjoy taking people who normally don’t hike in Arizona on the Wet Beaver Creek Trail. After 2.7 miles of hiking in a hot, pretty arid, dusty Bell Trail the hikers come to a split in the trail. To the left, the well-traveled Bell trail twists it’s way down the canyon, on off to the right is the obscure, Weir Trail Which will not even show up on most maps. It takes a hardy individual to navigate the Weir trail but those hardy souls will be rewarded with cool pools, tucked away in grottos covered in moss, ferns, wildflowers, and ivy.

Heading down the creek, you’ll basically parallel the well-used Bell Trail, but still remain far enough away that you’ll be able to enjoy the peace in the canyon. After around 2 miles of navigating the river bottom the hiker will come to Bell Crossing, Here the Bell trail crosses the river and heads up Long Canyon.

But for the adventurous it’s time to head further up the creek. The temperature near the creek is easily 15 degrees cooler than the surrounding desert, and the water is in the mid 60’s making it a perfect warm weather hike. The hiker will be boulder hopping and splashing through the creek. Within the next 1 to 1.5 miles, you will pass at least three really nice swimming pools.

Pick one you like and enjoy the shade and swimming. For the more adventurous, you can continue up the creek an additional 15 miles, then loop back on the Apache Maid trail. Past Bell crossing there are many pools and falls to negotiate, only experience hikers with excellent navigating skills should continue past Bell Crossing.

When heading home take the time to go through the towns of Cottonwood, Clarkdale, and Jerome, do so will get you away from the interstate, and all the mayhem that can bring.

Monday, August 24, 2009

buddy, open road, and hiking = big smile

When vw bus owners describe the vintage vw's they speak more of mood than of metal. Ask a bus owner/restorer about their ride and a far away look comes into their eyes, as if they have already begun a journey to some ideal get away. Driving a vintage vw bus heightens awareness of the sensual qualities of the road, the sweetness of the mountain air, the sound of pine needles crunching under-tires, the feeling of stepping from a barn door to a sandy beach, the taste of salty air through a safari window; and the anticipation - those thoughts of the open road, natural settings, the simple resigned lifestyle - is an important part of the vintage vw experience in and outside of the bus. There is something lyrical about a well traveled split window, something that strikes a deep cord in a lot of people. Whether ratty and rusty, restored and clean, split or bay, vintage vw buses ring true to their image of freedom and easier days.

over the weekend I was able to get a few different hikes in, Prescott Dells, Mingus, Miners Loop, and the Iron King. No one was able to join me for the whole weekend of hiking events, but I did manage to hook some friends in for the road trip. I enjoy having friends in my vw bus with me, when we are on our way to a backpacking trip or day hike it's a sweet time.

the Dells were spectacular in the rain on sunday, the colors in the rock, vegetation, sky, and air just seem to jump.

Monday, August 17, 2009

wild utah

When I take a moment and think of how many millions of people visit the canyon lands and arches park in Utah each year, and then analyze how few modern people see the vast wonders of the area I feel lucky to be a wanderer at heart.

The collection of worn rock, sagebrush, history, lore, and solitude make for a magical land where all of the accent myths seen plausible. being sprawled over many thousands of acres of the southwestern united states makes the canyon-lands both accessible and inaccessible at the same time. The introduction of both paved and well-groomed dirt roads made the areas around the interstates a popular destination for the general public. Once the adventurous souls leave the easy access roads to head out across the vast open land the real history and solitude is reveled in magnificent splendor.

The land seems to have swallowed up all that is primitive, and hash and turned it into surreally beautiful landscape. People aren’t entirely absent from the landscape, and bumping into one of the people that live in the remoteness is truly a horrifying experience and should be avoided at every cost.

The accent people left petroglyphs, and in some cases the basque sheepherders left graffiti. The wildness of the land which has kept the general population away is starting to betray the land it once protected. The introduction of ATV’s is already leaving a huge negative impact on the land.

See the land before it’s gone; soon it’ll be fenced, RV’d, GPS’d, and guided toured into normality.

Before you go; Read the book Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey doing so will help you appreciate the land and it's stories, you can skip past the preachy parts and be entertained as well.

If you are going off the path at all, know the area, get detailed maps, and talk to the folks in the shadows; if you don't you could die.

Be prepared to run into people that will scare you, and situations that will test your muster; I've been trapped by snow in March, and had to hold up for a couple days due to flood waters when there were no rain clouds in sight. one evening while hiking with a friend we were chased into the shadows by laser sights pointed at our heads from un-known origins. On another visit during a star filled night I was awaken from a comfortable slumber in my sleeping bag by a bearded man pointing a gun at my head saying 'i could of kill't ya'.