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 > Outfitter trip report:Whazoo & Farctic play the slots

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whazoo

Idahome

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Posted: 05/19/10 11:02pm Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The Whazoo's and the Farctic Ox's meet up again for our annual desert event. This time to play the dollar slots, not the quarter, smaller slots we'd planned as we have lost a day of vacation and had to rearrange the itinerary. So we've decided to meet up on the Arizona Strip where there is always plenty to do, with slot canyons of all sizes. And we plan to hit the jackpot and play the grandaddy of slots, Buckskin Gulch. Buckskin is the longest, the deepest, the coolest, and the darkest of all slots in the world. Yes, I tried to see how many times I could use "the" in a sentence.

First off let me show you a talking horny toad we found while hiking. At first all he could say was "Afflac" and "Geico". But I soon had him reciting poetry to the tune of the Beverly Hillbillies. Everyone remembers that tune yes? A little history first, Farctic is from the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And last year we were privy to the making of a new drink with a dance that accompanied it as Mrs. Farctic "shook" the drink in a tumbler and the "Rockerita" was born...

Let me tell ya a lil story bout a man named Ted,
White Mountain Man likes to keeps his good friends fed.
Married to a gal that we call Rockerita,
Well she's so sweet you're gonna have to meeta.
Farctic & Rocki, White gold New Hampshire style,
Put yore boots on, let's hike awhile."

Now one day they were hiking way out west,
Farctic says to Rocki "Gal I got to take a rest."
While sittin on the ground a lacin up his shoe,
Out from a bush pops his ol Friend Whazoo.
"Howdy there Farctic, ain't this swell?
I sure like your style, let's hike a spell."

All that from a little ol horny toad!!
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Knowing that I had gotten Farctic hooked on my donuts last year, I wanted to make sure I had enough for him...
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With donuts in hand, we headed off for the Strip. Climbing the ridge towards Page Arizona we are always so amazed to see in the middle of flat land a crack in the earth called Marble Canyon, and the beginning of the Grand Canyon proper. The Vermillion Cliffs are visible in the distance on this very clear day.
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Man can also makes cracks here and there on a smaller scale, as I see a truck trying to make the cut from the flatland below to higher ground.
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Coming down to Page I have to pull over and do a double take. Then a triple take and a quadruple take, ad infinitum.
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Farctic has called and given us directions to his new temporary digs, in a gated community. If the guard's not on duty, be sure to close it behind you.
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Driving in we pass two young senioritas.I thought to try some of my Spanish by asking them "adonde esta su siete arriba?" That means "where is your 7 up?" I think...
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We finally make it to the end of the road and a joyful reunion is had by all. How joyful? Mooey joyful, of course.
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Camp was quickly set up under wispy clouds, blue sky and "chamber of commerce" weather, for now.
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Farctic has his camper removed for the duration of the week that they will be here. To me, it looks like "Little House on the Prairie" and it's great!
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The scenery they have picked to camp by is stupendous to them, but just ok to us. JUST OK, ARE YOU SERIOUS? The colors are something not seen since, well I was too young in the 60's but I've heard stories, and they remind me of my Mother's multi colored marble bundt cakes.
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There is also an arch to be seen from afar...
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And up close.
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Looking as if the intestines of the earth have been washed out upon the land the word "alluvial fan" comes to mind, even if it is on an incline. Or would that be decline? I guess that depends on where you're standing.
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Can I? Do you mind? I mean I'd like to be...your favorite martian. These seed pods do indeed look like something from Mars.
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Looking east from camp, evening is coming on.
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It looks to me that we are at a crossroads. "Which way did he go George, which way did he go?"
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What a perfect circle this little twig has made in the sand, due to the action of the wind.
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Mrs. Farctic enjoys zooming in on the flowers of a yucca plant. "Careful when you bend over Rocki, don't let it stick you in the glass!"
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Most of the yuccas we see are in flower mode. Soon I have the feeling that these plants are indeed, stalking us. Get it? Stalking? ok, we're moving on now...
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The Indian Paintbrush and wire lettuce are showing off their colors as we drive to Buckskin Gulch in the morning. The late spring rains have prolonged the flower season this year and we get to enjoy the eye popping effects.
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Ahoy mates, all hands on deck, or out the windows. Thanks for sitting in for me Rocki, I appreciate you giving me a hand there!
[image]

The "Blues Brothers" are at it again, with coffee and donuts surging through our veins. "Hey, how do we get outta here?"
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I smile as we walk down the wash, knowing what we are heading for. Things always seem to start off innocently enough in the desert, unless you're in the Grand Canyon that is.
[image]

With pretty pink penstemons lining the way...
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As we walk it becomes obvious that natures forces have produced so many different formations in the sandstone around us. Sometimes looking like the doodle art of some larger hand, playing in the silly putty again, before it hardens.
[image]

As the walls start closing in, Farctic practices his semaphore in case we get separated.
[image]

Just about now, Mrs. Whazoo's new blend of kill-devil coffee has taken affect. Wow, my hand gestures are smooth and animated. As we walk I make excellent points and observations, and seem to know the names of all plants and rocks we pass. Those I don't know I make up, convincingly. Jumping from rock to rock I clear huge spans and no slope is too steep to sprint. I am wired...massively!
[image]

But I do know that by lunch my feet will stumble and speech will slow. Hands will no longer gesture and the temper will be short. I will crash. Coffee, you are my fickle friend.
Stay tuned for the next chapter "Hiking With Vicodin To Fix Those Aching Bones"

The girls will put up with me though. And smile through it all, understanding as they do while I hobble along. I have been humbled.
[image]

Some pictures of Bucksin Gulch to follow...
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Yes, in some stretches of the 14 mile long canyon there are open areas that seem like a park after the confines of the slot.
[image]

Farctic has said he feels the faces in the rocks are somewhat phantasmagoric-al. And they do indeed remind me of something from the Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus, with a Spirit all their own.
[image]

[image]

However all I see is a shark, pointed out to me by Mrs.Whazoo.
[image]

We play the game "find the hidden log". The Farctics are winning as they already have 2 points.
[image]

Mrs. Whazoo spots a log, but no point is awarded.
[image]

The logs do come from a distant forest as there are no large trees on the plateau above. You surely do not want to be here when they come through pushed by huge amounts of water.
[image]

Looking like a terradactyl nest, much wood has found a resting spot in the canyon. And Rocki has another point.
[image]

Lunch in the Gulch is spectacular to both the eyes and ears, with echoes playing up and down the canyon as we gorge ourselves on pb&j sandwiches and see who can make their voice echo the most, the most, the most...
[image]

For scale...
[image]

Here a small amount of water seeps out of the sandstone. Leftover from some recent rain storm. I hope it wasn't too recent, what's that sound??
[image]

Ever the martian I do my best imitation of Mork, Nanu Nanu.
[image]

A close up shows the ridges of sand crystals in the sandstone.
[image]

As well as the striations in the harder rock caused by earth movers of the third kind. Is that a baboon face I see?
[image]

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We are heading back out now, and Buckskin has been all that it was cracked up to be. Our little group is euphoric from the from the day's sensory delights and we do feel to have hit the jackpot of all slots. Our arms are tired from pointing at this and that, voices sore from yelling "come see this and that", and feet tired from running to this...and that.
[image]

Passing a certain area we hear wind, and can see the visible effects in the canyon.
[image]

Four wheeling a round about way back to camp, Whazoo shows his patented method of pushing tree branches out of the way without getting out of the truck.
[image]

Back at the camp, a front is coming in, from the side, and there will be no fire again tonight. Now I believe fully in the chaos theory that says when a butterfly flaps it's wings in, say China, the wind picks up in, say Arizona. And tonight the wind is so strong I have visions of a massive swarm of butterflies in China, flapping away.
[image]

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While us Whazoos are inside changing for dinner, Farctic comes over to show us his new implant. Now I always thought they would be shaped like a popsicle stick and in a different area, but then again I'm too young to know.
[image]

Inside the "little house on the prarie", and indeed it is, Rocki is putting together a "one off" salad that she is so good at. Not merely good but the best! I mean this lady could make a salad out of huitlacoche and I'll guarantee it would be fantastic. Everything she cooks is good to eat and good for health. One of her salads had strawberries and cranberries on top. My taste buds have fallen in love and my stomach has become a beggar, "more please!"
[image]

And at dinner it looks as if Farctic and I are the head cheer leaders. Get it? Cheers? Cheerleaders? Ok, you got that one. You folks know me too well now, I'll have to change my MO at some future point.
[image]

The next day Farctic and Whazoo have a heated debate over which way to go in the Cathedral. So a rock-scissors-paper contest made the decision. Guess who won?
[image]

I would not consider Cathedral Wash to be a slot canyon, but the beauty of it as you start the decent is astounding with the Vermillino Cliffs as your backdrop. You will feel as if hiking inside a postcard, 3D that is.
[image].

Here we are at the head of the wash, sort of. And it's a bushy head at that, could use a little bushwhacking!
[image]

Farctic shows his interpretation of a dry wash as he walks. Better wash where you're going there Farctic.
[image]

These bright yellow flowers really stand out in the canyon. As soon as I make up a name for them I'll let you know. Ok, yellow penstemons.
[image]

Here we have the wall of bones as it does indeed look like a something from an Indiana Jones movie.
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More faces to pick out of the rocks, do you see a bear?
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This rock slab reminded us of the Ten Commandments after Charleton Heston broke them.
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The real decent has now started and it is indeed descent.
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The Farctics are contemplating writing something on their ledger, I just know it.
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Looking down canyon, where the heck do we go from here?
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Rocki rocks! Just don't roll...
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This band of sediment looks again to be, bones. Have we stumbled upon the burying ground of ancient creatures?
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Ah yes, here is our singing horny toad looking quite smug now that he's mastered the english language.
[image]

And farther down we go, as if on a journey to the center of the earth.
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Finally out in the open we have reached our final destination, the Colorado.
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Farctic again uses semaphore to say "cheese and crackers this water is cold!"
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Especially since we are fairly close to where the River comes out of the bottom of Glen Canyon Dam, with the water temp being around a constant 48 toe curling degrees. Being this close to the dam is another reason for the color and clarity of the water as well. The only time this water here will muddy up is when the Paria River, a few miles north, is in full flood.

Even the salt cedar is in bloom this season. The only time I will ever say that this tree looks good as it robs so much water from the west, being a serious invasive species that chokes any waterway it can.
[image]

Being close to beautiful water puts us all in a good mood for a group picture.
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"OK, on the count of three we all ditch the Whazoo!"
[image]

Hiking back upstream the dry-fall looks lonely without water.
[image]

The poster for the movie "Walk the Line", not starring Farctic Ox.
[image]

Farctic looks to be welcoming us to his Green Acres. After a week there I'm sure it feels like home to him.
[image]

So is this what the Beatles meant with their song "Why Don't We Do It In The Road", barbeque?
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The evening has another weather system coming in, and another night without a fire. That makes 4 nights and again I will take home a full box of firewood. After 30 years of evening fires Mrs. Whazoo and I wonder why we have so much wind these days. Those darn butterflies in China. The last two years of camping have been very windy and I now have firewood that has been to more places than many people.
[image]

One last hike in the morning shows the old man of the wash and how he has managed to not only collect water from across the wash, but support his falling trunck at the same time. Nature...will find a way.
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One last picture before we go. We are not lost, but obviously we are puzzled. With one of us missing a few pieces, but we already knew that didn't we.
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A great time was had by all and with hopes of another reunion next year we hug and wave "so long", and the WHAZN8R says "hasta la vista, Baby." The term "kindred spirits" was coined for friends like us as we have so much in common. And just think, it all started with a trip report on rv.net. What a great ride it's been for the Whazoos and we have more great friends waiting just up some canyon or streambed or river delta. Have a great summer folks!!!

Thanks for reading,
Dave Rogers

Post Script: Several pictures of Farctic's and Rocki's were used in the making of this rockumentary. I hope this trip report was at least as good as my favorite book "The History of Scallions". Obviously too much fun was had due to the nature of both parties. No horny toads were harmed and only footprints left behind.

jefe 4x4

West Slope, Northern Sierra Nevada

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Posted: 05/20/10 12:17am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whaz,
You are one talented sucker!
I enjoyed the ride.
regards, as always, jefe


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Bear461

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Posted: 05/20/10 12:30am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Great photos and excellent write up. Always look forward to your travels and pictures. Thanks for sharing.

DEcamper

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Posted: 05/20/10 02:26am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What a wonderful adventure! Thanks for taking us with you!

Nina


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weymard

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Posted: 05/20/10 03:10am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks Whazoo, a great great pleasure to read your report.
Which phantasmagoric landscapes, I understand your poetic talent !
Thanks.


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weymard

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Posted: 05/20/10 03:31am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whazoo, I forgot to tell you : When I saw you and your friend I thought more at ZZ Top than the Blue's Brothers ! Ah ah ah ah !

kohldad

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Posted: 05/20/10 04:39am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What a way to start the morning with another fantastic story telling of a great adventure.

Thanks for taking the time to share it.


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RICKIM

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Posted: 05/20/10 05:36am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fantastic!! So many amazing sights to see. Thanks for sharing them with us.
Rick

P.S. Do you ever have to worry about venomous snakes while hiking?


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rv2go

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Posted: 05/20/10 05:46am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Awesome. Thanks for taking me along.


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luv2skyski

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Posted: 05/20/10 06:28am Link  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Dave strikes again. Thanks for the post. Keep em coming.

Happy Camping, Dave.


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