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 > Whazoo's "It's not a trip report" trip report

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whazoo

Idahome

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Posted: 02/13/14 11:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whazoo's "It's not a trip report" trip report. Did you like how I worded that? Yes, it's to get around the legalese of the document I signed saying I wouldn't do anymore trip reports. I'm trying to be sneaky, in case you wondered.

And truly it wasn't a trip that should have happened.

Mrs. Whazoo and I had gone to Phoenix from Durango to see our 1 day old identical twin grand baby girls. Whoya! Thank you very much. It was so great, the feeling is indescribable to me, to hold your children's children for the first time.

But there's a problem you see. One little girl couldn't be held, she has serious health issues. So the Whazoos are faced with an emotional dilemma of extreme happiness yet extreme worry at exactly the same time.

And after the loss of three loving pets this year starting with Bear last January and now this. Let's just say that this Whazoo has lost a little joie de vivre.

Having gone to Phoenix a few days early gave us the chance to stop at Cedar Mesa on the way home. Boy howdy a few nights in the camper were very much needed.

We had taken the Whazoocycle to Phoenix so I'd have some wheels to go my own way at times. It seems I'm having more of those times lately. Ok I'll just say it, feeling very unsocial, not quite ready for primetime. But it was also nice to have the bike on the way back.

I had to stop on our way to the Goosenecks to do my version of a gooseneck, with a camera.
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A clear morning was a good thing to clear the mind. Mrs. Whazoo shows her excitement, clearly.
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I don’t want a pickle
I just want to ride on my motor-cicle
And I don’t want a tickle
I’d rather ride on my motor-cicle
And I don’t want to die
I just want to ride on my motor-cy-cle
The immortal words of Arlo Guthrie ring in my head as I ride, or is it the mind-clearing cold. Man, it was cold just sitting there much less the wind chill while riding. I've ridden this bike in Phoenix on a 116º day where that chewing gum between my teeth turned into a tar ball the second I opened my mouth. Today, if I had gum, it would be like a jaw breaker.
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That morning we were going to John's Canyon. I don't know who John was but he ended up with a very nice canyon and a nice road to get there. We rode under the edge of Muley Point where I was able to show Mrs. Whazoo, with a point, where we had camped and looked down on this road so many times before.
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For some reason ol John thought a gate would be a good thing. I didn't know if it was to keep his cows in, or out. Especially since we saw signs of cows on both sides. Maybe they've finally figured out how to open gates. Cowabunga! Can I say how nice it is to have a cheerful gate opener?!
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Mrs. Whazoo hops off to take a picture...
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And discovers a frozen section of stream. How cool...completely covered with ice.
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And below that pool was a frozen waterfall. Yeah, we see this everyday in the desert.
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There I was, On Frozen Pond, not starring Henry Fonda. Though I was fonda that waterfall, I tried to not fall on my icehole.
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Mrs. Whazoo gives a better scale to the falls, and a better look.
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Even in sun this part of the stream had retained it's icy countenance.
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We stopped further up the stream where the water had some flow to it and hadn't frozen. How do you explain that? Water freezes or water flows, all in the same canyon, same water, same temps. Maybe there was just a wee bit more sun to hit this spot I don't know. Anyway, my PB&J sandwich wanted to take a "selfie" so I obliged. There's nothing better than a totally smashed PB&J for lunch. Where every pore of bread is impregnated with jelly and melts in your mouth. Ahhh...my knees turn to jelly just thinking about it.
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Just a short while further we came to "those signs." I'm sorry, I don't have too many political opinions or theories. What I do have is a distinct dislike for these signs in particular. Why can't we keep the roads we have? Is there an unexplained reason to not use the rest of this road? Who decided that we can't go further? And why oh why in all my years have I never seen a single person out studying the "wilderness?" They seem to proliferate though as we see them in more and more areas and we are herded into less and less. Ok, that's all, time to read more of my favorite book, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire. To remember what it "was" like once upon a time. I'm glad to have had a taste of it in my youth, but I miss it now.
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I'm leaving John's Canyon and the wilderness study area. Surely the BLM owns this canyon.
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I spy with my little eye, someone taking a picture.
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Hey, how'd she do that?
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That's right, we're The Shadow Riders, uh huh uh huh. Not starring Tom Selleck.
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I don't know whether to stop or not. I might get mugged, or worse. Ok I'll stop.
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A little on down the road I had deja-moo. Yeah, you know. Where you think you've herd this bull before. You might be having deja-moo right now too.
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Not be be confused with deja-poo, where you think you've seen this bull pucky before. In my case where you think you've stepped in this bull---- before.
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Allright, you could tell couldn't you. Don't be so pucky, I mean picky with my photoshop.

Now we had herd stories of a crossbreeding happening in the west. A quick camera caught the first ever Cowyote at the salt lick. Huh? of course it's a real animal.
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It was kinda neat being the only ones at the Goosenecks. That's why we like to winter camp so much.
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I was a little on edge, as I got off the icecycle to take this picture. On edge...Ok well I didn't think you could really see the edge there.
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Looking back at the camper, the small white spot of a camper, you can see that it was on edge as well. God I love the west, it seems we're always on edge somewhere.
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I had another place I wanted to go on Cedar Mesa. I had tried at Thanksgiving but those quagmires of melting snow and mud had stopped me. Having finally looked up the definition of quagmire I found it to mean a "bog." Now bog spelled backwards is gob and I personally don't want a gob of bog, so from now on just the mention of a quagmire will see me turning my tailpipe to the quagmire and getting my axle out of there muy pronto. This picture is of the road at Thanksgiving, you may have seen it already.
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This day the road was dry, thankfully. But I had the feeling that my rant about the BLM had me being followed. I just can't seem to shake the Government these days as they follow me down the trail.
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It was a good road or I wouldn't have towed the trailer. Or would I?
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A good road followed by a good camp spot, the world is my oyster. I just pray to have two healthy little grand oysters in my future.
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Luckily the camp spot was where it was as the road degraded to something I didn't want to tow over. Looking west...
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An evening walk with my blonde hitchhiker, pinch me please.
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That night Mrs. Whazoo asked me where all the con trails from the jets where. The white stripes in a blue sky that we see so often but hadn't seen any that evening. I told her they were just waiting for her to get up in the morning, and there they were. Would I lie to her? She claimed she was having deja-poo.
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That morning we had a ten mile walk ahead. I was using an iPhone app that Silversand turned me onto. Very cool, it shows your location as a blue dot while you are stationary and when you move it moves too. On a topo map I have to say it is fantastic to use but at the same time doesn't take all the guess work out. On this trip the exact location, while given, wasn't the exact location after all. Meaning that those co-ords taken off the internet are sometimes bogus or off just a bit. But like I say, looking for something is half the fun. Walking right up to it not so much.
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Our shadows were glad to be out also, holding hands as they stopped for a selfie.
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A manmade cattle pond at the trailhead. Many people bemoan cattle ranching and mining. We don't mine them a bit since they are what opened up the west for us in our truck campers. And the west is history.
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A sign at the actual trailhead tells us of the Basketmakers. I like a little history at times and I wondered, does the NBA have ancestors?
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Once again, we're walking a road blocked by signage. Having back problems these days I wonder how much more walking I'll be able to do in the future. I try to double my enjoyment by taking more pictures for remembrance. Someday that will be all we have.
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As we walk Polly's Canyon comes in on the north as it runs west into Grand Gulch. Not knowing who Polly was, I wondered if her last name was Wolly and if she did indeed doodle all the day. I doubt it since she had not only a canyon but a mesa, a pasture and an island. You can't doodle all the day and have all that can you? If so, I've been working too hard.
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Hard to tell from this picture but I was pointing at Polly's Island. And the ruins at the top.
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You know that of course you're not the first to see them. Not even close. Yet your first glimpse of a set of ruins gives great satisfaction. And for the rest of the day you have a game to see who spots the next one.
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Sometimes that first glimpse is tempered...by a sign. Not only a sign but a sign that says Government Trail. Oh man, here we go again. Not so fast folks, aha. It seems that this trail was built by the CCC, Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930's. These guys were working for the CCC which was a public work relief program here in the U.S. for unemployed unmarried men. I know you know that, but just in case. They built it for the ranchers in the area back then and couldn't know how much we appreciated it now as we looked down into the canyon of our destination.
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Is Mrs. Whazoo waving at the Anasazi? Or is she just wondering how they got to that spot with all those bricks of dried mud?
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Many of the trails we use today, even those built in the beginning the 20th century, were first used by the Anasazi or even earlier people. Some followed game trails but we've often noticed that these trails are in fact THE only way in and out of the canyons. How much time did it take to come up with these routes? How many times did an ancient person hit a dead end? We hike at our leisure but their lives depended on these tracks. I'm constantly amazed.
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The bottom of Grand Gulch is like the beach, and walking on sand is twice the workout.
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In the bottom we hit snow in a shaded spot...and found that Big Foot does exist. I mean Mrs. Whazoo's foot is half the size of this person's. There it is, a Basketmaker from the NBA with size 15's.
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Water leftover from the last storm is still frozen as Mrs. Whazoo skates across.
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I've said it before and I'll say it again, that's one big honkin log to get pushed through this canyon by water. I'd prefer to not be in a canyon during spring thaw or a flash flood.
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We named this Cottonwood Avenue. It was pretty symmetrical and had those old cottonwoods growing over it. I'll bet in spring it looks real nice.
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It was like hiking in different seasons, almost. Dry sand in one stretch and snow in another. We liked it all but had to keep taking coats off and putting coats on.
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Getting closer to the final destination I took a quick peek at the iPhone map. WHAT THE?
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It seems as if our destination does not want to be found. Like I said, the co-ords were not exact anyway.

With a little more hiking and climbing along the cliffs we found what we'd been looking for...the Big Man panel of pictographs.
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No, I'm not actually touching the rock but giving scale to the smaller handprints of the ancient artists. You should know that hand oils can be destructive and touching any artifacts can help speed up their demise. Ok, the one sentence sermon is over, I just feel it's important to know.
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I was thinking that the smaller white figure was a child. I could be wrong. It seems the Big Man also had a small toolbox. I could be wrong.
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Clouds had come in making for bleak skies on the hike out. Not to mention a good breeze that made us zip up the coats.
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Aha, another granary, there behind the trees.
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Taking the Government Trail up and out I wished for...a government elevator. My back was on fire.
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The edge of the clouds played with us, giving just enough blue in the distance for pictures.
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You would swear that some very large artist had used brush strokes in places, testing colors in long streaks until they got it just right.
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That night was too cold for a fire but the clouds were good enough for a quick picture. Somewhere Bruce Hornsby sings "On The Western Skyline."
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That night we had beef ravioli, from the can. Now I know that so many go to great pains to make up fantastic meals and I'm impressed when I see pictures of those meals. But not us, typically. It's a waste of time we could spend outdoors. Or we're too tired from that time outside to care what we eat. And we didn't plan this trip so a quick stop at Walmart didn't leave many options. However, I do know that we have all experienced the pleasure of mixing the great outdoors with our food and how, like a good spice, that adds so much taste to even the most meager of meals. Even though we're actually eating inside the camper that experience still exists. My taste buds know the difference. I don't know if eating in the camper qualifies as al fresco, if not there should be another name for it. Maybe we could make one up. And that's how my beef ravioli came to taste like tender ribs. A little sprinkle of Utah red dust and there it is...fine cuisine where once ravioli stood.
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Driving out I'm always struck by the similarities of the American Southwest and the African grasslands. So we're always on the look out for the king of the beasts... is he going to a Kiss concert?
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Thanks so much for reading, hopefully there's a chuckle in there somewhere too.
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Whazoo update: Three weeks after birth one little girl is almost ready to go home. The other still has issues but with the fantastic doctors, nurses and technology available we're hopeful, something we weren't last weekend. In the meantime we are leaving our dream home here in Durango, my own personal heaven, and moving back to Phoenix. A place I've been trying to leave for at least the last ten years. If I can have two little girls on my lap again after raising two little girls of our own I'll know it was for all the right reasons. And with another daughter in Phoenix to be married next year we have even more to look forward to. What's a little heat anyway, when you have cool grandkids?!
Grand Pa Whazoo...

* This post was last edited 01/31/15 09:50am by whazoo *   View edit history

raymondmom

California

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Posted: 02/13/14 11:31am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Congrats on the grandbabies!
Thanks for the not a trip report!

ScottG

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Posted: 02/13/14 11:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Amazing images!


Scott, Grace and Wesly
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Dome

Southwest Washington State

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Posted: 02/13/14 11:37am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good stuff. Have a great travel year. We Start our travel year in a bout 40 days. Be heading to Moab UT. for a week or so.

kohldad

Goose Creek, SC

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Posted: 02/13/14 11:46am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Glad to see another great "documentary" but even happier to hear your grand daughters are improving.

Here's wishing you continue your eploxing and ruin hunts for enough years that you grand daughters are walking along with you, rven if you are floating along in your hover chair.

Good luck on the move back.


2015 Ram 3500 4x4 Crew Cab SRW 6.4 Hemi LB 3.73 (12.4 hand calc avg mpg after 92,000 miles with camper)
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bka0721

Republic of Colorado

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Posted: 02/13/14 11:53am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whazoo by the dots, does not get any better. Many happy trails to you and Mrs. Whazoo.

Thank you for sharing.

b

iwon415

Northern California

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Posted: 02/13/14 11:54am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Thanks for the trip report that wasn't! Whats that I read? Signs of healing I see!
My grand daughter is just the medicine I need, when I need it!
Good luck and best wishes to you and yours!

TimH





Tiger4x4RV

Inland Empire, Southern California

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Posted: 02/13/14 12:15pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Whazoo,

Thank you for sharing your non-trip with us, for the wonderfully inspiring photos, for sharing your caring about your family. You can always drive to Durango, but as for grandchildren it is better to live close by. Even if close by is Phoenix.

As to dinners, your ravioli one has not reached the nadir of post-hike dinners: cold ravioli straight from the can. Talk about too tired to care!


2006 Tiger CX 4x4, 8.1 L gas V-8, Allison 6-speed


1mtnman

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Posted: 02/13/14 12:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Another great non-trip report Whazoo! I am also hooked on the Redrock Country and have been for many years. Please tell me the app for your topo. I have all that country on my GPS plus years of exploring the ruins of the Colorado Plateau in my GPS file. Maybe you app is somewhat close.
Thanks,
1mtnman





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colbert wa.

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Posted: 02/13/14 12:29pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

great to see your trip...ahh...non trip report. they are always a great read.


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