Hi, Rob here. A Somnambulistic Solstice Salutation to you!
I found myself feeling sorry for any man who was not free to abandon whatever futility detained him and walk away into the desert morning with a pack on his back. Colin Fletcher, The Thousand-Mile Summer.
I am writing this note to say Happy Solstice and Happy New Year! I hope you are well and that you greatly enjoyed 2007. This is my traditional year-end report. Rather than bore you with lots of text here - I refer you to lots of boring text and mundane photos via links.
How about that title - "Somnambulistic Solstice Salutation?" Well, I just like the swishing sound, it is a sleepy time of year, we are in the time of the Winter Solstice, and it is time for my (traditional) annual update and greeting note to folks.
Here's the note from last year (2006)
Kathleen and I have now been in Northern Arizona for over a year. Thankfully, albeit with a few challenges (once again), we are a long way from a big city. Refreshing clean air, lots of public land, a more liberal community, grand hiking venues... It's tremendous. Yet, Please don't get any ideas - it is absolutely horrid here, you certainly wouldn't want to live here.
No singe highlight stands out above all in 2007. There is nothing like the tribulations of moving to report. However, we did get out a bit. We launched into the hiking season with a tripartite delve into the Grand Canyon.
First, we enjoyed Eponymous* Clear Creek of the Grand Canyon, in April. We were hounded by vicious sand storms in Clear Creek, and Al's camera
went to ground, quite literally, due to dust.
Here is the Eponymous* Clear Creek report.
Quickly following, and also in April, was Bodacious Beamer; Or – Beam me up Scotty: Tanner Trail to the Little Colorado River with Zig and Craig. Walking the Beamer Trail, perched midway between the rim and the river afforded some of the most inspiring views of the canyon.
Bodacious Beamer report.
I saw that by going down into that huge fissure in the face of the earth, deep into the space and the silence and the solitude, I might come as close as we can at present to moving back and down through the smooth and apparently impenetrable face of time. I was hopelessly insignificant and helpless, a mere insect - Mr. Fletcher wrote of his first night in the canyon. Colin Fletcher, The Man Who Walked Through Time.
This dramatic event was followed by an off-route adventure from the North Rim in early May, where we (Cheryl S, Craig, Kathleen, and I) hiked down South Canyon to the Colorado - in the Marble Canyon section. Following this flogging, we day-hiked South Coyote Buttes (sister to The Wave), Cobra Arch, and Double-barrel Arch. Slog and Flog South Canyon, or Faded Glory: South Canyon "Trail" to the Colorado River: Vasey's Paradise and Stanton’s Cave
Slog and Flog South Canyon here.
School was sort-of out in June (I had to work several weeks of Summer school), and our first Summer trip was to Navajo National Monument, including long day hikes to the pueblos of Kawestima/Keet Seel and Talastima/Betatakin, followed by area arch hunting ventures.
Enjoy a tour of Navajo National Monument here.
Kathleen was off in Peru when I enjoyed a solo trip to the Arc Dome wilderness in Nevada: Arcdom: Terrific Toiyabe: Arc Dome Wilderness: North-South Twin Rivers Loop to Arc Dome at 11,773'
Climb to Arcdom here.
We finally enjoyed that river tour of the MF Salmon
(reference our time volunteering for the FS in 2005) as can be seen in the report: Middle Fork Salmon Century Floatboating: Nearly 100 Miles of tribute to Frank Forrester Church - Boundary Creek to Cache Bar: River Miles 0 to 98 in July with friends Ron & Kathy and Tom & Hazel.
Floatboat the Middle Fork Salmon Century here.
To obtain some background info helpful to understanding the MF Floatboating report...
See the Salmon Sojourn! report.
We stayed in lovely Idaho and engaged in marauding the Magruder Corridor and Selway Country in Central Idaho - on The "Lost" Lewis and Clark Route. We toured from Salmon, into Montana, over the divide and into the Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness for glimpses of the Selway River and other fine stuff.
Maraud the Magruder Corridor.
August witnessed a return to work (argh) and a delightful series of day-hikes off the Dark Canyon Plateau (no web report). We found several new arches and lots of solitude, seeing huge deer, perhaps a hundred wild turkeys, and only a few tourists.
In September, I enjoyed an Ode to Orderville! Touring Orderville Canyon and THE Subway of Zion with good friends Craig, Zig, Brett, and Blake, the usual suspects. This was our first venture into Orderville, and we found it more interesting than the Zion Narrows.
Sing an Ode to Orderville.
Still in September, I was easily persuaded to join Zig and some Wasatch Mtn. Club paddlers on a canoe and hike adventure through Stillwater Canyon, Canoeing the Green River - Mineral Bottom to Spanish Bottom: River Miles 53 to 0, and then some.
We hiked into The Maze in several locations, including one long jaunt up Water Canyon to Chimney Rock. A few miles below the confluence of the Green and the Colorado Rivers, we hitched a jet boat ride back to Moab.
Paddle and hike Stillwater Canyon.
We hiked quite a bit around Northern Arizona. Nearly 20 hikes and routes are featured on the "hiking Northern Arizona" page.
Hike 20+ hikes in Northern Arizona.
Even though it's a series of day hikes, rather than a single hike, you will find the Needles Nirvana hikes on this page. Kathleen, Craig, Harry, and I base-camped in Canyonlands and hiked four long trails while there. We enjoyed excellent weather and some fine Fall colors. See the report at:
Levitate in Needles Nirvana.
We ended 2007, and lapsed into a glorious 2008 in the
Superstion Wilderness. See the report at:
Rock on - into 2008 - on the rocky Superstition trails.
In 2007, a number of panoramas were added to the pleasant panoply of panoramas.
Click here to see the other panoramas
The adorable Kathleen and I are well, and we plan to continue to enjoy what is left of our public lands in 2008 :-)) We wish you the very best. Finally, please remember, wherever you go there you are. Let's all work for more peace and less bushco.
Take good care, Rob
And, please don't leave until you have pondered the republican's mainstay - FEAR! More fear, less civil rights, the hell with the constitution. All sorts of
threats and danger to our future (ignoring global climate change, de-funding programs for
children, evisceration of environmental protection policies, etc. - all to fund and press an illegal, misguided, immoral, unnecessary war), not to mention a huge,
devastating republican budget deficit for which our great-great grandchildren will be paying.
Every American should be frightened and taking action to curtail
the seizing of power, hiding of wrong-doing, and use of presidential authority that is fast
leading to king george, queen hillary, etc. Civil liberties? Transparency of government?
Nah, all replaced by fear and deception. We have established a presidency that does not respect
the rules of law. Bush and cheney should be impeached, Now. This country began with reaction
against a king named george. How about it, true Americans!? Are we a nation of laws or kings
and queens? Impeachment is the cure for the current constitutional crisis.
See the case for
impeachment of bush and cheney by a constitutional scholar.
With thoughts of peace, or a hope for peace, I am reminded of some advice to the bushcos of the world:
They must find it difficult, those who have taken
authority as the truth; rather than truth as the authority.
G. Massey, Egyptologist.
Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Lord Acton, English Historian.
When the power of love overcomes the love of power,
the world will know peace. Jimmy Hendrix.
Now I close with a panorama from our back yard - GC from S. Kaibab (217kb);
full-size panorama is 2517 pixels wide;
(O'Neil Butte in lower center)
(Click the image for the full-size panorama)