Rob's 2009 year-end report
Featuring Five Weeks in THE Grand
Happy New Year and a Scenic
solstice to you! This is my 2009
year-end report, an old time tradition for countless decades in a shiny and new
may click on the web addresses, the trip title, or the photo to go to each
report. Note that not all photos are
linked to reports.
K & R somewhere in the Grand Canyon
the year was filled with wild experiences.
Yes, I am still working, although not that much. I am finishing my final year of consulting
for a school counselor grant in Kingman,
Arizona. The grant was poorly written
(developmentally-delayed in its methodology and procedures), and so there is no
chance it will be renewed. The good news
is that I get to dabble in all sorts of real school psychology (that is, not
weighed down with testing tasks), and, because there are few opportunities for
further money mining by marketing psychologist types, I rarely see the
next? Maybe, I will be forced into
retirement. OH NO.
any event, 2010 is already shaping up to be another wild year. I am planning to hike the Tonto Trail in the Grand Canyon, from Tanner to South Bass. This trek will be about 120 miles, and will
include all but a tiny bit of the Tonto.
Yes, I have the GC permits to enable this jaunt. Kathleen and I also have a permit to hike to
Clear Creek in the GC, following the Transcendental Tonto Traverse by a rest
day. What else? Stay tuned.
Maybe a repeat of the BAMIC (Bicycle Across
Mountainous Idaho Country)? A through-hike of the John Muir Trail?
of the things that continues to amaze me is that I am
still married to Kathleen. Amazing because she somehow continues to tolerate my SD and lizardo
mannerisms and behavior, notwithstanding my liberal use of Idaho dialect.
said by Edward Abbey - Joy shipmates of Earth!
back to the wild experiences for a recap:
and I hiked around Northern Arizona in the
late Winter and early Spring of 2009. We
hiked near Sedona quite a bit because I, for one, am becoming even more
lizard-like as I get older. Here is a
recounting (from 2008) of many of the places we again hiked in 2009:
(click on the below links to go to the report)
We did add a few new hikes to our repertoire, and they can be
started the backpack season with a Grand Canyon Spring 2009 Trilogy. Kathleen, Chris, Zig, and I lilted along the
"Gems" route, named after the numerous side-canyons with names like
Ruby, Sapphire, Turquoise. The first segment of the Trilogy involved
exploring the Precious Canyon Gems:
Grand Canyon Trip Report - Tonto West / Hermit's Rest / South Bass / Colorado
River / Canyons named for Rocks
(April 4 to 10, 2009)
at Sunset - GC Gems Report
April, and we enjoyed the Grapevine Galleria, part 2 of the GC Spring 2009
Trilogy, and a lovely lilt from the corridor trail of the South Kaibab to The
River, then back up to the Tonto Platform and across it to Horseshoe Mesa. The photo below shows Kathleen on her
birthday hike to the Mesa,
a delightfully beautiful woman in a deluxe beautiful place.
Galleria of the Grand Canyon:
Grand Canyon Trip Report - Tonto East: South Kaibab – Indian Gardens – Bright
Angel Camp – Lonetree – Grapevine – Cottonwood – Horseshoe Mesa – Grandview
(April 25 to May 1, 2009)
the Birthday Girl climbs toward Horseshoe Mesa - Grapevine Galleria
headed off to Costa Rica
for Spanish immersion. Immersion in hot sauce?
This is what happened to Craig and I as we
broasted in unseasonably hot weather in the Grand Canyon,
hiking Torrid Tapeats:
Fishtail Frolic off the North Rim of the Grand Canyon - Thunder River /
Colorado / Deer Creek / Siesta Springs / Cobblestone NB
(May 9 to 17, 2009)
Eyes watch over Torrid Tapeats - Part 3 of the Spring 2009 GC Trilogy
another work stint, I went solo traipsing in THE Maze District of Canyonlands
NP, ostensibly searching for arches and natural bridges, and finding aMazing solitude
along the path:
Maze, a Desert Solitaire
The Fins Area of Canyonlands NP
26 - June 2nd, 2009
provide the backdrop for some area fins - A-Mazing Maze report.
June, Kathleen and I met Nancy and George on the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for a series of slightly soggy day
hikes. George was in the first group to
climb El Capitan in Yosemite many years
ago. After we returned home, George and
Nancy went farther out into the wilds, hiking North Canyon
and the Thunder River Trail (in a thunderstorm).
Nancy & George above The Transept on the N Rim of the GC
was off on other adventures, so I continued the solo adventures with a hike of the
Toiyabe Crest in Central Nevada. At the start of the trek, I met the wily Wes
H. from Friends on Nevada Wilderness
and David K. from the F.S. Then, for nearly 7 days, I saw only my footprints,
creatures of the high desert, and gorgeous country on:
- A National Recreation "Trail"
Kingston to South Twin Rivers (71 miles; 137 ERM*)
July 3-9, 2009
Toiyabe Sea - The
Toiyabe Crest in Central Nevada
and I ventured to overpoweringly beautiful Idaho to backpack a figure-8 in the Sawtooth
Wilderness. Conditions were terrific,
except for the horrendous squads of mosquitoes, who caused the shortening of
Figure-eight in the Sawtooth Wilderness
host of the 400 Sawtooth lakes
Sand Mountain Pass, Ten Lakes Basin, Benedict Lake,
South Fork Payette, Edna, Toxaway, and Yellow Belly Trail
July 30th to
August 3rd, 2009
Reflections of Edna - Sawtooth
in the pretty great state (Utah),
we visited our wonderful friends Bob and Doris.
Two of the special things we miss about Utah.
As many of you know, Bob is The Archman! See the span of his overarching work at:
Doris & Bob at home in Salt Lake
Kathleen reviews Doris' begonias
back at work, yet surrounded by pleasant weather, I slipped away to meet Zig, Cheryl,
and new friends Dave R. and Rob P. on a nearly 270-mile self-contained bike
tour of Central Utah. Argh, there are lots of climbs over plateaus
and the shoulders of mountains in this pretty great state. My Venerable Monster (1984 era Specialized Expedition)
bike toured without difficulty - if only the same might be said about my old
re-gearing of the VM? Probably. Here's the
bicycling circle tour of Central Utah
Torrey-Fish Lake-Otter Cr.-Bryce-Kodachrome-Escalante-Boulder-Torrey
VM, the Venerable Monster, the Specialized Expedition, rides again!
268 miles of
this is the Place
to 19, 2009
the Real Wall Street
- Bike Tour of Utah
is rushing forward, yet it doesn't seem reasonable to decrease trip time. Thanks to the organizational brilliance of
Craig M. (The River King), a redux of canoeing the Stillwater
section of the Green River - through
Canyonlands NP - avails itself. Long on
the planning documents, it was a thrill to share this country with Kathleen,
from the vantage point of the river. A
host of river rats joined in, including Carol, Cheryl, and Bret. Here's the report, which includes a link to
the 2007 Stillwater
Stillwater Redux 2009
the Green River
Mineral Bottom to Spanish Bottom: River Miles 53 to 0, 0 to 213
With hikes to Turks Head and The Doll House of THE
27 - October 4, 2009
Arch View - Stillwater Redux canoe trip on the Green River
and I escaped to the low-country of Butler Wash for a car camping exploration of the side canyons
rolling off the Butler Wash syncline. Lovely and quiet, we hiked the angled Navajo
SandStone slickrock in search of ruins, arches, and adventure. We found all three in this bucolic bastion of
Ruins or ruination?
– Cedar Mesa area, Utah
16 - 19, 2009
Stack ruin - Bucolic Butler Wash Ruins or Ruination?
getting cooler and cooler, yet Dave R. and I coordinate a corridor + Hermit
Huff adventure in the Grand Canyon that spans
9 days and lapses from October into November.
Craig and Ward crisp in from the North Rim and Dave and I meet them at
Bright Angel Camp. We continue up the North Kaibab to Cottonwood Camp, from where Ward and
Craig continue back to the North Rim.
Dave and I return to BA Camp, and then along the Tonto and out of the
Canyon via the Hermit Trail. Along the
way, we are overseen by this trio of hayseed sheep (note the hayseed - actually
probably a native bunchgrass - protruding from the mouth of the sheep on the
left). These are Desert Bighorn Sheep.
Grand Canyon Trip Report -
Cool Running in The Canyon - BA to Cottonwood to Indian
Gardens to Hermit Rest via the Tonto Trail
October 30th to November 4th, 2009
Desert Bighorn Sunrise - overseeing the Hallowed Grand
and I finished out the year visiting her Son (Gordon) and Daughter (Elizabeth) and
Gordon's girlfriend (Elisabeth), her delightful twins, and her parents Jim and
Judy in California. What a treat it was to see these
quickly-developing kids (Elisabeth's twins) and meet part of her extended
Elisabeth & Gordon
Claire & Will select The pumpkin (age 3)
Judy, Elisabeth, Gordon
Will, Claire, Jim
Brief political ranting follows:
(a distinctly appropriate name for these hypocritical, pygmy intellect
"conservatives") and other mental midgets and faux religionists have
regaled Obama with claims of socialism, yet forget the carnage caused by free
enterprise only for the rich (can you say "corporate welfare?"). Privatization of gain and socialization of loss,
that's the way of the repulsicans.
Fighting two protracted, uber-expensive wars (one an optional,
unnecessary war) coupled with two huge tax cuts for the rich don't add up to
fiscal responsibility. bushco. Conservatives
must have failed basic math in addition to suffering mass amnesia about the ruination
wrought by the bushco era. Certainly,
the eight-year repulsican carnage wrought by eviscerating regulations/agencies
that protect public health (medical, emotional, economic, environmental, etc.)
will take a lot of change to reverse, albeit this may be the real change we
earn by supporting Obama and crew.
with scientists back on the science advisory boards, in place in the many
public agencies (can you imagine! Foresters in the Forest Service rather than
lobbyists for the timber industry?), change has already begun in the U.S.
Government. While wimpy Democrats are
stifling real and dramatic change, coupled with the ideologue conduct disorder
of the repulsicans, the valence is positive.
Maybe One: A case for smaller families
(1999) by Bill Mckibben
The Death of Nature (2006), by Bill Mckibben
Link to books by Bill McKibben
Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth about the Coming Climate
Catastrophe And Our Last Chance to Save Humanity
(2009) by James
Link to the site about this
(Storms of my Grandchildren) book
this is one of the scientists censored by bushco. Like in the audacity of dope (bushco, faux religionists), deny truth and science and it
does not exist.
the matter with Kansas?
: how conservatives won the heart of America (2004) by Thomas Frank
Link to book - What's The Matter with Kansas?
into a documentary film (link)
your money from those "too big to fail" banks - they certainly do
not deserve our support for helping to create the bushco mess. Also, this will help prevent the atrocities
from being repeated because these big banks are right now lobbying against
banking and financial services reform....(and using
your money to do so?).
amidst talk of environmental/ecological/social/economic chaos related to
climate change, it is shameful and puzzling to not see emphasis on how overpopulation
cancels all efforts at reducing the spiraling effects of global climate
change. As noted by Alan Weisman (The
World Without Us, 2007) and others in the truncated
suggested reading list above, all efforts to reduce our carbon footprints (i.e.,
stomping the life from our only Earth) will have no real lasting effect unless
population growth is reversed. Don't
read this summary before bedtime:
"Night and day the
river flows. If time is the mind of space, the River is the soul of the desert.
Brave boatmen come, they go, they die, the voyage
flows on forever. We are all canyoneers. We are all passengers on this little
mossy ship, this delicate dory sailing around the sun that humans call the
earth. Joy, shipmates, joy." Edward Abbey, The
Hidden Canyon -- A River Journey
The adorable Kathleen and I are well, and we plan to
continue to enjoy what is left of our public lands in 2010 :-)) We wish you well. Finally, please remember, wherever you go
there you are.
Take good care, Rob
Toilets of Inner Earth
WV home page