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Doyle Hotel



Better Socks for hiking.... Smart on Dollars.






Baseball Thread



Pinned welcome to the cafe



It's time for new shoes



Astro on the FHT 2022



Took a walk today


odd man out

OMO in the Grand Canyon - Day 4



OMO in the Grand Canyon - Day Last



OMO in the Grand Canyon - Day 3



OMO in the Grand Canyon - Day 2


OMO in the Grand Canyon - Pre Hike



OMO in the Grand Canyon - Day 1


odd man out

REI Dividend is in, what can I get now?



Need a new Pad



Sheltowee Trace Trail


Traffic Jam

Recent Activities


  • New

    I'll admit I was a bit apprehensive about the hike up Hermit (8 miles long, 3600 feet up, unmaintained trail)
    I started at sunrise (5:30 AM) and finished 8 hrs later. You start by backtracking on the Tonto until you get the Hermit Trail junction. Then it is up, and up, and up...

    I spent half my time looking back (as the views are tremendous) and appreciating as things started to look smaller down below.
    The other half of the time I was looking up, feeling depressed about how much more up there was. The trail goes up through these rocks. Do you see it? I couldn't.

    The vistas became better, but the trail became rougher. There were numerous rock falls that left you no choice but to scramble and climb over rocks.

    About 2/3 the way up you come to a rest house at Santa Maria Spring (the only water on the trail). I rested here for quite a while since I knew the last bit was a bear of a climb.
    There was a park volunteer there. His job was to count hikers and look for people in…
  • New

    Today's hike was the shortest - just a few miles from Monument to Hermit Creek. But once again, navigating Monument was a challenge.
    Every time the trail crossed a drainage it was very hard to find where it exited the other side amidst the pile of boulders. I used to map to figure out
    where it had to be and eventually found it. My only other course of action would be to return to IG! The Hermit (of the trail and creek) was Louis Boucher,
    who built the trail to the rim and opened a lodge for guests (now this ruin).

    Fortunately the drop into Hermit Creek was much easier. Hermit Creek had a lot more water than Monument.
    My campsite was on a ledge directly above this swimming hole with waterfall. I set aside late afternoon for swimming.

    I didn't see a lot of wildlife. There was a deer at Phantom Ranch, a few birds, and lots of lizards.

    Since it was only mid morning, I took an excursion down Hermit Creek to the Colorado River. Hermit canyon had some of the craziest rock…
  • New

    Day three takes me 10 miles west on the Tonto to Monument Creek. Long, but mostly level. But not straight. You have to hike north toward the river to go around a series of ridges
    (the first is The Battleship), and then south to go around side canyons (the first is Horn Creek). You can't drink from Horn as the water is radioactive from a Unranium mine up on the ridge.

    As I saw yesterday, the views on the Tonto are amazing. Plus (unlike the corridor) it's very quiet.
    I saw only 12 people today, and 1/2 of those were on the campground, not on the trail. If I get in trouble, there won't be anyone around to help.

    I continued looping around ridges and side canyons. I this is Dana Bute just before salt creek.
    It's another creek you can't drink from, this time due to too much salt. The creek was barely a trickle anyway.

    Then you get to Monument Creek (tonight's campsite). It's named for this giant (200 ft?) rock pillar right by the campground. The descent into Monument is a bitch.
  • New

    I started with a full breakfast from Phantom RanchToday. Since today's hike was relatively short (from the bottom up to Indian Gardens) I planned a couple of short excursions.
    The first was to walk about a mile north on the N. Kaibab Trail to see a bit of the narrow canyon upstream known as "The Box". I then started the ascent, up the Devils Corkscrew.

    On the way up there was a very cool rock you could scramble up to see a waterfall down in a slot canyon. On the way down I saw the mule train of tourists en route to Phantom Ranch.
    You know you are getting closer to Indian Gardens when you get back in the surreal sculped sandstone with trees.

    The campsites at Indian Gradens are nice, with shelters. You could cowboy camp under a roof! The campground was quiet, but a few feet away the day use area was nuts.

    There was a line of 30 day hikers waiting to fill their water container at the tap. I considered telling them there were taps in the campground, but I didn't want to start a…
  • New

    Day 1 of the Hike

    Here's a map of the hike, color coded by day. Not including the rim walks, the hike was 46 miles with a little over 10,000 ft or gain and loss.
    Here is the start of the South Kaibab Tral. It goes down very fast.

    Major viewpoints on the way down are Ooh Aah Point, Cedar Ridge, Skelleton Point, and the Tip Off.
    A couple of these now have solar powered composting toilets. However there is no water.

    It's time to stop and smell the roses. There actually was a large wild rose bush in full bloom. Here are some pics of the showier flowering cacti.

    After the Tip Off you can look down into the inner canyon and see the trial winding its way down, the black bridge across the river, and your destination.
    I camped at Bright Angel Campground, right next to the creek.

    After setting up camp I soaked my feet in the Colorado river and washed my socks. But also, by putting my feet in the water I could now say I was all the way to the bottom.
    I then went to Phantom…


  • Six Moon Designs Deschutes Plus
    Weight - 16 ounces
    Weight w/Pegs - 18.125 ounces
    Material - 30D Silnylon
    Features - A no-frills tarp with a no-see-um skirt perimeter. Uses a single trekking pole set anywhere between 40" (100cm) to hug the ground or 49" (125cm) to provide great ventilation.
    Pros - Weight, Ventilation
    Cons - The setup is slightly confusing. There are 6 points to attach with pegs. Two of those point must be pegged first and are very difficult specify in dark and/or windy…
  • Winter Linville Gorge

    On February 27th, 28th and 29th I did a two night out and back trip from Wolf Pit Road trail-head to Table Rock mountain and back. In typical cafe fashion I planned this trip while driving 80 mph east on I-40 heading back from the Smokies. I stopped at a McDonald's to borrow some free Wifi to get a picture of a the trails and away I went. Going up Wolf Pit road in my 2002 Honda Accord was risky with the amount of ice and snow on the road. The final hill going down to the…
  • Great Smoky Mountain National Park

    On February 25th and 26th I did a nice loop in the Smokies from Big Creek Ranger Station parking lot to Deep Gap along the AT south of Mt. Cammerer fire tower. There was about 6 to 8 inches of snow while going up. I stealth camped due to the amount of snow coming in and the next day went down the Big Creek trail. Overnight there was another 6 to 8 inches of snow and freezing fog.

  • Chicken Jambalaya

    5 grams - Freeze Dried Chicken
    7 grams - Dehydrated Chopped Onion
    5 grams - Dehydrated Leeks
    2 grams - Freeze Dried Celery
    5 grams - Freeze Dried Bell Pepper
    56 grams - Rice (Real or Instant)
    2 grams - Dehydrated Green Onion
    7 grams - Creole Seasoning
    7 grams - Dehydrated Diced Tomato
    7 grams - Tomato Powder
    7 grams - Chicken Stock Powder
    1 gram - Black Pepper
    1 gram - Salt
    28 grams - Dried Chorizo Sausage
    14 grams - Olive Oil
    8 ounces - Water

    Calories - 680
    Dry Weight -…
  • Nestle Nido and Breakfast Essential Based Milkshakes

    Nestle Nido is a full fat powdered milk which when combined with water makes a high calorie milk. I add Nestle Carnation Breakfast Essentials to add flavor and additional calories.

    Chocolate Latte

    1/2 Cup - Nestle Nido
    2 Packets - Chocolate Nestle Carnation Breakfast Essentials
    2 Packets - Folgers Instant Coffee Singles
    16 Ounces - Water

    Calories 580
    Weight 4.5 ounces

    1) Combine dry ingredients in zip lock bag
    2) Mix with water and…