Day Fifteen: Alive Below Lava (ABL)

  Ote Below Lava Sitting in the front of the dory boat along with Jurgen the elder German, we silently drifted downstream towards the lip of Lava Falls. Beyond the lip all that I could see was leaping white froth that seemed to be waving us towards our doom like sailors to a siren. My hands were locked onto the gunnel railing and for a second, I looked at them fascinated by the how white and insignificant they looked. The boat started picking up speed as we edged over the lip and slip down the tongue towards the first wave that wickedly towered above us. The boat climbed half way up the wave before the weight of the German and myself combined drove it into the interior of the wave. The icy cold water took my breath away and the loud roar was abruptly dampened as I hung on and waited for the boat to punch out the backside of the wave. The water continued tossing me around like I was inside a washing machine but I continued to hang on for what seemed like an eternity. I was just about

Day Fifteen: Above Lava Falls

  Devil's Anvil Today was a beautiful day with lots of sun, by far the hottest day of the trip so far. I wondered what it was like on the outside of the canyon walls in that "other world," I once knew. Despite the long hike to Mooney Falls yesterday, I woke up early even by my standards and couldn't fall back asleep. I "inch wormed" my way over to a nearby rock in my sleeping bag and watched the sky transform itself into all shades of red, pink and yellow. I would have taken a picture if I could have reached my camera from the comfort of my sleeping bag but I couldn't and so I didn't. Eventually the cooks awoke and began rustling down in the kitchen area so I packed up my gear and moseyed on down to talk with them as a breakfast of cherry French toast with strawberry yogurt was prepared. Perhaps it was the campsite, the air, or the knowledge of what was in store for the day but everyone seemed to get an early start today, even the wandering couple

Day Fourteen: Mooney Falls

  Mooney Falls I had wanted to wake up during the peak of the full moon but unfortunately slept through it. Apparently a full moon makes a lot of light but not much noise. I was feeling a little slow so when I did open my eyes to light of the star persuasion, I leisurely packed up my gear and headed down to the beach for the loading of the boats and thus giving my status as one of the first ones ready to others this morning. After a breakfast of toasted bagels, eggs, and potatoes, we loaded up and pushed off. We paddled about five miles to Havasu Canyon where we were dropped off for the day. The stream was a brilliant crystal blue and held many fine swimming holes and waterfalls. The whole valley was lush with grapevines and none of the crew that I asked knew why that was, other than they were in all the old pictures they had seen from the 1800's. Though there were usually three or four options with every hike, today there were only two options. Option A was to hike to Mooney Fal

The Garden, Geese and Lilacs

While my wife was attending the funeral, I made a trip down to the garden to mow the grassy perimeter and to do a couple little chores. One was to pick the asparagus but as you can see above, the heat of the last week caused it to bolt bringing it to an end shortly after the season started. This next week is supposed to be cooler normal temperatures so perhaps there will still be a bit more but the weeds will make them hard to find. There were two varieties of pole beans already up. I wasn't sure about putting in the fence immediately after planting in case we were exactly on top of the row of seeds but it looks like we missed. Even if it was right on top, I thought the plants would still push up around the side of the bottom wire anyway.  Our peas are up though this hot weather isn't doing them any favors. Probably next weekend we will mulch them to preserve moisture and control weeds a bit better. Not a very good picture but my lilacs are finally starting to look like lilacs.

Volunteers Needed

 It all started when my wife came home from work one evening saying there was a clicking noise in her vehicle. I hopped in and backed up maybe ten feet out of the garage and knew what was making the noise. I knew this because I noticed that air pressure indicator was illuminated on the dash and the clicking occurred once every revolution of the tire. I quickly confirmed there was a screw head protruding from her tire and can't believe she drove all the way home on it. But fortunately, the sidewalls were pretty stiff and her vehicle is light and so nothing was damaged.  The next day I dropped off the vehicle to get the tire fixed new tires put on all the way around since those tires were near the end of their life expectancy anyway. While that was happening, I walked across the street to a little coffee shot intending to read my book there for awhile until the work was completed. Instead I ran into a neighbor (and friend) who was meeting up there with someone else for breakfast bef