Showing posts from April, 2022

Day Eight: ABC - Alive Below Crystal

  Ote & Bob In Crystal Rapids Crystal Rapid is a fairly new one as far as the Grand Canyon goes. In Powell's days, it wasn't even noteworthy among Inner Gorge rapids. Then in 1969, a flood of Crystal Creek dislodged boulders out of the side canyon into the main channel and creating a demon of a rapid. Another flood in 1983 swept some huge boulders from the top of the rapid down which created a severe challenge to boats especially in lower water conditions that we found upon reaching Crystal in our dories. No one in their right mind would now purposely go through the top center of THE HOLE in the right middle of the rapid and you couldn't go left of THE HOLE if you wanted to avoid the massive rock garden below that would be guaranteed to smash you and your boat to pieces. The only option was to avoid THE HOLE on the right, which was easy in high water but extremely difficult in low water due to a rock shelf upstream of the hole that projected halfway out into the river.

Explanation of Blogger Commenting Problem

  I saw the above on an old comment about the same problem occurring back in 2019. It explains why the option “cross site tracking had to be turned on in your browser for embedded comments. For those still having problems, perhaps a search on “third party cookies” and your browser may get things working again.

Strawberry Fields Forever... Eventually

  My wife's father always grew strawberries and they lived in the strawberry capital of the Philippines so I suppose it shouldn't surprise anyone. When my wife and I decided to undertake the farm garden venture, one of her dreams was to eventually start a strawberry bed. So last year, I made two raised beds over on berry hill and she planted them with strawberries. But my wife is a tightwad and bought the cheapest, roughest looking strawberry plants she could find at the time, which back then had been picked through for weeks, and planted them. Less than a handful of them even survived until summer.  So this season she wanted to try again but in one of the main gardens. This time she went earlier and bought better quality strawberry starts, still complaining about the price, and then they have sat on our deck, in the greenhouse, or inside the main house ever since. This is because of cold, wet, and way below freezing temperatures we have had over the first several weeks of Apri

Day Eight: Big Water Ahead

Lee Hall In Hermit Rapids It was dawning up to a beautiful day but my stomach was full of butterflies when I awoke with the realization that today we would hit our first seriously big rapids. I kept Heidi company while she cooked breakfast alternating between conversation and reading Edward Abbey's "The Hidden Canyon" that is about his trip down the Colorado in a wooden dory boat. Now that I was rereading it after having visited some of the very same places and camped on the same spots, it made it all the more special. Breakfast was melon slices, eggs, bacon and English muffins. We packed up camp and shoved off into the unknown for Powell and for me many years later. Salt Creek Rapid had big waves and we all got wet and all too soon we were there at the head of Granite Rapid. We got out and scouted it but all I could see was a frothy white roar over a hundred yards that looked like it would just as soon split up our dory for toothpicks rather than allow us through. The cr

Solution For Blogs with Embedded Comments Part 2

Like so many, I have been having trouble commenting on any blog that has embedded comments turned on. The work around which I wrote about as someone with my embedded comments to turned on was to turn them off. This allows anyone to comment using their Google identity. But, it really shifts the burden of the problem to those with embedded comments used in their blog who might not realize that people are no longer commenting or may not notice the problem for one reason or another. Also, several people who have embedded comments on their blog weren't having problems going to other people's blogs with embedded comments and leaving comments. Something else was at play here and after a google search, I figured it out. Google or Apple apparently did an update to one of their apps and flipped a button that wasn't flipped before. If you go to Settings on your iPad and scroll down to either Safari or Chrome (I did this to both since I use Chrome) and look for an option that says &quo

A Garden Update Involving the A-word!

  Sorry Debby! Recently we headed down for what was supposed to be the first big planting at our farm garden but there had been a lot more rain down there recently and it was a muddy mess. I won't mention the cold 40 mph wind that was blowing either. My kids plants some more carrots in their garden and my wife planted some pea starts from our greenhouse. I worked on the tiller and repairing our deer net fence on the west side which had blown down yet again. This time I drove in several steel posts to support the plastic ones it comes with and I think it should hold up just fine now. I also harvested the first handful of our asparagus. There were dozens of shoots just poking up out of the ground so there should be quite a bit here shortly. Our three pear trees we planted late last summer look great and are blooming. The other three, two plumcots and one sour cherry, that we planted last spring are all dead as doornails. We still need to get them replaced as they had a warranty on th

A Fix For Commenting?

 I think I may have a fix to the commenting problem of late. I changed my template entirely but that didn't fix anything. I think I'm going to leave the new template as is though unless others like the old one a lot better.  Despite the new template, the comment still wouldn't let me make a comment on any blog with an embedded comment section. If I turn that feature off, it appears to fix things. So I'm going to leave the embedded comment section off and go back to my previous way of replying to everyone in one long comment for now until things get fixed and then perhaps return to the embedded comment. I like the latter because it seems more personalized and easier for someone returning to find an answer to their comment.

Day Seven: Emotional Scarring

As I walked down the path to Phantom Ranch, which is actually set up a side canyon a little ways from the river, I was mulling over the things I wanted to do. I wanted to get a bottle of sunscreen to protect my feet which had already been burnt badly the previous day when I ran out of the little I had brought (I would carry white strips where my sandal straps crossed my feet for almost a year before they matched the rest of my skin.) and send off a few postcards which were taken out of the canyon by mule train. But the well-worn paths smelling of donkey piss were distracting my thoughts and not helping the foul mood that I would be experiencing later. Phantom Ranch was originally a Native American trading site that was later used by prospectors of the river canyons. Theodore Roosevelt visited it while hunting and loved it so much that he worked to get it included in the national park system during his tenure in office. It has since been made into a resort of sorts that is mostly fully

Ethnicity Sideview

  To those of you familiar with Ancestry DNA, you will recognize the above as my ethnicity estimate. It has always intrigues me because a fair share of my ancestry is unknown to me. I have traced a fair amount of my family to England and Germany but most of my branches end in the early 1800's or late 1700's somewhere in the original 13 colonies. I have never traced someone back to Norway though some of that could be the Viking influence on England. I know of one person in my family tree that was born in Sweden though where or if others were, is unknown still. The biggest surprise to me is my 51% Scottish estimate as I have not been able to trace anyone to Scotland. I have one potential candidate who according to records immigrated to the U.S. from Canada and has a very Scottish last name but that is it and certainly nowhere near half of my DNA's worth. So where my Scottish roots come from has been a mystery... but is much closer to being solved thanks to Ancestry DNA new Si

Day Seven

  Dory On the Colorado The sky was clear when I got down to the beach except for a few clouds off above the north rim. It was a chilly night even in my sleeping bag with no tent and I had to put on another layer during the night. The sun just started peeking over the rim and taking the chill out of the air when a breakfast of melon slices and good old-fashioned oatmeal was served. Today was a big day as we were stopping at the first spot of civilization since we began the trip seven days ago, Phantom Ranch. We were dropping off Mike, Betsy and John and picking up four more passengers so we packed sack lunches so that we could do our own thing there. We pushed off and soon ran Unkar Creek Rapids that had a monster hole along the rock wall that we fortunately avoided. At Hance Rapids, we got out and scouted it first but had a clean run. The next rapid was Sockdolager Rapids and had huge waves. I decided to take a series of shots as we boated the rapids using my waterproof camera and suc

Day Six

  Confluence of the Rivers The clouds of yesterday's late afternoon shower cleared out during the night and it dawned a beautiful day. However, it was a bit chilly when I woke up and for the first time since the start of the trip, I had to put on my jacket before packing up and walking down to the kitchen. Cooks Mary and Heidi were already heating up water so by the time I arrived, a steaming mug of hot cocoa was waiting for me. Life just doesn't get any better. Unless perhaps you have a few slices of perfectly ripened melons to munch on before a breakfast of French toast and sausage, which I did. We struck camp and I rode in Elaina's boat for the day. We made good time even stopping once to scout out the massive Kwagunt Rapids before pulling in at the junction of the Colorado River with the Little Colorado River. The Colorado River is a beautiful emerald green in color and the Little Colorado laden with potassium carbonate is an extremely brilliant blue. Where they joined

Day Five

Another spectacular night here at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. I know I have written that several times already in my journals but I haven't lied yet. I woke up once during the night because the clouds of yesterday evening had cleared off and the moon felt like a spotlight shining down on me. I would have been annoyed but the stars were just so beautifully bright unlike any that I have seen before. It was only with willpower that I closed my eyes and went back to sleep. In the gray of false dawn, I packed up and went down to the kitchen area where Mary was beginning to heat up some water. A loud shriek startled me and seemed very loud down in the close confines of the canyon. A mouse had found its way into one of the kitchen buckets last night and drowned. I helped out by sending the mouse to his final resting place in the river gently floating downstream. For breakfast we had eggs with a chili sauce and bacon. As breakfast was winding down, Bronco cornered me away from the g

Day Four

  Saddle Canyon It is an amazing thing to lay awake stargazing and counting shooting stars after so many years of living away from the farm in big cities. You take those things for granted until nights like the last one when the shear beauty of it almost reduced me to tears. It was only with effort that I finally closed my eyes to sleep. Once I set my mind to it, sleep comes easily. My beds so far this trip have consisted of powdery white sand that lets you sink 3 or 4 inches when walking across it. I usually lay out my ground cloth to prevent the sand from infiltrating everything completely and then spread my sleeping bag on top of it. It has been warm enough that I have been starting off the night on top of it and only end up inside it sometime during the early morning hours. Sand always finds its way inside no matter how careful I am but with nylon, it is fairly easy to shake the large majority out again in the morning. One of the observations I have seen on this trip that I wasn

Day Three

  Dories Ready for Loading The sky began to soften up the starlit night and soon, the canyon wrens were serenading me with their songs. Life just couldn't get any better. I took my gear down to the beach and enjoyed the morning. After a while Jim, a retired mechanical engineer for Lockheed, came down and as the only other mechanical (or otherwise) engineer on the trip, I guess I could appreciate the many stories Jim told. I would have listened all day but pancakes, sausage and fresh fruit for breakfast interrupted us. We set off down the river at an easy pace but didn't go far before stopping at Buck Farm Canyon. There we hiked up to the Hermit layer, a harder layer less prone to erosion forces, and where people like myself hiking in the side canyons always seem to get rim rocked. There in a shady bowl of rock, we lounged around before heading back to the river for a lunch of sandwiches and last night's leftovers. On the way back I saw scat from either a bobcat or a coy