Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Whazoos' Trip The Maze Fantastic: Part Two

When last we saw the notorious Whazoo Gang they were making their get-away with the loot and high tailing it for Whazoo's secret hide-out. A place so deadly and hard to reach that even the posse wouldn't dare the Dollhouse.

What an opening for a dime novel, manly yet with a feminine touch. Well, not that the Whazoo Gang would be described as manly, and I surely don't see Butch Cassidy heading for the Dollhouse, his place was just up the way at "The Hole In The Rock". But the Whazoo, he likes the Dollhouse and gives this place a 5 star rating.

When we left off with the attack of the killer tumbleweeds,

Whazoo had to walk ahead through the Dollhouse in near dark to scout ahead for a place to camp, whistling as he went, and wondering why this very creepy place was called the Dollhouse.

Going to sleep with the sound of snow blowing against the soft wall we had no idea what we'd wake up to. My hope was a snow covered Dollhouse. Can I say I was disappointed?

The Dolls must have gone to town for a concert, I heard the GooGoo Dolls were playing at a saloon nearby, and we have a hike to make so back through those tumbleweeds we drove. I stopped for a minute to smoke a few, with my tailpipe I mean, wishing these invasive plants would fry instead of taking over the west. Even though they are a western icon, they are the Russian Thistle from...Hawaii. (Just checking to see if you're reading or only looking at pictures) They have become so invasive as to be taking over the west. link

The hike was to start here, between these two rocks, 50 miles east Jesus from nowhere,

which made me feel like the Pied Piper leading the kids through the secret gate before it closed leaving the one little kid behind. Will the opening still be there when we return?

However, between this picture and the next an awful thing happened to the Whazoo, his DSLR camera stopped working...just like that. How do you spell devastation, heartbreak and disbelief? Why have the gods done this to me, do they think it's funny? I've heard that WhaZeus has a sense of humor towards humans, but this was inhuman to me, and the Dollhouse will long remember my cries. Unmentionable cries, like "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot Man!"

Mrs. Whazoo told me not to worry, she had her camera and pulled it out post haste. Alas, the battery was dead...just like that. We had charged it just the day before. More cries but this time along the lines of whimpers, I was beaten down. Had the posse been there right then I would have given up without a fight.

A mile hike back to the camper to retrieve my 5 year old Canon did little to sooth the anger at all things electronic. Are we any different you and I? So pictures for the duration of the trip are from an old stand-by, and I prayed it would hold up till the end.

Heading out for a 10 mile hike at noon left no room for a casual walk, with pictures being taken at a run. Still, it was beautiful and a sight to behold for both eye and aperture.

Many of these pictures were taken in the raw...mode I mean. I'm not sure which I prefer, jpeg or raw, yet I was pleased with some of them.

Huge clusters of cryptobiotic soil are found here, as I heard Tiny Tim singing his signature song, "Tiptoe Through The Crypto".

Passing Beehive Window Rock at a gallup, I pulled up for a quick click of the camera.

So the gods have given us the good and the bad, hopefully not the ugly. Although it was the best spaghetti western ever made.

Looking at this picture you can see the water under the rock, where the tree above had sent it's tap root down to find the more reliable source. I sometimes wonder if plants have some kind of intelligence and marvel at the ways of nature as we used the root to climb the cliff.

Evidence of the passing storm were found in the many potholes. When backpacking the west I have pumped water from many potholes just like this, watching the very small creatures that sometimes come to life in them. "Sorry guys, you'll just have to wait for the next storm that passes through."

Having finally made it to our destination Mrs. Whazoo prepares for her jump, just like Butch Cassidy and Sundance, to get away from the posse. Or is she telling me to go jump?
Below is Cataract Canyon and the Colorado River.

The Green River takes a bend just before it enters the Colorado, having come from Wyoming by way of Utah.

Here the Green River gives up it's name and water to the Colorado River. We were canoeing the headwaters of the Green just last summer and have now seen the River from head to toe, sort of. Now we need to go back to see the mid-section, would that be the stomach?shameless tooting of own horn link As you can see, the Green is indeed green when compared to the muddy brown of the Colorado. Just above the confluence the Colorado was once called the Grand River and the Colorado officially began here with the Green. It was an act of Congress that made it the Colorado all the way back to...Colorado!

Hiking back to camp there are more potholes to see.

And more beautiful vistas...

Is this the way Mrs. Whazoo, or are you just kicking rocks on me for fun??

The huge expanses of crypto are incredible. With crypto being a "living soil" I wonder, do we cause earth quakes as we walk by making the crypto cry, "Whiskey Tango Foxtrot man?"

With light fading from every room, (Moody Blues), the late sun gives the multi-colored rocks yet another look to them. And I do have to say, it looks like a Killer Clown from Outer Space has wrapped a blindfold around a poor guys eyes. Or was it too many smokin tumbleweeds?

Beehive Window Rock, again.

Mrs. Whazoo walks by the Chinese Warrior. (don't you think it looks like one?)

More sweet vistas. Did the cowboys appreciate these views as we do, with our splendid campers to stay in?

It looks like the Dolls are getting home after the concert.

Getting back to the camper it was dark and we needed to 4wheel over to Dollhouse camp #3, about a quarter mile from the actual Dollhouse itself. The temps were dropping but not our spirits. I grilled burgers under the clearest of night skies, the stars just about dropping on my head. It was around freezing but the warmth of feeling enough to make a Whazoo giddy...up.

With the truck not running much in a few days I decided to run the Honda generator for awhile to recharge batteries and watch a movie. After an hour and a half of running perfectly it quit...just like that. Of course I checked the gas cap to make sure it was in the open position, checked fuel and oil level, everything a guy can do in the dark and cold. Nada, nothing. The gods again? For a week after returning home it would not start. And just before taking it to a shop for repair, it started like nothing was ever wrong. I now believe the Dollhouse to be another Bermuda Triangle with the vortex disrupting the harmonic convergence of electrical appliances and gadgets. That's my story anyway.

Morning came with more views. And I wondered, where did the storm go?

Leaving the Dollhouse there was more 4 wheeling to do, this time I can see where we're going.

Be prepared, more off road shots to come. Call the Sheriff quick.

Making it to the next camp at Chimney Rock we were flummoxed by the sign. Lucky for us we know Gordon and Angela White of TCM fame and figured we were good to use their special camp spot, being partners in crime and all. I hope the Whazoo and White Gangs meet up again some day for a confab and a good ol conniption fit. By the way, do you know where your TCM hat is? I have 3 and wear them religiously when TC'ing. Or can't you tell by the sweat band?

Chimney Rock, no fires allowed.

What a great place to stand while taking a peak.

Inside the Whazoos' camper, no big deal. Just a lot of living in a 6.5 foot bed of a truck. Comes with a view, or a hundred.

It was time to take another, yes another hike. This will make 3 hikes 3 days in a row, almost 30 miles total. We are in training mode for another hike in 2 weeks. The mother of all hikes that one will be, Nankoweap in the Grand Canyon. So I tried not to complain about having no time to sit and relax, I had to lose some weight and build those quad muscles. We were going down into the Maze and could see the Chocolate Drops from the beginning of our hike, before we dropped into the confusing mass of canyons that would leave any posse scratching their heads as they said. "Which way did he go George?" Somehow we will end up just below those Drops unless we get lost. It is a Maze, after all.

Looking down we had a little bit of a drop to make.

A testament to how cold it was, ice that didn't thaw out all day making it my favorite temperature for hiking.

Ta Da...

Yes Mrs. Whazoo, you're about half way down. And of course everything that goes down must come up.

Hiking in the bottom of the Maze is great fun, unless you lose count of the canyons coming in from the left, or was it the right. Then you're lost with only limited water and boot leather.

A peek-a-boo view of the Chocolate Drops from below. Were we next to them just a few days ago?

Coming upon a small pool of water I pulled out my Photoshop Pocket Fisherman to give it a try. Now I know the odds of catching anything are against me, but Dr, Seuss says otherwise in my favorite "McElligots Pool". It has a life lesson that is timeless, plus it was his best book. You know, this little pond just might connect to the sea after all. Thanks Mom and Dad!

Funny thing, I always told Mrs. Whazoo we were joined at the hip, this picture proves it.

After trudging through miles of sand we found the "Harvest Scene" panel of pictographs. Painted by what are called the "Archaic People" the images are between 2 and 4 thousand years old. It's funny, I thought I was archaic, still thinking that thongs are something you wear on your feet and all.

Much older than the Anaszi, it has been determined on this trip that they did indeed live on Entamann's Donuts. (see part 1) They were also good at painting detailed pictures of things we can only guess at today.

I call this the "old man standing" panel.

After a few moments of reflection we start back.

More slogging through sand has Mrs. Whazoo a bit dejected. I used my usual comment to boost her spirits, "Just 10 more minutes Dear"' hoping it would work. Can I tell you that it didn't?

We just have to climb a little bit to the top.

"Look Dear, I found a short cut!" Boy those Vibram soles really grab the rocks.

Higher ground is in our sights.

And yes Mrs. Whazoo, now we're almost back to the camper. Those darn Chocolate Drops can be seen again, in the distance.

The hiking is over, the trip almost. I'm always a bit depressed to head for the barn but we still have some driving to do.

Of course after just a few minutes someone in the back seat had to stop for a potty break...

I had been disappointed at the lack of snow from the storm, yet thankful at the same time as it would have made the passing of these rocks more difficult. Or we would have had to stay longer in the Maze.

I was also thankful to not be any longer on many sections of the trail.

And to not sit any lower with the few scrapes we did incur.

"Hi, I'm your ol President Bush. Yes, the one that has been vilified as looking for WMDs in Iraq. The media got the last initial wrong howerer, as I was looking for WMIs instead. Yes, "Weapons of Math Instruction" and it's insidious cult al-Gebra (sic) who use IEDs, "Improvised Educational Devices", to blow the minds of substitute teachers world wide. A program started by Bill Clinton called "World Piece Through Mathematics" might have worked had he not been caught going over figures in the Oval Office. So it came to me to start the ball rolling. It looks like I'm getting off on a tangent so I'll just sine off now, President Bush."

This lil critter played peak -a-moo with us for a few minutes. I always wonder what thoughts they must have while looking at us, maybe they know me as the Whazooooo.

Meanwhile the babysitter looks moooody. Maybe madcow is at work here.

The posse did finally catch us, but let us off with a promise to steer clear of the Maze for awhile, and to eat chicken. (Did you get that one, steer clear? Of course you did.)

Almost back to the highway, I wondered if there would be new noises from the truck, will it rattle and shake? Thankfully I can say all was good.

Back at the upper end of Lake Powell to fill up with diesel, I can say we were at the Hite of truck camper 4 wheeling.

Thanks for reading,
Dave Rogers

PS. So now you know, when traveling to the Dollhouse be sure to take a tin foil hat with, to ward off the anti-electronic forces at work there. All things went well except the camera and generator, the camera still does not work. The new Torklift Fastguns are perfect for what we do, service from them and Tweety's was the best as I dealt with both a few times, and no one asked me to run in sand with an 80 pound backpack loaded with who knows what, dried tumbleweeds? Finally, I have no broken sway bar linkages to deal with, having had some made that pivot with the front control arms. I hope spring is close for the winter snow bounders and that we see more of others trip reports soon, I need a break. Happy Trails everyone...

Originally posted on 3/25/11