Big Bend Chat

Random Bits from the Outside World => Non-BIBE Trip Reports => Topic started by: mbender on October 23, 2018, 06:56:18 PM

Title: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 23, 2018, 06:56:18 PM
Introduction

The longest trip report ever! Not in terms of words, but in days.

This report began on a hot summer day in late August of 2014, and ended on a perfect spring day in April of 2018.

I've never regaled this adventure to anyone, or posted it to any site. I wrote the 2014 section soon after I returned from the 2014 trip while the adventure was still fresh in my memory. This year's trip closed it out. I was not sure where to post it, since it's not specific to Big Bend; but of all the sites that I frequent, BBChat seems to be the most familial. This is a personal tale, and would prefer only like-minded persons be a part of it.
Title: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 23, 2018, 06:58:09 PM

Vegas Part I: Muddy. Water.

"There are two easy ways to die in the desert: thirst and drowning."

Chapter 1. Drink The Water

My first ever trip to Vegas, four days to explore the only good thing about Sin City... the numerous mountains, trails, and canyons that surround the Valley in the Mojave Desert. With the attitude that 'What happens in Vegas, must return from Vegas', I researched and prioritized numerous hiking adventures. I was solo for the first four days in Vegas, after which I met up with a hiking group for three days and nights of hiking and swimming among the blue-green waterfalls on the Havasupai Indian Reservation.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1927/44480911975_f88d2b7829_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2aLCirr)Vegas_skyline (https://flic.kr/p/2aLCirr) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

August 30, 2014: Muddy Peak.

Muddy Peak in the Muddy Mountains Wilderness is about 60 miles northeast of the City in the general vicinity of Valley of Fire. It is a class 3 peak accessed via a 12 mile long remote and very rugged high-clearance-required dirt road. The peak requires a 4.8 mile hike from the trailhead across Hidden Valley, up a rock strewn gully, and then a loose scamper to a half-mile long ridge the leads to base of the head. Then the fun part: A 300 feet class 3 gully to the summit.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1971/45344278422_d3a4308051_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2c5VhcQ)Muddy Wild-erness (https://flic.kr/p/2c5VhcQ) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

I was up at 4 a.m. and on the road by 5. I didn't think it would be so difficult to find breakfast in Sin City at 5 a.m. McDonald's FTW. I rented a Jeep for the week because I knew I'd be needing four wheel drive to make it to some of the trailheads.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1930/43578292880_9564d51cab_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29oS9ef)Jeep (https://flic.kr/p/29oS9ef) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Muddy was no exception as the rocky road to the trailhead was rugged to say the least. It took about an hour on the dirt road to get to the trailhead by 7:00; geared up with 1.8 gallons of water and headed out at 8:00 a.m. over a 300 foot pass and into Hidden Valley. It's about four miles across Hidden Valley, then up a rocky gully to get to the saddle to the West of Muddy Peak.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1937/43578292720_0bf32af4cf_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29oS9bu)High pt on left (https://flic.kr/p/29oS9bu) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

There are numerous colorful, red-orange sandstone outcrops throughout the valley. I spent a significant amount of time exploring them...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1909/30455302997_026c7077e5_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NpeowZ)Red rocks (https://flic.kr/p/NpeowZ) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

I arrived at the saddle by about 10:30, where I left my backpack and donned a waist belt containing a camera and a single 20 oz bottle of water, then headed for the summit.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1936/45344278612_037ab1199c_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2c5Vhg7)Hidden Valley (https://flic.kr/p/2c5Vhg7) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

"Proper Planning and Preparation will eliminate most risk of a visit to the desert."

Running the ridge to the peak was a rugged, yet fun scramble. Coming over a high point on the ridge, a fantastic view of Muddy Peak.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1918/45344277242_b148c868a4_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2c5VgRu)Ridge (https://flic.kr/p/2c5VgRu) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

But, at this point was where disappointment set in, as I realize that I had vastly underestimated the distance and difficulty of getting to the summit from the saddle. Not even close. My bottle of water was already half empty, and I still had a ways to go. I should have turned back now, but I wanted to get to the base of the final ascent to identify the way up. Then I would know exactly where to go and what to expect for the day I would return to complete this summit.

At the base of Muddy Peak, I could see the path up...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1920/45344278482_d3a4308051_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2c5VhdS)So close... (https://flic.kr/p/2c5VhdS) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

I had but a few ounces of water remaining, and more than a half mile of rocky, rugged ridge to get back to the saddle and my backpack.

4 3/4 miles to go.
I headed back along the ridge.
I wasn't even halfway back to the saddle when I took the last sip of water from the bottle. I then felt muscle pain in my groin area, which has never happened before. I figured I had strained it somewhere along the ridge and tried rubbing and stretching it out, but that didn't help one bit. I realized later that these were muscle cramps due to dehydration. I limped across the remaining ridge back to my backpack at the saddle by about 2:00 pm, where I ate some food and re-hydrated.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1931/44480912995_be4393d16f_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2aLCiK2)Ridge view (https://flic.kr/p/2aLCiK2) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

"The desert is a harsh place any time of the year, but particularly from April through September."

In the days leading up to this trip, to forecast highs were in the low 90's. Sure that's hot, but since I'd been training in weather hotter than this I wasn't too worried about a 10 mile scramble, much of it at the cooler temperatures at high elevation. But in my stubbornness, I chose to ignore the more recent forecasts leading up to this day, which were now calling for near 100-degree temps at the lower elevations. Hidden Valley qualifies as a lower elevation, and at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, I'm in the heat of the day with an over four mile hike, back across the Valley, ending in a 300 foot climb up and over a pass to get to the Jeep.

Even though I am rested, refueled, and re-hydrated, I'm down to about a quart and a half of water remaining. I can see right now that making it over that final pass is gonna be a bitch.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1916/45344278382_a9f2d289e0_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2c5Vhc9)Back at saddle (https://flic.kr/p/2c5Vhc9) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

"In the desert, you want to ration your sweat, not your water."

4 miles to go.
Fully hydrated, I descended the saddle in the rock-filled gully to the valley floor, then plotted the most direct and efficient path to get to the other side of the valley in the hot sun. The valley floor is fairly level with small rocks and lots of grass. Easy to hike across. Off I went across the valley.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1966/45344278032_d446ea779d_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2c5Vh67)Valley floor (https://flic.kr/p/2c5Vh67) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

2 1/2 miles to go.
I sucked the last bit of water from my reservoir. It's hot, it's dry, it's sunny, it's getting real.

2 miles to go.
It all happened so fast. I'd trained in the heat all summer; I'd hiked in similar hot, dry conditions before; but never before had I had the moisture sucked out of my body so rapidly. Prior experience told me how much water to bring, plus a little extra for the conditions. But it's long gone now. The lips are the first thing to dry out, then the dryness progresses through the mouth, all the way back to the throat. The tongue starts to stick to the roof of the mouth; the throat gets stuck closed whenever I try to swallow. The effects of dehydration place an additional load on the body, causing the respiratory and heart rates climb and keep climbing. Then comes the muscle cramps. First the calves, then the quads, hamstrings, butt, back - every step hurts. Stopping to rest and catch my breath brought on dizziness and nausea, so I'd have to get moving again. It's a vicious cycle.

1 mile to go.
I tried desperately to suck out even the tiniest drop of water out of my empty reservoir. I continued to hike until winded, then rested until dizzy.

1/2 mile to go.
I finally made it to the start of the final push to get up and over the pass and out of the valley. At any other time, not a particularly imposing hill, but by now was the hardest climb that I had ever had to make. It's 'only' a half mile to the Jeep, but my heart was pounding, my muscles were cramped, I could not catch my breath. . . . . .

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1944/44480912245_24ed03b106_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2aLCiw6)Final climb (https://flic.kr/p/2aLCiw6) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 23, 2018, 08:07:49 PM
Beautiful report in every way. Iím on pins and needles, waiting for the rest.


Sent from my iPhone using Big Bend Chat (http://r.tapatalk.com/byo?rid=88143)
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: RichardM on October 23, 2018, 10:30:53 PM
Beautiful report in every way. Iím on pins and needles, waiting for the rest.
I sure hope he survives, otherwise we won't get any more pictures.
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: Homer Wilson on October 23, 2018, 10:40:23 PM
Crap the heat and dryness near Vegas can make big bend feel mild. I bet that last half mile has to feel like the longest hike ever
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: Jalco on October 23, 2018, 10:48:43 PM
I just had to go into the kitchen for a glass of water...
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 23, 2018, 11:18:12 PM
Beautiful report in every way. Iím on pins and needles, waiting for the rest.
I sure hope he survives, otherwise we won't get any more pictures.

 :icon_lol:  I'd be happy to take just ONE picture like those in my entire life.
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: Hang10er on October 24, 2018, 09:31:38 AM
We may have another trip report bordering on "that should be published" level.

I really like the quotes in red like "In the desert, you want to ration your sweat, not your water."
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 24, 2018, 06:46:03 PM
Crap the heat and dryness near Vegas can make big bend feel mild. I bet that last half mile has to feel like the longest hike ever

Yeah I noticed that. But I never expected it, and still don't understand why it's so different.
Title: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 24, 2018, 07:03:10 PM

"The desert is a forbidding place, inhospitable to life in general and openly hostile to humans."

Up the hill.
I would hike for about 90 seconds, then stop for about 45 seconds to catch my breath. Not nearly enough time to catch my breath, but I couldn't stand still for too long because my cramped muscles would tighten, and then the nausea and dizziness would almost make me pass out. Passing out was not something that I really wanted to have happen. Hike, rest, hike, rest... I had to just keep my head down and not look up... just don't think about it and keep going... just... keep... going. Finally, I crested the hill, looked down at the Jeep and thought "Damn, it's still so far away!"

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1980/43578291960_68aeee1460_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29oS8Xo)All downhill (https://flic.kr/p/29oS8Xo) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

1/4 mile to go.
It's all downhill from here, but going downhill with tight and cramped leg muscles was going to be very painful.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1973/45395050351_cbaeff5041_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2capuVV)Trailhead (https://flic.kr/p/2capuVV) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

I made it back to the Jeep and the water and Gatorade within. And air conditioning. I couldn't unlock the doors fast enough. It's probably around 3:30 in the afternoon. After about an hour of drinking, resting, and stretching, I fired up the Jeep, and started to make my through the 12 miles of rough and rocky road.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1926/44480912815_f4e57446ff_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2aLCiFV)Road rocks (https://flic.kr/p/2aLCiFV) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr



Chapter 2. Dead Man's Road

12 miles to go.
I left the trailhead in the Jeep. After about three minutes, stopped the Jeep to get out and walk off the leg cramps. Oh damn that's painful. Got back in, take off, three minutes later... stop, get out, and stretch.

It's gonna be a long trek outa here... drove for three minutes, stop and painfully stretch for two minutes. Rinse and repeat. It was getting better though, I managed to increase the drive time to five, then ten minutes, then I reached a split in the road.

9 miles to go.
I remembered this fork in the road from the drive in. Driving in, I took the rough side of the split; but this time I took the smooth side because it had a nice gravel bed. Then I discovered why I took the rough split initially - as the trail merged, it went up over a big rock and up an incline. I drove up the incline, the tires spun, dug in, and high-centered the Jeep on the big rock. Stuck. No winch. No one else around for miles. No cell phone signal.

I dug out the gravel behind the tires and put rocks under the tires to get traction. I got the jack out to raise the Jeep so that I could put more rocks under the tires, but I couldn't get the Jeep high enough to get the skid plate off of that damn rock. Finally, I jacked the Jeep up just as high as I could get it, and simply drove it off of the jack. Repeated that four more times and was finally set free! It took almost two hours to get unstuck. I then backed back out down the gravel path and took the rough split of the road around. I was on the move again!

7 miles to go.
Whumpa whumpa clatter clatter clatter whump whumpa! The right front tire clipped a rock and blew out the sidewall. Well, the jack is already unpacked, so I get the spare tire... a donut! Seriously! Why does a Jeep come with a donut spare? They don't make em like they used to.

By now I was getting used to rolling around in the dirt. I pulled off the cheap, junk factory tire and put on the cheaper, junkier donut spare. I was now running on 3 1/2 tires but still had about eight more miles of rocky road to go. Very Slowly. I couldn't afford to lose another tire because I was not sure that I had enough water and energy to hike out of there. Whenever I came upon an obstacle in the trail, I would stop, get out, and scout out a path forward. Any tire-shredding obstacles were removed; I would pick a safe line through; then nervously drove through the scouted area. Over and over again.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1940/45344277902_7e38ba5845_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2c5Vh3S)Bitter Springs road (https://flic.kr/p/2c5Vh3S) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Painstakingly, I navigated my way out of the wilderness. Whew! Back to civilization! I drove into a truck stop that was just off the interstate. I stopped and got out of the Jeep... WTF is that hissing sound? My left front tire was now leaking.

I believe I ran over something pulling into the truck stop. I now had a donut spare on the right front tire, and had a hole in the left front tire. I bought some fix-a-flat from the truck stop and drove around the parking lot to try and seal the leak. Won't seal, hole too big. So I filled it up with air and headed on down highway I-15 to get back to the hotel in Vegas.

50 miles to go.
I drove for about 15 miles until I came upon a gas station. I stopped and aired up the tire.

35 miles to go.
I drove for about 20 miles until I came upon the next gas station. I stopped and aired up the tire, then drove on into Vegas.

1/4 mile to go.
I got caught in a sobriety checkpoint not a block from the hotel. I was somewhat concerned about getting through this, because by now I'm sure I looked pretty jacked up.

Back at the hotel at 10pm. 17 psi to spare (the tire pressure monitoring system was awesome). I ordered pizza, to be delivered. By midnight, I was finally able to pee, a full 14 hours after the last time I was able to perform such a feat.

To be continued. . . .
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 24, 2018, 09:59:42 PM

"The desert is a forbidding place, inhospitable to life in general and openly hostile to humans."


No kidding!  This report certainly proves the point.  This is one of the best reports ever, or worst, depending upon how you look at it.  At each juncture, I keep thinking it can't go any more wrong, and then........


1/4 mile to go.
I got caught in a sobriety checkpoint not a block from the hotel. I was somewhat concerned about getting through this, because by now I'm sure I looked pretty jacked up.


I laughed at this one for a solid minute.  Is it wrong to laugh so hard at another man's misery?


Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 24, 2018, 10:07:59 PM
Crap the heat and dryness near Vegas can make big bend feel mild. I bet that last half mile has to feel like the longest hike ever

Yeah I noticed that. But I never expected it, and still don't understand why it's so different.

I experienced that kind of conditions one summer when I was working in the SE Arizona canyons right along the Mexican border. Nothing nearly so painful or dangerous as what happened to you, but I can see how it could happen. Never encountered such intense dryness elsewhere.
Title: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 26, 2018, 01:21:41 PM

Chapter 3. That Which Does Not Kill You...

Following the somewhat stressful and moderately eventful day yesterday at Muddy, I had four days to regain my health before the long hike to Havasupai, which didn't feel nearly long enough...

August 31, 2014: The Historic Railroad Trail

I slept in.

After breakfast, I called a mobile tire repair guy to get the Jeep back on the road. He pronounced one tire DOA, but was able to resuscitate the leaker. Then I took the Jeep to the tire shop to get the ruined tire replaced, then to the car wash to get the Jeep cleaned up. Now to start my recovery.

I had a few hours remaining in the day to do something - not much, though, because just about every muscle in my body was at level 10 in terms of soreness. But I've always believed in exercise rather than rest as a process to return my body back to health, so I decided to do an easy hike on the Historic Railroad Trail...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1935/45518758082_ce299b2fe3_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkwVQ)Glory Hole (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkwVQ) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The Historic Railroad Trail is a trail that travels through five large tunnels that were a part of the railroad route that ran from Boulder City to the Hoover Dam...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1928/45518758112_baa5257e83_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkwWm)Subway (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkwWm) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

They were used to transport large equipment during the construction of the dam...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1950/43751650820_a29c3c2b4e_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29EbDvf)Tubin (https://flic.kr/p/29EbDvf) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The trail is only about a mile long, but provides nice views of Lake Mead...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1965/45518757982_255d96524a_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkwU7)Bathtub (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkwU7) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The group of mountains on the other side of the lake in the center of the photo above are the Muddy Wilderness, with Muddy Peak being the high-point.

I believe I did more stretching than hiking. It was a beautiful day, so I stayed by the lake until the sun went down...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1931/43751650930_032f0c9f03_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29EbDx9)Streaker (https://flic.kr/p/29EbDx9) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr



September 1, 2014: Valley of Fire

I had researched and created a large list of adventures around the Vegas area, from hard climbs to easy scenic hikes. This day I upped the activity just a bit with an easy, scenic hike in the Valley of Fire state park.

The Valley of Fire is a state park located 50 miles northeast of Vegas. The route to get to VoF takes you right by the turn-off to the Muddy Wilderness. VoF is a large park filled with red rock formations made from Aztec sandstone that look like they are on fire, giving the park its name.

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1937/43751661240_f9d2b2f3cf_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29EbGAU)Fire Road (https://flic.kr/p/29EbGAU) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1936/43751658780_04ec696f49_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29EbFSu)Fire Rock (https://flic.kr/p/29EbFSu) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

I pulled into the first place that looked interesting, found Arch Rock...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1962/45569175761_33f600f2f2_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqMWma)Fire Arch (https://flic.kr/p/2cqMWma) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Did a bit of easy climbing...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1930/43751656730_da8138fe91_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29EbFg9)Fire Valley (https://flic.kr/p/29EbFg9) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Drove up to the north end of the park to the colorful Fire Wave trail...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1928/45569175451_a1d7b37891_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqMWfP)Rainbow of Fire (https://flic.kr/p/2cqMWfP) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1969/45518759222_796440dff2_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkxgu)Fire Stripes (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkxgu) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The Fire Wave Trail is an easy but beautiful 1 1/4 mile hike through sandstone of all colors...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1907/45518759452_06123f7f2a_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkxks)Fire Streaks (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkxks) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1925/43751656980_dfafc3347a_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29EbFks)Cool Fire (https://flic.kr/p/29EbFks) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

At the very end of the road, the White Domes Trail...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1977/45569175541_80464b43da_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqMWhn)Sandy Passage (https://flic.kr/p/2cqMWhn) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Another short 1+ mile trail through a variety of terrain, including the remains of an old movie set...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1922/43751661800_f0e7d137a9_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29EbGLy)The White Dome? (https://flic.kr/p/29EbGLy) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The trail is well cairned, so you can't get lost...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1932/43751662080_06d164bf45_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29EbGRo)Shootin Ducks (https://flic.kr/p/29EbGRo) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr



September 2, 2014: Anniversary Narrows

Continuing to up the activity level, I headed out to explore the Anniversary Narrows. Anniversary Narrows is a narrow slot canyon on BLM land between the Lake Mead NRA and the Muddy Wilderness. The Narrows are about 500 feet long and a hundred or so feet deep. Some places are no more than five feet wide. Lovell Wash cuts through the Narrows, a wash that originates beneath Muddy Peak in the Muddy Mountains to the north. Perhaps some of my dignity that I left on the Muddy ridge three days prior has trickled down the Wash to these Narrows for me to gather up. It is named for the Anniversary Mine, from which Borax was extracted in the 1920's. Various mining ruins are scattered about the area...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1929/45518805472_01c62ebbc4_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkM1U)Tunnel In (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkM1U) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1905/45518805532_f6ff5d5e84_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkM2W)Tunnel Out (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkM2W) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Past the ruins, the Narrows...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1979/45518805712_110318de4c_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkM63)Narrow Walls (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkM63) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1953/43751737250_4ebca116a5_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29Ec6cq)Narrow Ceiling (https://flic.kr/p/29Ec6cq) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1939/45518805182_ee750c5275_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkLVU)Narrow Narrow (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkLVU) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1970/45518805032_1317b6ce70_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkLTj)Dry and Narrow (https://flic.kr/p/2cmkLTj) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1951/43751735440_0be7a2e1b4_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29Ec5Ed)Empty and Narrow (https://flic.kr/p/29Ec5Ed) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Fortunately, I was able to hike the Narrows before access to them closed off in 2015. Some dipshits don't seem to understand that driving down an old mining road in your low-rider can cause damage to you car. Said dipshit city-boys filed insurance claims against the landowner for damage to their POS's. The insurance company then wouldn't renew the landowner's insurance policy until access to the road was closed. Some people need to stay in the city and venture out only to Starbuck's.

Makes You Stronger. . . .
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 26, 2018, 02:18:02 PM
1. Your pictures are slaying me. But please keep up the torture.
2. Your picture captions are still the best ever. Every one a chuckle.
3. Shame about the Narrows closing. You know, I've been a dipshit all my life, full of stupid mistakes, but I've never sued anybody because of it. I just figure what doesn't kill me.......
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 26, 2018, 02:19:53 PM
One question about the Historic Railroad Trail (another great site you've clued me into that I would otherwise never have known about)....are those tunnels possibly cutting through a series of radiating volcanic dikes?
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 29, 2018, 06:23:30 PM
One question about the Historic Railroad Trail (another great site you've clued me into that I would otherwise never have known about)....are those tunnels possibly cutting through a series of radiating volcanic dikes?

I'm not really sure, but I believe they cut through ridges that were exposed during the natural process of erosion.
Title: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 29, 2018, 06:38:17 PM

Chapter 4: The People of the Blue-green Waters

After three days of easy hikes and fun exploration, the muscle soreness was mostly gone. I cleaned and laundered and repacked as I prepared to meet up with the group for three days and nights on the Havasupai Indian Reservation.

September 3-7, 2014: Hava-super-pai

Havasupai Falls, location on the Havasupai Indian Reservation in Havasu Canyon, is a series of waterfalls on Havasu creek, a tributary to the Colorado River. The presence of travertine gives the water of Havasu creek its blue-green color. Supai village, the capital of the reservation, is considered the most remote community in the lower 48, and is not accessible by road. Supai is accessed via an eight mile hike from the Hualapai Hilltop, then the Havasupai campground is another 1.5 miles beyond that.

I met up with the group in Vegas, and we loaded up and made the 3 to 4 hour drive to the Hualapai Hilltop. The Hilltop is where the hike to Supai begins, and sits 1000 feet above the canyon floor...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1930/44706382705_df8839b5ff_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2b7xU2P)Hilltop (https://flic.kr/p/2b7xU2P) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

We arrived after dark, and set up camp for the night...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1901/31747636058_881eda6ec1_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/QnqW8u)In-tents (https://flic.kr/p/QnqW8u) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Not everyone slept in a tent...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1974/44895394314_2ef563ac46_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2bpfCAE)Drink the Water (https://flic.kr/p/2bpfCAE) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Day 0. Before dawn, we were up and getting gear organized and packed for the eight mile hike to Supai. An early morning departure to beat the heat, we descended the steep switchbacks into the canyon...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1968/30678856207_d44953b1e9_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZa7F)The Big Valley (https://flic.kr/p/NJZa7F) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The mule train starts it's daily trek to the Hilltop, bringing supplies and baggage back to Supai. A persons bags can be mule'd or heli'd from the Hilltop to Supai so that only a daypack is needed for the hike in...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1954/45569299382_223d062b2a_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNz6y)M-Train (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNz6y) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

All along the trail, geological eye-candy..

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1931/30678854947_9ff002ffac_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9JX)This trail rocks (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9JX) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Entering Supai, Wigleeva, two stone pillars that are the guardians of the Havasupai...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1903/31747636478_a844d59229_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/QnqWfJ)Wigles (https://flic.kr/p/QnqWfJ) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Arrived in Supai just after noon. We checked in to the headquarters then went to the cafe for burgers and fries. Loaded up for the final push to the campgrounds. New Navajo Falls is the first waterfall encountered on the way to the campground...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1914/30678856337_6bb1365bdb_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZa9V)Brand spankin new (https://flic.kr/p/NJZa9V) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Not long after that, Fifty Foot Falls...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1940/45569298922_f7e7189dd4_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNyXC)The Big 5-0 (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNyXC) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Entering the campgrounds, the trail turns a corner and descends right next to the 90 ft Havasu Falls...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1923/45569298112_dd60d3d702_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNyHE)*Angellic Choir sound effect* (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNyHE) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

I picked out a camping spot, then prepared to unpack my gear mid-afternoon...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1964/45569296702_76711c6ee6_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNyim)Now that's a lot of gear (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNyim) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Hanger hung, right aside Havasu Creek...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1943/45569299842_7304689943_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNzeu)Hangin loose (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNzeu) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Once unpacked, the rest of the day was spent swimming and exploring around Havasu Falls...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1938/31747635688_4d3a1d8c8d_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/QnqW27)*Angellic Choir sound effect* (https://flic.kr/p/QnqW27) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1936/44706382085_8dfedf8961_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2b7xTR8)A pool beneath the falls (https://flic.kr/p/2b7xTR8) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1926/45569305642_6e56e59e9d_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNAXu)Peeking thru a hole (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNAXu) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Day 1. The group made a seven mile round-trip to Beaver Falls, with stop at the 200 ft Mooney Falls at the far end of the campgrounds...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1907/30678854267_5ae9a8c791_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9xe)*Angellic Choir sound effect* (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9xe) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

To reach the bottom of Mooney, youíll have to descend the chains, ladders, and bolts down a 200 ft tall travertine cliff...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1914/44895393724_8ae0aa3076_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2bpfCqu)Risky Bidness (https://flic.kr/p/2bpfCqu) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1905/44706382515_b99e830715_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2b7xTYx)Down the cliff (https://flic.kr/p/2b7xTYx) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The would be a fun climb without the chains and ladders, except for the mists generated by the waterfall, which make the lower 100 ft slippery and dangerous...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1928/30678854407_9d0dcb443c_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9zD)Mists of Mooney (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9zD) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The hike to Beaver Falls is rugged, but beautiful, with numerous small waterfalls all along the creek...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1939/30678855057_bb0ccc408a_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9LR)No beavers here (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9LR) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1926/45569300242_36e3a12fe4_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNzmo)Still no beavers (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNzmo) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Passing through fields of green inside the tall canyon walls...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1961/30678854487_7583efd999_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9B2)Grassy (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9B2) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Arriving at the Beaver Falls for swimming and picnicking...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1919/31747635948_881eda6ec1_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/QnqW6A)Is that a... nope, not a beaver (https://flic.kr/p/QnqW6A) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1974/30678854437_cd45673cb1_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9Aa)End-to-end (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9Aa) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1926/30678855127_5784a6db20_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9N4)Down the falls (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9N4) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1980/45569304772_11c3a2f63f_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNAGu)Cascade (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNAGu) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Day 2. The rest of the group did a hike to the Colorado River, which is the same hike as to Beaver Falls only a little further. I opted instead to explore around the campground from the top of Havasu Falls...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1973/30678854617_ccde342de2_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9Dg)Over the edge (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9Dg) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

And from the cliffs above the campgrounds...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1977/30678854837_f0cdd672cf_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9H4)Through the canyon (https://flic.kr/p/NJZ9H4) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Later that night, got some shots of this paradise under a full moon in a beautiful night sky...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1903/31747637648_b2de5ea6e5_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/QnqWAU)*Angellic Choir sound effect* (https://flic.kr/p/QnqWAU) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1911/44706382975_cfb63f39fa_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2b7xU7t)Moonlighted (https://flic.kr/p/2b7xU7t) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1932/45569295632_1c1ff34466_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNxYU)Moonshadowed (https://flic.kr/p/2cqNxYU) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1964/31747636288_85fcbe5842_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/QnqWcs)*Angellic Choir sound effect* (https://flic.kr/p/QnqWcs) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1929/30678856057_ee3e147ff9_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NJZa56)Stumped (https://flic.kr/p/NJZa56) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Day 3. Up before dawn to pack-up camp to make the arduous ten mile uphill trek back up the canyon to the Hilltop, first stopping in the village for breakfast. It's a long day after the hike, then the drive back to Vegas. One final night in Vegas, then a flight back home after a trip that began with a single cursed day; followed by eight blessed days.

I departed from Vegas with unfinished business. Since I was unable to find my dignity in the exploration of the Anniversary Narrows, it remains up there on the Muddy Ridge. Now I must return, and get back on that ridge to reclaim it. Here's mud in my eye.

To be continued. . . .
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: badknees on October 29, 2018, 07:29:33 PM
Did you use a Neutral-density filter for some of the daytime waterfall shots?

Like this one??

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1936/44706382085_8dfedf8961_z.jpg)

Nice collection!
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 29, 2018, 11:17:04 PM

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1936/44706382085_8dfedf8961_z.jpg)

Nice collection!

No kidding. I just showed them to my wife and she said, "Nat Geo quality!!!!!!"
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: rocketman on October 29, 2018, 11:51:22 PM
Those all deserve the Angelic Choir Sound Effect!

If you don't mind my asking, what does a Havasupai vacation cost? Did you use an outfitter? Sorry if that's probing, but you just rearranged my bucket list.
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 30, 2018, 06:06:19 PM
Did you use a Neutral-density filter for some of the daytime waterfall shots?

Like this one??

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1936/44706382085_8dfedf8961_z.jpg)

Nice collection!

Thanks!
Most of the daytime waterfall shots were done with a Panasonic micro-4/3's with a 7-14 mm (14-28 equiv) lens at *gasp* f22. All were shot on a tripod with about 1 sec of exposure. I was hiking down the creek with camera and tripod in hand, going from fall to fall. I must have 50 or 60 photos like this.

Other shots were likely done with my always-by-my-side camera: a Sony RX-100, which does have a built-in ND filter.

The Panny GX-7 with 7-14 lens was my all-time favorite camera/lens combo in terms of size and functionality. But I've since moved on the larger sensor cameras that are the same size as the Panny.
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 30, 2018, 06:20:06 PM
Those all deserve the Angelic Choir Sound Effect!

If you don't mind my asking, what does a Havasupai vacation cost? Did you use an outfitter? Sorry if that's probing, but you just rearranged my bucket list.

The price is really reasonable. I went with a Meetup group, and the cost was $160 per person. I think the group was considered an outfitter, and received two reservation blocks per year. But that ended for the group in 2016. I don't know why. I hear that most of the reservations are purchased by outfitters, and that is how most people get in, but probably at an inflated cost. Reservations for the year open in February, but it's tough to get through. I went in 2014 and again in 2016.
Title: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 30, 2018, 06:44:48 PM

Vegas Part II: Let's Get Muddy

February 2018. Three and one half years. I would never have believed that it would have taken this long to make the return to the Muddy Wilderness outside of Las Vegas, but it's not that simple. There were three things that were absolutely required before I could make the trip back:

   1. A more moderate time of the year,
   2. Acclimation to the arid Mojave desert,
   3. A vehicle to safely make it out to and back from the trailhead.

Looking back to the problems I encountered at Muddy in 2014, one thing in particular stands out: Acclimation. When I flew in to Vegas, I came from, and was acclimated to, the high humidities of Houston. I flew in to Vegas, then turned right around and headed straight into the desert the very next morning. The desert simply sucked the moisture out of my body like I never thought was possible. Now, the first item above is easy to control; the second item I've been practicing for 3 1/2 years; but the third item: that's what took 3 1/2 years.

Getting to and from the trailhead was not going to happen in a rental, which meant that I'd have to drive from Houston, which means I'd have to have a vehicle to get to Vegas and down the rocky road to the Muddy trailhead. Finally, my chariot is ready...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1761/43345367611_63b2d0e45d_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/293hkEk)Taco Supreme (https://flic.kr/p/293hkEk) by mark fisher (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The story behind, and buildup of, my chariot is documented here: http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/4x4/i'll-have-a-taco-no!-make-that-a-taco-supreme!/msg164324.

Now, my newly completed chariot needed a test run, and what better place for that than Big Bend? And I have the perfect testing location in mind: Elephant Tusk! Elephant Tusk and Muddy Peak have much in common... a long drive to the park, a long and rocky road to the trailhead, four miles of easy hiking one-way, loose scree, a rugged ridge, class 3/4 climbing... perfect! So in February of 2018 the test run to ET was made, and is documented here: http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/members-only-photos-and-reports/three-deserted-desert-peaks-with-a-deserted-desert-canyon-for-dessert/msg163376.

April is a great time to be in the Desert Southwest, so plans were drawn up, bookings made, and bags were packed. Time to Get Muddy.

Chapter 5: The Blue Side of the Mountain

April 2018. 1500 miles to go.
The perfect time of year, temperatures in the seventies. Acclimation is accomplished by driving and climbing across the desert Southwest all the way to Vegas, with stops in the Organ Mountains of New Mexico and the Superstition Mountains of Arizona along the way. The climb-a-day, drive-a-day approach is a great method to do strenuous outing with a day's rest in between to build strength and stamina.

April 15, 2018: South Rabbit Ear

Just east of Las Cruces, NM lie the Organ Mountains. A small but very rugged 9000 ft range that rises abruptly from the desert floor with 4000 ft of prominence over the Las Cruces and White Sands. They are named because the granite spires that form their peaks resemble a pipe organ. There are three rabbit ears: North, Middle, and South. South Rabbit Ear (SRE) is the non-technical of the trio, a class 3 scramble accessed from an old, rugged mining road...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1954/30698307727_55b2521bb6_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRnH)Rough drive, Beats hiking (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRnH) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

I drive in to Las Cruces the day before the planned climb, and head out to the trailhead on the old mining road to explore the Topp Hut...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1965/44914256104_b50167f3cd_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2bqVixW)Fixer... (https://flic.kr/p/2bqVixW) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1931/30698307077_c6a6fe51ff_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRbv)...Upper (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRbv) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

And further up the road, some discarded mining gear...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1905/43821183130_9fb8a0a539_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29Lk23b)Winch for my Taco (https://flic.kr/p/29Lk23b) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

And some equipment about the mine...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1942/43821183790_a79af30631_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29Lk2ey)Loading Zone (https://flic.kr/p/29Lk2ey) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1967/44914255254_de727f02fb_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2bqViih)Wonder what's inside (https://flic.kr/p/2bqViih) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1972/43821183450_834fc964db_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29Lk28G)Dunno wat this is (https://flic.kr/p/29Lk28G) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Some of the tunnels have collapsed and several layers of support beams can be seen...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1979/44914254784_eab3b50797_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2bqViab)You go in first (https://flic.kr/p/2bqViab) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The long pile of tailings...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1947/44914255674_22cc6cbc5d_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2bqViqw)Landing strip (https://flic.kr/p/2bqViqw) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The next morning, I drive out to Baylor Canyon road, then up the mining road to within about 2.5 miles and 2800 feet of elevation gain from SRE. Hike up the mining road, and once past the mine, I follow the trail that goes into Rabbit Ears Canyon...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1958/31766770968_63f3be13bf_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qp81gJ)Yeah, it's crooked (https://flic.kr/p/Qp81gJ) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Once in the canyon, the trail ended, and the boulder hopping begins...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1906/43821182600_769163e931_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29Lk1T3)Off trail where I belong (https://flic.kr/p/29Lk1T3) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The canyon curves to the right (south), and the Rabbit Ears come into view...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1918/30698309367_6c57539b0c_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRRZ)Appear closer than they are (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRRZ) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

I keep to the right of SRE, and attain the saddle between SRE and the Rabbit Ears Plateau...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1966/43821182050_4b11cb0b29_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29Lk1Hy)It seemed to be the way (https://flic.kr/p/29Lk1Hy) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1976/45588664782_c0179b6cf5_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2csvPKL)Back in the saddle (https://flic.kr/p/2csvPKL) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Big mistake. The traverse from the saddle to the gully that leads to the SRE summit is a bushwhacking nightmare. But I manage to get to the gully...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1914/30698308967_ec3f150ba9_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRK6)Ahh damn (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRK6) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Then scramble to the summit, and soak in the views...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1906/30698308827_426633359f_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRGF)Back on the rock (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRGF) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1959/30698308107_63427de8b6_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRug)The Summit (https://flic.kr/p/NLGRug) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1959/44914256674_170e696987_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2bqViHL)White Sands Test Facility (https://flic.kr/p/2bqViHL) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

On the descent, I stayed in the gully all the way to Rabbit Ears Canyon to avoid the bushwhacking. Easy Peasy...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1924/45639067541_57c679d8bc_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cwY9JR)Shoulda gone up this way (https://flic.kr/p/2cwY9JR) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Off to a good start: A strenuous half-day scramble to a rocky summit with outstanding views. Here's a video of the ascent and descent of the summit block...

https://youtu.be/wJvq07VoLVM

Still going. . . .
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: House Made of Dawn on October 30, 2018, 11:29:22 PM
Great, great, great story, Mbender. One of the very best ever. I love the Organs in all their rugged isolation. I used to climb there twenty years ago. You know who really knows them well? Backpacker56. He can tell you some stories.
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: Hang10er on October 31, 2018, 08:27:03 AM
These stories, sure, great story with EXCELLENT pictures but there's more.  Call me a newbie but the stories on this site are constantly teaching me about all these new wonderful places that are scattered throughout our great country.  I've been to Vegas more times than I can count and YES I've been outside the area.  I've day visited Valley of Fire and another area park who's name escapes me right now and wandered around the Lake Mead/Hoover Dam area.  I had no idea about all those other wonderful areas.  Never new such a thing as Supai existed. 

And not just this story.  In the last few years my appetite has been whetted by so many different areas, adventures and excursions.  Rocketman asked MBender a question and commented "you just rearranged my bucketlist"!  You think? I think I'm going to start using that to pay compliment to great stories.  I've not necessarily planned a trip yet, still trying to wander around BiBE as much as possible but MY bucket list has grown considerably.  The things I've read about and researched due to the stories and questions on this site; Civil War battle grounds, all those gorgeous Utah Canyons, the Native American sites of New Mexico, tucked away hiking spots in the Texas Hill Country.

Once again, thank you Casa Grande for creating this site.  Thanks to all you contributors who not only share a desire for adventure but take the rest of us along for the ride. 
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 31, 2018, 07:11:58 PM
Great, great, great story, Mbender. One of the very best ever. I love the Organs in all their rugged isolation. I used to climb there twenty years ago. You know who really knows them well? Backpacker56. He can tell you some stories.

Wholeheartedly agree. Las Cruces is a wonderful little town, and just a stone's throw from the Organs. "Rugged isolation" is an apt description of them, with emphasis on the "rugged". I need to stop by there more often.
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 31, 2018, 07:18:53 PM
These stories, sure, great story with EXCELLENT pictures but there's more.  Call me a newbie but the stories on this site are constantly teaching me about all these new wonderful places that are scattered throughout our great country.  I've been to Vegas more times than I can count and YES I've been outside the area.  I've day visited Valley of Fire and another area park who's name escapes me right now and wandered around the Lake Mead/Hoover Dam area.  I had no idea about all those other wonderful areas.  Never new such a thing as Supai existed. 

And not just this story.  In the last few years my appetite has been whetted by so many different areas, adventures and excursions.  Rocketman asked MBender a question and commented "you just rearranged my bucketlist"!  You think? I think I'm going to start using that to pay compliment to great stories.  I've not necessarily planned a trip yet, still trying to wander around BiBE as much as possible but MY bucket list has grown considerably.  The things I've read about and researched due to the stories and questions on this site; Civil War battle grounds, all those gorgeous Utah Canyons, the Native American sites of New Mexico, tucked away hiking spots in the Texas Hill Country.

Once again, thank you Casa Grande for creating this site.  Thanks to all you contributors who not only share a desire for adventure but take the rest of us along for the ride.

Beautifully stated. These comments encourage me to post more non-BIBE stuff.
Title: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on October 31, 2018, 07:46:44 PM
Chapter 6: Angels Carry Me

600 miles or more.
The day after South Rabbit Ear, a driving day as I work my way towards Vegas with a stop in Gold Canyon, Arizona and the Super-Duper-stitious Mountains. The drive takes about half the day, leaving time to prepare for a very special adventure...

April 17, 2018: Weavers Needle

While my primary purpose for this trip is to summit Muddy Peak and to reclaim my dignity trapped in the rugged crags of the Muddy Ridge, the premier climb of this trip is clearly Weavers Needle. I first saw the Needle one year prior when I was climbing in the Superstitions, and I've wanted to climb it ever since. While there the year before, I asked around and everybody said it was a technical climb, but I was stubbornly determined to free-climb it. The Needle garnered all my focus and research when preparing for this trip. I allocated two days in the Superstitions to bag this magnificent summit...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1914/30714077357_80697c74f5_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6F8T)*Oh My! sound effect* (https://flic.kr/p/NN6F8T) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

As described by Christopher Brennen (http://www.dankat.com/swhikes/weaver.htm):

"This rock-climbing adventure takes you to the top of the symbolic peak of the Superstition Wilderness, the awesome Weavers Needle. Situated in the middle of the Superstitions, Weavers Needle is a thousand foot high column of rock that rises majestically from the desert floor and dominates the land for thirty miles around. A weathered volcanic plug with a summit elevation of 4553ft, Weavers Needle is set in a desert landscape of cactus and mesquite bush, with towering Saguaro cacti particularly prominent."

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1961/31782963718_7869b9883e_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/QqxZP5)*No effen way! sound effect* (https://flic.kr/p/QqxZP5) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

There are two approaches to the Needle, both converging in the notch between the north and south columns...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1925/30714076007_e86b487a46_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6EJB)Tetons (https://flic.kr/p/NN6EJB) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

One approach comes in from the West, the other from the East. The eastern approach is the least technically difficult, but has a longer hike, and is the approach I will use. It is recommended that both approaches be done as a technical climb with proper protection, as some moves have been rated as high as 5.6. In all my research for this climb, in every report or video I found, the climbers used protection, primarily on descent. This was cause for concern, as I was planning on free climbing the whole thing, up and down.

The Big Day is here. I arrive at the Peralta Trailhead, gear up and head up the Bluff Springs Trail. The trail goes up and out of Peralta Canyon through a series of washes, and after about a mile, The Needle juts out impressively above a distant ridge...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1956/31782388728_4217fe7608_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv3Ts)*Oh shit! sound effect* (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv3Ts) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The Needle continues to intimidate as the trails winds through the wash...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1938/30714076317_5b0f444439_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6EPX)Come at me bro! (https://flic.kr/p/NN6EPX) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Eventually I leave the main trail and go up and over a low saddle, where the Needle is fully revealed...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1930/30714076427_bbd4bceae4_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6ERR)Ummmm.... Okayyyy... (https://flic.kr/p/NN6ERR) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The chute leading to the notch between the spires is visible, and frankly does not look climbable. The approach to the spire is a steep 700 feet of scree...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1928/30714076607_9bbc7e3c11_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6EUX)Scree-ming (https://flic.kr/p/NN6EUX) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

I made it to the boulder-filled, slick slope to the lower canyon that drains from the formidable chute...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1967/30714075127_429007a942_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6Etr)*Oh chute! sound effect* (https://flic.kr/p/NN6Etr) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

I reach the base of the chute, where the real climbing begins. From here it's about 250 feet from here to the notch, but the first 30 ft is the hardest. It is a steep and exposed ramp to the right of the chute. It is a composite rock with numerous hand and foot holds... or should I say toe and finger holds...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1944/30714077507_90de35c562_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6Fbt)Up is EZ (https://flic.kr/p/NN6Fbt) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

This has a significant pucker factor. I would call it class 5 because the holds are so small. I am definitely wearing my dancin shoes...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1952/31782390508_09edbea255_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv4q9)Rock dancin (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv4q9) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1937/31782390808_64e3f84e66_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv4vj)Use the one's that don't come out (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv4vj) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Hoo boy, I still have to go back down! Once above the composite rock, there is still about 10 ft of climbing requiring some awkward moves to reach the first shelf...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1902/31782388238_010928b504_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv3K1)There's a shelf up there (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv3K1) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1902/31782388238_010928b504_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv3K1)View from the shelf (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv3K1) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The rest of the way up the chute to the notch is steep, but class 3 climbing...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1940/30714078327_d91628afca_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6FqB)Chute 'em up (https://flic.kr/p/NN6FqB) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1914/30714078477_498c0d0b27_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6Ftc)Chute for the sky (https://flic.kr/p/NN6Ftc) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1956/31782391678_ed65e67139_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv4Lj)Looking back (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv4Lj) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Almost to the notch...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1931/30714078907_dd765670d6_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6FAB)Sure as chutin (https://flic.kr/p/NN6FAB) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Great view from the notch. Looking east from the notch...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1907/31782392028_5bcc7e8060_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv4Sm)The way I came up (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv4Sm) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

And west...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1952/43837607860_d6788d881e_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/29MMcxb)The other way up (https://flic.kr/p/29MMcxb) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

From the notch, about 350 feet to the summit. The second crux, is a 12 ft wall to get out of the notch. The hand and foot holds are great, but it is straight up vertical; and there is a rock overhang to the left requiring some moves to get around...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1958/30714075647_e9a0198c9b_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6ECp)Top Notch (https://flic.kr/p/NN6ECp) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1968/44930460244_bcfc151d88_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2bsmmtE)Against a wall (https://flic.kr/p/2bsmmtE) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Once out of the notch, it is a fun class 3 scramble for the next 300 feet...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1924/30714079517_38595cbb65_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6FM8)Yes, it really is fun (https://flic.kr/p/NN6FM8) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1933/31782392768_dffc1cd53c_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv567)Southern spire (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv567) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1934/30714079717_676d7ce48d_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6FQz)Bag the Crag! (https://flic.kr/p/NN6FQz) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

The final crux, about 100 ft from the summit, is a 50 ft vertical wall. The holds are terrific, but the wall is strrrrraight up, and the exposure is breathtaking. The verticality of the wall is unnerving...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1924/30714076777_a594604495_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6EXT)The Final Wall (https://flic.kr/p/NN6EXT) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1925/31782393018_1e48edcee5_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv5aq)Hangin out there (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv5aq) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

Then the final scamper to the top. Boom. The summit is mine, all to myself...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1963/30714079947_2081b00fa0_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6FUx)What goes up... (https://flic.kr/p/NN6FUx) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

A perfect day, a perfect climb, with a perfect view...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1935/45655030071_ed2125e210_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/2cynXQT)King of the hill! (https://flic.kr/p/2cynXQT) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1906/30714077177_610d8be0e7_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6F5M)Superstition Peak (https://flic.kr/p/NN6F5M) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1923/30714080777_b04ffbe118_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6G9R)View North (https://flic.kr/p/NN6G9R) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1971/30714081747_9a82b2bc35_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6Grz)View West (https://flic.kr/p/NN6Grz) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1953/31782394208_cfa13cc797_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv5vW)View East (https://flic.kr/p/Qqv5vW) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

There are several summit registers in a walled camping area...

(https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1957/30714077007_3b0f330ba3_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/NN6F2R)Sign-in at the summit (https://flic.kr/p/NN6F2R) by mbender (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mbf0110/), on Flickr

This is by far the most difficult and technical climb I've ever done. The jubilation of completing the ascent is tempered by the thoughts of what was to come: the descent. I've always been able to downclimb anything I could climb up. Easily. But then again I've never had to downclimb long walls so vertical. I read and signed the summit register, explored, had lunch, made selfies, napped... then I packed my stuff, put my game face on, and started back down. I didn't bother taking pics on the way down, but I did have a video camera mounted to my helmet, and the whole adventure can be seen here:

https://youtu.be/vF0QfgH_M9M

Almost there. . . .
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: Quatro on October 31, 2018, 09:30:36 PM
Yeah, the pucker factor looks significant.  Very appropriate soundtrack for the descent.  Don't show your mom the video.
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: rocketman on October 31, 2018, 09:58:33 PM
My stomach was in knots watching that descent. Congrats man, and respect. Lots of respect.
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: catz on November 01, 2018, 11:07:07 AM

Yeah, I could do that.   :P
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mule ears on November 01, 2018, 12:34:36 PM
Well done, that was some bold down climbing for sure but what goes up must come down somehow!   :eusa_clap:
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: Talusman on November 01, 2018, 02:39:44 PM
Dayum!!!!!!!

So impressed. Still on my Bucket list but the photos you captured of the falls were some of the very best I have ever seen.

And that climb up the needle. No words.

Well done sir! Very well done.
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on November 01, 2018, 06:45:58 PM
Thanks for the nice words, folks. Now, let's finish this...
Title: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on November 01, 2018, 06:46:47 PM

Chapter 7: Drink The Water

300 miles to go.
Having an extra gorgeous day in Arizona in the month of April is not a Bad Thing. I opt to spend a relaxing day exploring petroglyphs in the canyons near Gold Canyon. Then I pack up and saddle up for the drive to Las Vegas. I arrive in Vegas with plenty of time to drive out to the Muddy Wilderness to check out the road to the trailhead. Everything is in order, tomorrow I finally Get Muddy.

April 20, 2018: 4/20: High On Muddy

It's been a long time coming, and a long time to get here. Once again I allocate two days in the schedule to ensure that I can complete this climb. A weather system came through Vegas last night, and I was concerned about the high winds affecting my climb. But by the time I arrive at the trailhead: perfect day!

So let's review my requirements for this adventure:

   1. A more moderate time of the year
      It couldn't be a nicer day,
   2. Acclimation to the arid Mojave
      I believe I'm good, but I'll bring extra water JIC,
   3. A vehicle to make it out to the trailhead
      The Taco Supreme is a BOSS!!

Now let's be real, 3 1/2 years ago Muddy Peak would have been a nice little notch in my hiking pole; but after all the experience I've gained since - and especially after Weavers Needle - Muddy is a mere bump in the road. But underestimating Muddy will not happen, because:

   A: It's a mountain,
   B: I'm in the middle of nowhere, alone, no assistance,
   C: I came a long way for this,
   D: This time it's personal. I have to reclaim my dignity and my manhood,
   E: It's a mountain.

I pack the same essentials as I did last time, but added four extra liters of water. Two liters are positioned in the Hidden Valley just before the final hike up and over the pass out of the valley. Two more liters positioned on the other side of Hidden Valley at the bottom of the gully leading up to the ridge run. I'll use this water to top-off the reservoir in my backpack before heading up the gully. This is overkill, and I fully expect to dump out all this extra water, but I'm not taking any chances.

The pictures, description, and route were all described in the first chapter; and the Wilderness hasn't changed much since. But this time I bring moving pictures! Enjoy the tour through this fantastic, yet remote region that is clearly what is best about Vegas...

https://youtu.be/hkyW8_q7oH8



Chapter 8: All The Long Way Home

But wait! I'm not done yet! I still have to get out of here!

Sit back, ride along with me in my Taco Supreme on the rocky road out of the Muddy Mountains Wilderness... as I ride off into the sunset...

https://youtu.be/6Vr5-a90sDI

The End!
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: House Made of Dawn on November 02, 2018, 02:30:20 PM
I'm just floored by this trip report. The photos, the writing, the underlying events they portray, and your attitude toward it all. Amazing. You live a very rich life. Your work reminds me of Greg Childs, David Roberts, Jon Krakauer. You could publish this, Mark. Thanks for sharing it with us. Keep it up; I think you'll always find a hungry and supportive audience.

I get the difference in Muddy, separated as the two attempts were by all the intervening experiences, but still it was satisfying to go along for the ride as you finally checked that one off your list. And Weaver's Needle....man, that was one for the books. I definitely puckered around the 15 minute mark. I couldn't have done that. My favorite moment, though, is the triumphant arms at 8:38. Again, thanks for taking us along. Looking forward to others down the road.
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: mbender on November 02, 2018, 11:10:40 PM
I'm just floored by this trip report. The photos, the writing, the underlying events they portray, and your attitude toward it all. Amazing. You live a very rich life. Your work reminds me of Greg Childs, David Roberts, Jon Krakauer. You could publish this, Mark. Thanks for sharing it with us. Keep it up; I think you'll always find a hungry and supportive audience.

I get the difference in Muddy, separated as the two attempts were by all the intervening experiences, but still it was satisfying to go along for the ride as you finally checked that one off your list. And Weaver's Needle....man, that was one for the books. I definitely puckered around the 15 minute mark. I couldn't have done that. My favorite moment, though, is the triumphant arms at 8:38. Again, thanks for taking us along. Looking forward to others down the road.

Well HMoD, those are probably the nicest comments that I've ever heard. Thank you, I really appreciate it. It means a lot because this whole report means a lot to me. But those "triumphant arms"... yeah, that feeling didn't last long, as I was stressin hard about having to go back down. I couldn't enjoy my time on top; thinking the whole time about the descent. I couldn't help but feel as though I received a little help... hence the title: "Angels Carry Me".  :engel016:

Now, I need to go and do it again!!!!  :celebrate:
Title: Re: Vegas 2014-18: Muddy. Water.
Post by: House Made of Dawn on November 03, 2018, 03:22:07 PM
 :great: