Archive for April 25th, 2010

The Dream Trip: Camp 11, March 10

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

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Stephen’s Aisle is named for a Moorish guy named Esteban who traveled with the Spanish who came into the American Southwest. I don’t think he ever got to the Grand Canyon, in fact he was killed by the people at Zuni Pueblo. Conquistador Aisle is similarly misnamed but who cares?
We were not contemplating these ideas as we arose on the day after the cold and rainy day. We had slept somewhat poorly. We went to bed at 8 pm and went right to sleep. We were awakened at 11:30 pm by a strange crashing noise. I scrambled up and ran down to the boat to make sure all was well. I couldn’t find out what made the noise but it set me on edge and I didn’t relax very well after that. We didn’t get on the water until 11:30 am. The weather was improved but not warm and sunny.
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Right on the corner where Stephens Aisle turns into Conquistador Aisle Lee spied a cool garden of mosses and saw grass. We pulled over and I spent some time getting shots of the plants for her to paint from at home.

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As we floated down Conquistador Aisle the clouds kept pouring down over the Kaibab rim to the west as the sun was trying to make headway in the eastern sky. I was doing my best to keep Lee dry as we worked our way through the small splashy rapids in that section. Years ago she and I were floating through Conquistador Aisle not paying attention when I was bucked out in 122 mile rapid. I had drifted in sideways and rolled right out of the boat, Of course Lee jumped to the oars and handles the boat until I could pull my soggy bottom back into the boat.

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We stopped at Randy’s Rock for lunch and decided to make it camp as the sky darkened and snow poured over the rim into the canyon. Randy’s has nice sandstone ledges that overhang the camp and make for a nice sheltered kitchen and sitting area.

Randy’s Rock is one of those pieces of real estate in Grand Canyon that is named for a hapless boatman who messed up there. Here is the story of Randy Breckenridge. The version of this story that I am familiar with was not written by one of Randy’s friends and has Randy handing the oars over to a passenger and then going to sleep as the peop takes the boat left at the infamous rock.

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After setting up camp, which was a grunt because of the distance from the boat to the ledges, we had lunch and Lee convinced me to go for a walk up through the Tapeats ledges onto the Tonto platform above. We got some great views up and down stream and I found a like new pair of NorthFace gloves….river booty. By then the snow had pulled back and it was OK for an overcast day.

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After the hike Lee made her favorite pasta dish which consists of fresh broccoli with spaghetti, garlic, hard cheese and olive oil. We supplemented the dish with some spicy precooked chicken sausage. This was day thirteen and we were still able to have fresh broccoli without ice. That is one of the nice things about winter trips.

Walking in the lap of the world

Sunday, April 25th, 2010


East and South of Spring City sits The Horseshoe. It has always been called The Horseshoe. When I established my pottery here in 1977 I was looking for a name that would tie my business to this landscape. “The Horseshoe Pottery” sounded wrong to me. It sounded like a good luck charm so I called the new enterprise “Horseshoe Mountain Pottery”. I thad a certain cadence to it that I liked. Soon followed Horseshoe Mountain Inn, Bed and Breakfast, Dog Groomery, Hardware, Raceway and you name it. Before long I began noticing the landmark referred to in print as Horseshoe Mountain. I guess that is hoe place names shift. it was not my intention. Old timers still call it The Horseshoe but I an afraid it may not stay that way.

West and North of Spring City is Mount Nebo. Between these two bookends is what my daughter Louisa took to calling “the lap of the world” as a child. It is indeed on of the prettiest places I know of. Each morning that I am able I go out walking with Lee and the dogs around Spring City, in the lap of the world.
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The “West Mountains”. The mountains to the east or Wasatch Plateau are the edge of the Colorado Plateau. I am told by my geologist friend that at one time this was the edge of a continent and that where we live one continent subducted under another. To the west is the beginning of the basin and range system known as the Great Basin which runs all the way to the Sierra Nevada which is being pushed up by the subduction of the Pacific Plate under the North American continent.
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The Haystack, Lee’s silhouette and The Big Shoe.
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The atmospheric show is to die for.
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The music is sweet. Robin, Canadian Goose, Meadow Lark, Magpie and Robin.

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Ernie in seek mode, Lee loving it, the sprawl of new Spring City building, Tony Llama watches out for Chad Beck’s sheep and Lee’s gelding Tiki waiting for breakfast.

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Old farm equipment speaks of Spring City’s base, Lee at the shooting range and the first light on the Head of Grizzly Gulch and Yellow Brush Ridge.
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Lee always stops to “talk” with whatever horses we pass. They always come to her.
Unfenced land seems to be an invitation to dump garbage. it is an old tradition in these parts that dies hard.

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I am told that walking every day is goof for my heart. Walking with Lee in this place is what my heart desires.

Meanwhile back at the pottery shop

Sunday, April 25th, 2010

After month spent de-rigging, pruning the orchard, planting the garden and writing the newsletter due out May 1 I wandered into the pot shop this week and made some things. I’ll be firing again in mid to late May just in time for the annual Heritage Day home tout which brings a load of people to Spring City for the Memorial Day weekend. Between now and then is one more river trip. I’l spend the week of May 2-8 taking some folks through Cataract Canyon.

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Honey pot, utensil holder, small jug and detail.
I made vases like these in three different sizes.