Monday, January 8, 2018

Whatever melts your butter

I read the email from the Park Service with interest. What?! Since we had less hikers than I had paid for, I now have a Grand Canyon hiker credit, that must be used by December 26, 2018. Yippee!

Immediately I started thinking. For GC backcountry permits, you can start applying four months in advance of your hike. Woe be to the fool who waits a longer time than that. The permits go fast. They are now working on May. Since nobody with an ounce of sanity really should be hiking in the inner canyon, especially the Tonto, in the summer months, that leaves October, November and December.

Hmm, I thought. Clear Creek? The Gems? Then: whoa there, partner! You just got back from a trip! What's the matter with you? Then I realized...it's Adventure Mania. This happens when I get back from one trip and am not quite ready to give in to the inevitable of real life. I want to always be on vacation!

The only way to prevent adventure mania when you really can't give in to it is to do smaller, local trips. They aren't as fulfilling, because at the end of the day you come home to chores and work. But it's better than nothing. I have never been one to not go on a trip, even if it's expensive, even if it means time off work, even if. Who knows how much longer we all have on this revolving sphere? You need to do what "melts your butter," as my former fire management officer would say (another saying is "whatever blows up your skirt"). For me, there are many reasons to stay home, but I know that won't make me a very happy person.

With that in mind, we ventured down to the Imnaha for a day hike. The hike is one I have done many times but it never fails to impress. The two rivers--the Snake and the Imnaha--flow together as they have done for centuries. It is a magical place.

The sweet 12 year old. He has recovered from his cancer surgery well!
Even the drive down to the trailhead, as slow and awful as it is (it takes an hour to drive 11 miles) was worth it.

Passing over a new landslide in this dynamic environment, we easily trekked the four mostly level miles to the confluence. We should have brought a tent, we agreed, since the temperature was in the forties--sort of unheard of this time of year.


Reluctantly we had to head back immediately, since the forecast called for rain. On these clay roads, if it rains, you can be stuck for days until it dries out. Since we didn't have any snacks, that didn't seem like a good idea.


The next day we geared up for the unknown. Up at Salt Creek, the snow might be OK or it might not (spoiler alert: it wasn't). "Why can't we be people who like to sit on the couch, watch TV, and eat chips?" I groused as I packed in snowshoe, ski, and hiking paraphrenalia. "Well, we like eating chips," J said. (Truth be told: some of these winter nights I have thought a TV might be nice. But I always talk myself out of it)

The snow was a miserable crust. Skiing was out of the question. I struggled with snowshoes, sinking in with each step; not sinking in to powder, but through a crunchy crust that required a slow motion pace. After an hour and a half, I gave up. Adventure isn't always fun. I'm never sorry I went outside though. It "melts my butter".

16 comments:

  1. I combat adventure mania but getting permits for future trips too.

    OMG so many times during our last trip, as we plodded through the snow, Jan said to me, "Other people sit on the beach and drink margaritas during winter break." But that doesn't sound like fun to me either. I totally agree it's not about fun anyway. Well said!

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    1. You guys are kindred spirits. I think I could sit on the beach and drink margaritas..for maybe one day.

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  2. Good trip, despite the snow conditions. Warmish, rivers, dog partners, human partner and a day out. Sounds good to be.

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  3. Quote: "But as I arrive on the rim, I know that I am probably not done with the canyon. Not yet." - so true!
    It looks like you have your own canyon on your doorstep.

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    1. I do and it's almost as impressive as the GC. Much less visited too.

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  4. Glad your dog has recovered! Yes, I'd rather be outside in crummy conditions (well, almost) instead of sitting on the couch.

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    1. I still have a hard time with rain after living in southeast Alaska but yes mostly!

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  5. GC Credit oh yeah, planning time! You have the right philosophy. When you can't be a full time adventurer, you know how to cram in as much fun as possible. As they say, leave nothing on the table because you just never know . . .

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    1. That's words to live by! Do it now because you never know!

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  6. I agree that Snake River canyon is stunning. Definitely a place I need to visit someday (apparently in the winter. I imagine it's a furnace in the summer.)

    I genuinely have not heard the phrase "melts your butter." Where I grew up, it was "floats your boat."

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    1. Yes the temp on the Snake can be well into the 110 range in summer. It's not everyone's idea of a,good time but I like it.
      I didn't hear melt your butter until I moved to Florida.

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    2. From the highest point in the Seven Devils mountains to the Snake River is almost 8,000 feet, making it the deepest canyon in North America and about 2,000 feet deeper than the deepest part of the GC.

      Although it is very steep, it doesn't have the high drama of the vertical and overhanging cliffs of the GC. And the snake is damned in the upper part.

      Tom
      Fairbanks

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    3. But wait, isn't Hells Canyon technically a gorge, not a canyon?

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  7. Once again, you bring back good memories of that area!!! I wonder if Becky & Rahn (who we worked for) still have their ranch there.

    And I get that same excitement you do about "what's next!"

    Also never heard of "whatever melts your butter," just "whatever floats your boat" (like Jill).

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