Well tomorrow is today November 13th, 2010 and we are up early to pull into the spot to get the tire changed. As we are starting the motor we notice that there is a truck pulling out of the spot we are to pull into. We get the levelers set so that the tire turns freely. Russ goes into the garage and nobody is around. We now play the waiting game. A couple of semi trucks pulled in and Russ talked to one and he said that the guy that was here got called out to help someone on the road and that the other guy will be in at 11:00 am. We are now sitting and hoping that someone comes in before then and that they have our special socket.
At about 10:00 am the guy shows up and he has the socket and starts working on our tire straight away. $267.00 dollars later and at 11:30 am we drive away heading for moab. We arrive in Moab and start looking for the campground. We finally found the street that leads to Sand Flats campground. You have to make a few turns in town before finding Sand Flats Road. This road winds up a steep incline and it costs $10.00 per night and the facilities consist of a pit toilet (shack out house) and a place to park. What a rip off. We chose this site because of the amount of spaces that they had and the amount of campers and RV's that we saw. We spent two days here while we check out the surrounding areas. We went for a little walk around the campground and there are a lot of fresh Cat tracks. This is our first night at Sand Flats.
Today is November 14th and we hop into mom and dad's car for a day drive. We drove the La Sal Mountain Loop road. This scenic byway took us through desert on up into the mountains to the snow line. We stopped and to let Taco and Lucy play in the snow. They have never played in the snow before. Lucy kept burying her nose as deep in the snow as if to find what was underneath. Taco just kept smelling it and wondering what that white stuff that he was walking on. As we were driving on the other side of the mountain we were on a road covered with snow, this is where we saw two mother deer with their little babies cross over the road. They saw Lucy through the window and made haste. Lucy on the other hand thought it was great fun to see them. While we were up in the snow line we could look across and down into the valley and see the red desert rock bluffs. This truly one of the best drives we have taken. One can only imagine what it would look like in September or early October with all the season changing colors. We will have to come back this way one day in autumn to see this. On our way back from the drive we stopped by the Goose Island Campground which only has something like 18 camp sites. There were only three RV's and a motorcycle camper. The camp host told us the fee was $6.00 per night and they had a bathroom not a pit toilet. From what I heard it was real clean, stocked with toilet paper and did not smell. That is a big plus. There were nice trees. So the plan was made to move to Goose Island tomorrow.
November 18, 2010 which is Monday we move the motor home over to Goose Island. We just get the motor home backed in and the wind started to blow. Mom and dad stopped in town before coming over. As they arrived the rain started and while I was directing them the rain started to pour, this lasted for about a half hour and then the sun came out and we took another drive this time we took the potash scenic byway. Since we got a late start we headed to Wendy's for an inexpensive lunch first. This drive was magnificent. Can you say Vertical??? These rock walls were straight up from the ground up to about 1000 foot or more. There were numerous rock climber's climbing. The road had these rock walls on one side and the Colorado River on the other side. The Colorado River is quite low this time of year but still neat to see. We decided to stay another night at Goose Island and go to the Arches National Park tomorrow.
This drive is an all day event especially if you like to take pictures and if you are a hiker it will take you a couple of days. There are fourteen arches in the park and uncountable majestic rock formations. It goes on forever and you never get tired of looking. It went like this. Oh wow stop, take a photo and drive real slow and then you would see another oh wow and have to stop. And then you would stop at an arch and get out and walk to it and take another 100 photo's. Around every turn and straight way you would see a rock shape that looked like an animal or person or body part or what ever you imagination comes up with. Then you pick a nice scenic place to have lunch and then continue. This park has twenty five miles from start to finish and it took us about 7 hours. A must see.
Wednesday November 17th. The heater decided not to work at about 3:00 am. It was freezing cold anyway it felt that way. The ground had frost on it when I went to the trash. Not sure how cold it was. Dad and Russ took a look at the built in heater to see if Russ could work on it. At this time we do not know what is wrong except that when turned on it blows cold air, which tells Russ that the pilot light is not lighting or it is not getting propane. Now I know what you are thinking and yes we have propane in the tank. Russ and dad pulled off the front cover and looked in side. Dad ran his finger over the over temperature censer and Russ had sprayed the thermostat with corrosion block. Not sure what fixed it but we now have heat. The rest of the day finds us touring the Canyonlands National Park.
This park had some nice vistas and of course Dead Horse Point. The rest was like the country side from Duchesne Utah to Vernal Utah. We enjoyed the other drives the best.
November 18th we move on down the road. The destination was to be Blanding but the camp sites are $10.00 and the RV parks are like $30.00 or more so we decided to go to Bluff, Utah. This camp site is also $10.00 up until Oct. 1st than it is free the rest of the year. We may stay here two nights. Everyone needs a down day and our site is next to the San Juan River. Pretty nice!
You need to go to the photo gallery on our blog page or face book to really appreciate what I have written about the scenic drives.
The below is an e-mail we received from a very good friend of our. This is every sailors nightmare. Please read and let all you know that is comming down the coast to Mexico know about the currents at this particular place. Our friend Mark is however in good spirts. This story will also appear in Latitude 38. Here is a little background on Tachyon. Mark bought her and spent many years gutting her and rebuilding her. She was in tip top condition. Now here is his story.
LOSS OF S/V TACHYON
The following is a brief recap of the recent week. Please excuse if some of the dates are incorrect. Many things have happened during the past few days and keeping track of time, especially here in Mexico, is almost unimportant.
Somewhere around 0430 on October 31, while about three miles from the anchorage at Bahia Santa Maria, Tachyon went hard aground on a sandy beach.
The chart plotter showed the light on the point just north of the Bay, and the auto pilot faithfully maintained the course I trusted to bring me to the entrance of the anchorage. A nice NW breeze and double reefed main kept us moving at about 5 knots. I was dozing lightly in the cockpit waiting for enough light to avoid entering what, to me, was a strange anchorage. Unfortunately, I wasn't fully aware of the strength of the currents in this area, which is also very shallow very far out. Daybreak gave testimony to this by revealing the remains of a cargo ship and, within a few miles, the hulls of three other sailboats.
Although on the "correct" course, the current and wind pushed me too far to the east. I awoke to the noise of the keel hitting bottom and the roar of the surf. I immediately tried to recover but the elements worked against me and I was washed further ashore. Around 0530 I sent a Mayday requesting assistance. Forgive me for not remembering the names of the first responders, the same ones who agreed to get together and form some plan of action. The information was relayed to Profligate, who left the anchorage and appeared to my west around 0700.
Richard and his crew agreed that the situation was tenuous at best and advised that they would send a shore party to assist. During this time I was being pushed further ashore by the latter part of a rising tide and the hull was now pounding on the sand and rollng from side to side on her keel. Around 0800 the first of a party that eventually reached more than 50 people arrived and suggested that we begin to strip the valuables from the boat. My hope, of course, was to get her off the beach and I wanted to remove only the most valuable items for safe keeping on shore. However, the majority of the rescue party saw what I didn't want to see. Namely, that the boat was lost and everything should be stripped before it was too late. At the end of the afternoon, after an heroic effort working on a severely listing boat, nearly everything of value was removed and placed in piles on the beach. Thanks to Andy Turpin for his organizing skills.
Robert Hoyt of Mag Bay Outfitters based in Lopez Mateo overheard the radio traffic and arrived with four or five men and three trucks offering to transport and store the gear at his place in Lopez Mateo. In the early evening we began to make plans to attempt pulling Tachyon off the beach. I spent the night aboard sick at heart and discouraged, but somewhat hopeful that she could be set free. At 2200 I awoke to the sound of people climbing aboard and scary thoughts began to run through my mind. As it turned out, these were part of a group of marines that were sent to question me, set up a camp and stand guard over the rescue effort. On the morning of November 1st, I went ashore to sort through the piles of gear remaining, get acquainted with the marines and organize my thoughts. During the afternoon, Bob and his crew worked with the rising tide, lines, anchors and trucks to reposition the boat so she was bow on to the sea and placed two anchors 500' out. Early in the morning of the 2nd, Bob and his crew used 1000 feet of line and a Panga with a 75 hp motor to try towing the boat off the beach. Although unsuccessful, we were able to see some movement and agreed to try again in the morning with bigger equipment. This week saw steadily increasing tide heights for five successive days, so we were encouraged. However, the increasing tide height also increased the height of the surf to 15 to 20 feet. I spent the rest of the day organizing gear, helping the marines set up camp to shade us from the sun and getting lessons in Spanish. We used cushions, lines, sails, whisker poles and anything else to create a comfortable place to stay, dubbing it "Casa Linda". Bob had also contacted the Navy stationed at San Carlos and advised them of the situation. During the afternoon they dispatched one of their new "Interceptor" boats to recon. These boats are large, flat bottomed, heavily armed craft with twin jet engines used for quick response drug interdiction. I was able to return to Lopez for a much needed shower, hot food and a bed that was not moving. On the 3rd, we once again tried a tow with a Boston Whaler equipped with a 300 hp motor. Although some slight movement was noticed, we were still unable to move the boat off the sand enough to free her. At the same time, the stern of the tow boat was almost pulled under and we had to abort. It became apparent that the boat would have to advance at least 100 feet to gain enough depth and get off the sand. During the afternoon, the captain of the interceptor arrived with crew, more officers and photographers. It was his intention to turn the rescue operation into a training exercise and he spent the rest of the day instructing his crew on how to attach a bridle, towing angles, testing, line dimensions, etc. The plan called for the Interceptor to arrive at 0630 the following morning with 1000 feet of heavy line. A Panga would deliver the line from him and attach it to the bridle on Tachyon. My marine guards left in the evening since there was nothing left to guard and, quite possibly, the boat would be free in the morning. I spent the night on the beach in a Panga with mixed feelings of hope and discouragement. "Hope" because of the tremendous amount of work expended, higher tides, a powerful boat standing by and encouraging words from friends. "Discouragement" by hearing the sounds of Tachyon pounding on the sand, listening to the shrouds and stays shudder violently with each impact, piles of wet sandy gear spread over 25 miles, a cold, wet, sore and sand scoured body and the sudden loss of years of work and preparation. The following morning saw an increase in the feeling of discouragement when no one showed up at the appointed time. Eventually it was discovered that the higher tide had also increased the height of the surf to 25 to 30 feet, the Interceptor had been called off on another mission and the vehicle access on the beach had narrowed to the point where driving was impossible. When I was able to reach the boat, I discovered that the lashed wheel had prevented the rudder from swinging freely and the subsequent hobby horsing and yaw had damaged the quadrant, rendering the steering mechanism useless. Water was also observed in the bilge, but I assumed it was from water coming over the gunnels and through the companionway. Later in the morning a messenger from Bob arrived on a 4 wheeler confirming what was just described. I was able to phone and discuss with him my intention of declaring the boat a derelict. After the tide receded enough to allow vehicle access, Bob's crew and I started removing everything else of value, including the engine. We returned that night to Lopez to make further plans. On the 6th, I remained in Lopez while the crew returned to retrieve the mast and anything else that may have salvage value. Upon their return, they reported finding sand in the bilge and the portlights broken from wave damage. The hull had been breached and this report finally closed the adventure that Tachyon and I had started on so many years ago. Last night I hitched a ride with a San Diego native, returning home from a fishing trip off Mag Bay. We arrived in San Diego in time for me to purchase a ticket for a flight to San Francisco leaving on the 8th.
To get an idea of the tremendous effort expended, one must realize that this beach is a narrow edge of a barrier island stretching from Punta San Lazaro north to the entrance to Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateo, a distance of nearly 30 miles. To the east of the beach is a range of inhospitable sand dunes. As the slope of this beach is so gradual, any increase in a tide narrows the width of the part able to be driven upon. The tide cycles for this week were such that any vehicular traffic had to be done in the middle of cold, foggy nights. In addition, since this is an island, all the gear transported from the boat had to be reloaded onto a pontoon ferry for a trip to the town's dock which is another hour away, where it was once again loaded onto trucks for the trip to the storage yard.
The men operating these vehicles are utterly amazing. Driving on this beach in the middle of a moonless, foggy night, maneuvering between the waves and dunes, appeared to require nerves of steel. Yet, they approached this with the calm of years of experience. I have never before been afforded such help and comfort by anyone, anywhere. These people are truly misrepresented by the US media.
Another group to whom I owe a debt of gratitude I can only hope to repay goes to the members of the Baja Ha Ha 2010. It was an awe inspiring site to witness more than 50 fellow sailors arrive by foot and car to work together for a common cause. Working on a boat lying on her side is difficult at best, but an heroic effort managed to save almost everything of value. In addition, they took up a collection and donated some much needed money that will help me get home. Without this assistance, a bad morning could easily have turned into a disaster with much more significant proportions.
11/12/2010, Green River
Thursday November 11th we started the motor home up and got her warm. At about 12:30 or so we headed on down the road. Our destination is Price, Utah via Indian Canyon. All my life I have heard about Indian Canyon, how beautiful and steep it is. This is the canyon that my brother rolled his car in many years ago and now we are taking the motor home through it. Needless to say I was a little on edge. It is beautiful and very steep, like an 8% grade. The jake brake handled it just perfect. At the top of Indian Pass you could see the entire valley to include a controlled burn fire. We made it to Price and found the Walmart and parked the rig for the night. It was cold. I am just guessing at the temperature out side and I believe it was 25 degrees. It was cold enough to have frost on mom and dad's car.
We got up and made out last minute Walmart run and prepared to leave Price. After cleaning the inside of the motor home we hit the road. Destination today is Moab. Welllllll, as the best laid plans of mice and men the tire godess decided to dial in a thumping noise which we determined to be a tire. After stopping to check the tire we did not see anything so we decided to drop our speed to 45 miles per hour and we still had the thumping, so Russ pulled over again to recheck the tire and discovered that we had thrown tread and had steel belts peeling away from the tire. This all took place about twenty-five miles from Green River. Yes, you got it, we had an unexpected stop in Green River. After checking with all three tire shops, it turns out that only one is willing to sell us a tire and put it on. Now the other fun begins. They get the nuts off to discover non of their tools will work and they had to order one because it was metric and a system that nobody uses anymore. The tool will be here tomorrow so we will spend the night in the truck stop parking lot. The temp today in Green River is about 44 degrees. We said that we were going to take our time getting to Sierra Vista but I did not mean via every truck stop. Hopefully we will be on our way tomorrow.
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10/21/2010, Salt Lake City, Utah
I had my follow up appointment and the doctor said that I had one more week of restriction on lifting and that I wass released to drive. No follow up visit after this appointment is necessary. This is great news. One down one to go.
Now we are off to the VA to get Russ's staples removed and to find out what restrictions he has. The doctor was really impressed with how well Russ was doing. The incision looks great and the staples removed. He also was released to drive if he was carefull. He does have a follow up in 4 weeks. We will do that down in Arizona.
Russ has started making preparation in the motorhome. The fouton is now secured along with the entertainment center and tv. I have gone through the bathroom cabinets, closet and the cabinets above the dining table. Now I have to go through the kitchen and decide where what goes.
Once that is done then we load the motorhome with food and remaining personal items and off we go.
Good bye cold, Sierrera Vista here we come.
We plan on taking our time getting there, so stay tuned you never know where we will end up next.
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10/19/2010, St. Marks Hospital, Salt Lake City
Then all of a sudden on Friday Oct 8th I got real sick. It started with pressure in the upper abdomen that turned to ringing wet cold sweats and then vomiting. I woke up Saturday and did not feel any better. Now let me back up a little. My mom and dad had to go to Salt Lake for the blessing of their great granddaughter on Sunday.
Sunday morning I knocked on my moms bedroom door and told them that I was going to ride in with them and if they could drop me at the hospital that would be great. Dad drove us in and dropped Mom and me off at St. Marks Hospital at about 8:00 am I guess. It takes about 1 ½ hours to get to Salt Lake from home.
I gave them the symptoms and they sent me over for a sonogram of the right upper abdomen. That revealed a gall stone in the neck of the gall bladder. Now that is not enough information so off for a cat scan of the upper right and right abdomen. Now the doctor came in and said that I had to be admitted and that my gall bladder was so infected that it had to be removed. By this point they have me on an IV with antibiotics and morphine. So from what I remember Sunday night was pretty miserable and very sick. I had a blessing by an LDS Elder while in ER and then on Sunday two elders came to my room and gave me an anointment blessing.
They changed my pain med from morphine to Dilaudid and when I woke up I told them I will not take that again. I will put up with the pain instead of taking Dilaudid. My blood pressure dropped to low and my pulse was high. They called the doctor and switched me back over to Morphine. Monday Oct. 11th at about 1:30 pm I found myself being rolled down the hall to surgery. I don't remember reaching the OR. The next thing I know I was in my room and was told I could go home and I elected to stay the night and go home on Tuesday. Mom and Dad came and picked me up and now it was off to get meds.
That night I took one of the endocet pain pills and could not tolerate it so I switch over to two 500mg Non Asprin Acetaminophen. The antibiotic is Cipro 500 mg twice a day. I was nauseated the entire time. I took ¼ promethazine with no results and then ½ tablet and still no results. Since I am familiar with promethazine and knowing that a full tablet would make me sleep I did not want to sleep all day and all night. So after four days of cipro I decided not to take it any more. I only had one day left anyway. It was amazing how much better I felt by that night and every day has been better and better.
Looking back on the whole thing there are a number of blessings here. One thank god that we were in the U.S. when this happened. Two thanks for mom and dad who not only took care of Russ and I but the two fur buts. There are others that I am forgetting at the moment. Thank you god for all our blessings.
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10/04/2010, VA Hospital Salt Lake City, Utah
Oct 4th is surgery day. We are up early and at the VA by 8:30 am. Since Sarcoidosis is in Russ's history they had to do some sonograms of his heart to take pressure reading. All were ok except they could not get the bottom chamber. They said that it looked like Sarcoid had affected the heart because it was shimmery more than normal. They also said that while he was under they would put a scope down his throat and take pictures and pressure readings of his heart. At about 10:00 am they rolled him away. I was waiting in the family waiting room with the others. The surgery is to take about 1 ½ and at 12:20 Russ is rolled by on his way to recovery. The student nurse that was in his OR saw me and told me Russ did great, and there were no complications. At about 4:00 pm a doctor talked to me and said that Russ is robust and if he can handle the stairs he can go home on Wednesday. He also apologized that the surgeon had not been out to talk to me sooner but he had to jump into the OR that was scheduled right behind Russ.
And as planned I bring Russ home on Wednesday Oct 6th. Well everything is going well with Russ.
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