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Skeleton Cave via Cane TH, AZ
mini location map2011-10-05
25 by photographer avatarCannondaleKid
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Skeleton Cave via Cane TH, AZ 
Skeleton Cave via Cane TH, AZ
Hiking avatar Oct 05 2011
Hiking10.80 Miles 3,700 AEG
Hiking10.80 Miles   9 Hrs   20 Mns   1.61 mph
3,700 ft AEG   2 Hrs   38 Mns Break
1st trip
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I'd say Joe's triplog was pretty accurate so for the hike portion I don't have much to add.

When I first heard (and felt through the floor) that loud deep thumping sound I certainly shared the same feeling as Joe... oh pumpkin and so much for today's hike ](*,) . But, with neither of us willing to give up that easy, we set about finding a solution, albeit temporary, to get us back on the road (although I'd hesitate to call it a road... maybe a rough and rocky goat track). Having experienced teething problems on my Samurai before, I had plenty of tools as well as a number of blocks of wood. So with a brand new hacksaw blade cutting a 2x2 to the size required took but a few moments. Joe came up with the great idea to use a screwdriver to "drill" the needed hole in the wood block. : app : Thanks to a nice sharp-edged Snap-On screwdriver we alternated twisting it until the hole was through. Next was trying to locate a bolt to complete the task. I opened the hood and scanned around for something I could scavenge... nothing. Then around to the back and Joe asks, what about this? pointing to a bolt acting as one of the hold downs for the high-lift jack. So thanks again to Joe we had a hole in the block and a bolt to use. Although the bolt was a tad bit too long, with some judicious placement of washers I made it work. We started the repair in the dark but the sun was up by time we got moving. With the delay I wanted to drive a bit faster to make up some time, but not knowing for sure how the temporary mount would hold up along with a rockier road that just a week ago that wasn't in the cards.

Having just been out to HHP Ridge a few short weeks before I was familiar with the terrain and the scenery, but once out there, there's just no end to the beauty to behold. You can bet I'll be out this way more than a few times.

Having missed Grasshopper Lounge the last trip, it was nice to actually set foot in it... if only for a short time due to a nest of wasps. :scared: The general route was good thanks to piecing together a few of Joe's previous trips so all we needed to do was scan ahead to avoid the worst obstacles. With Skeleton Cave in sight it seemed our task for the day would soon be completed... until Joe said we had to go up higher, then way down below us and then up to the cave. What!?! all this just to get to a cave only 300' away??
While the mind wanted to go for it the body was having none of it. My hamstrings and quads were starting to cramp up a bit. :stretch: At the time I assumed it had to do with a previous injury, but now a day later I believe it had more to do with a lack of nourishment. What with the drama of the broken mount and all, not only had I forgotten to eat my breakfast at the trail head, I left two sandwiches in the cooler. :-({|= So I had nothing but my Gatorade, one Clif bar which always make me want to drink a lot more and a few small granola bars for the whole trip. But by taking it slow and keeping a relatively steady pace we made it back safe and sound.

And then comes the drive back! With the road so much worse than last week and two weeks ago as well as the temporary mount issue, I was not looking forward to driving up the shelves.
Ha! Here I thought it would just be tough, but with the air locker dumping air faster than it could hold it we were in for a real challenge. ](*,) The solution I had to resort to was a little bit more momentum, which just meant Joe and I were shaken like rag dolls.(insert rag-doll smiley here) Now if that had only gone on for a hundred feet or a hundred yards it would have been tolerable, but it went on for MILES. Already having burned many more calories than I took in during the day, it was brutal keeping both the mind and body in-synch to accomplish the task. The mind was taxed by the possiblility of another vehicle breakdown, selecting the right lines to avoid getting hung up or rolling over while the light fading fast. Physically taxing was manhandling the manual steering with a mean kick-back, working the clutch and choosing the correct gears, :wlift: so by time we got home I was totally spent. Although Joe wasn't doing the driving, he was just as beat up as I was and he looked as spent as I was by time we got back.

Full set of 95 photos are here:

But what an adventure! :y:
Thanks Joe for enduring everything that was thrown at us. :worthy: It was great meeting and hiking with you.
P.S. With all that went on I'm curious what kind of Kokopelli I may have morphed into? Although Tracey wasn't there, knowing me she's willing to bet on Chatty-Kopelli.
Teva Wasp
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Grasshopper Lounge - HHP
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