Wave Cave Trail

Wave Cave Trail

Superstition 5057

Wave Cave Trail

Who doesn’t want to catch a wave, in a cave, in the middle of the desert? If you are out in the Superstition Wilderness find the wave cave trail and you can do just that. It’s not a bad little hike, roughly 3 miles in and out total. It’s a bit of a scramble once you get the top with loose dirt and rocks on the final incline (about 500 yards of it). Once you’ve arrived it’s a great place to sit down, have a snack and of course take some desert surfing photos! It is the wave cave after all!

Tip: Go through the barb wire fencing (one of the photos below). Then pay attention to the cairns. They should guide you to the left heading up to the Wave Cave.

Peas Out!

~Cameron

Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point

Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point

Bright Angel Trailhead

Bright Angel Trail to Plateau Point

After living in Arizona for over 30 years, one would think I have hiked the Grand Canyon at least once. As it may be, not true. I’ve been one of the millions of onlookers from above and that is all. Our original goal was to take the little guy and go on a backpacking trip over fall break, however some five months ago that wishful thought was denied as there were over 2,400 plus backcountry permit applications for the month of October. Luckily we did get a permit for November and that trip will be 7 days just minus the little guy.

With that said, how could we get the little guy and myself to experience the Grand Canyon? My Father-in-Law had the perfect answer: A Day Hike! He has been hiking the Grand Canyon for years now with his buddies, so we knew we would be in good hands! We left the Bright Angel Trailhead at 10:30am and took off to our destination of Plateau Point. We made stops at Rest House 1 and Rest House 2. Scoped out possible camp sites for the following month when we arrived at Indian Garden. Then headed out to Plateau Point for a late lunch and then the turn around back to the top. It was 8:09PM by the time we returned to the Bright Angel Trailhead and a brisk 36 degrees.  A total of 12.3 miles and almost 10 hours of hiking with an AEG of 3,356 ft. It was an experience like no other. Words cannot express the magnitude of the Grand Canyon. I was in complete awe the entire time down and back up.


Enjoy the photo gallery, no particular order or reason. It’s just the Grand Canyon and whatever a camera could capture.

Peas Out!

~Cameron

Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail

Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail


Flatiron via Siphon Draw Trail

An adventure I’ll soon never forget. I had it all planned. 7am drop off at the Lost Dutchman State Park. Hike up the Siphon Draw Trail #53 to Flatiron. Hop on over to Superstition Peak 5024 and camp out along the Superstition Ridgeline Trail to Three Sisters and bag 5057. Then head on out to the Carney Springs Trail Head. Sounds like an amazing experience, am I right!? Only one thing…I’m a novice and that’s where my new adventure begins.

I loaded my pack (45lbs to be exact) and thought this would be a great prep hike for my upcoming 7 day Grand Canyon backpacking trip. I had everything I would need. 7 liters of water. Food/Snacks for 2 days. Tent, sleeping bag, hiking poles, stove, water filter, back up clothing, maps, GPS/phone, compass, solar, headlamp, first aid, and then some. Anything I could possibly need and honestly I’m glad I had it all!

Sunrise over the Superstition Mountains

Sunrise over the Superstition Mountains

No matter where you are in the valley, when you look to the east the Superstition Mountains are there. Specifically the Flatiron portion stands out as the most prominent. It is definitely one of the Valley’s more sought after hiking venues.

Siphon Draw Trail 53

Siphon Draw Trail 53

The path into Siphon Draw. Looks simple enough!

Superstition Wilderness

Superstition Wilderness

Enter into the Superstition Wilderness, part of the Tonto National Forest.

Sunrise over Siphon Draw

Sunrise over Siphon Draw

Hiking into the Siphon Draw Trail is an experience. Especially when there are hardly any other hikers on the trail. Simply put, awestruck.

Sunrise on Flatiron

Sunrise on Flatiron

As the morning sky began to brighten the path along Siphon Draw so did my overall experience. This was going to be an amazing adventure!

Siphon Draw

Siphon Draw

Slick rock heading into the basin. I could only imagine what it’s like when wet. It’s bad enough dry and I surely would not want to be in here when a thunderstorm hits!

Siphon Draw Hike

Siphon Draw Hike

More slick rock and a good vertical climb! Doing a zigzag up seemed to help.

Siphon Draw Trail

Siphon Draw Trail

Once you pass the basin/waterfall climb, the view of the canyon going up is simply breathless.

Superstition Mountains

Superstition Mountains

A view of some hoodoos across the way.

The Wall at Siphon Draw Trail

The Wall at Siphon Draw Trail

Not exactly “the wall” just yet, but once you climb these the 12′ wall you must climb to get to the trail over to Flatiron awaits. Carrying a 45lb pack was brutal coming up to this point. Not something I took into consideration. When you get to the wall, if you need to, use the left side to pull yourself up. That’s what I had to do.

View from Siphon Draw Trail

View from Siphon Draw Trail

The view that waits above, “the wall”.

View of the Valley from Flatiron Summit

View of the Valley from Flatiron Summit

Once you get out to Flatiron, this is the view of the valley that awaits. It is seriously impressive. This was a clear day. I could see the White Tanks to the West (Cardinal Stadium), Mt. Lemon to the south and I have no idea how far to the north. I was hoping to see the Peaks but I hear that’s only possible from on top of Brown’s Peak.

Superstition Peak 5024

Superstition Peak 5024

To the left is Superstition Peak 5024, not to be bagged by me on this trip.

Four Peaks View from Siphon Draw

Four Peaks View from Siphon Draw

The view to the north, Four Peaks and a whole lot more!

East Valley View

East Valley View

Of course a selfie, because it didn’t happen if you didn’t take a photo of yourself up there, right? Despite the smile, I was hurting pretty bad by this time. You can see the trail below me to the right. Not to forget, I LOVE this hat!

Superstition 5024

Superstition 5024

Just a favorite view of mine. Clouds, blue skies and the hoodoos.

360 degree view from Flatiron

360 degree view from Flatiron

Tried to capture a 360 view from the tip of Flatiron.

Siphon Draw Trail Track

Siphon Draw Trail Track

My track. I didn’t zoom in enough to where you could see the back track I did while coming up the trail. I did take a wrong turn, briefly. Not a good idea.

Merrell shoes and my new best friend

Merrell shoes and my new best friend

A view of the east valley and my new best friend. This little character came right up next to me. Friendly little creature. And of course my Merrell shoes which took a harsh beating later on.

Osprey Aether AG 70L Pack

Osprey Aether AG 70L Pack

My Osprey bag, love that thing! And of course being on top of Flatiron is a great place to get a quick charge on solar.

Three Sisters

Three Sisters

A zoomed in view over towards Three Sisters. Again, not to be had by me on this trip.

Superstition Peak 5024

Superstition Peak 5024

My dinner view. I wanted to bag 5024 but I was hurting and decisions needed to be made. Always side with common sense, not your pride. It’ll save your life.

Flatiron Sideview

Flatiron Sideview

My other dinner view, Flatiron.

Jet Boil and Mary Janes Farm

Jet Boil and Mary Janes Farm

Yes, I did get to try out my new Jet Boil and Mary Janes Farm Lentils, Rice and Indian Spice! YUM! I needed this!

Tragedy at Superstition Mountain

Tragedy at Superstition Mountain

In 2011 there was a plane crash in the Superstitions. Six people died that night.

Setting Sun on Superstition Mountains

Setting Sun on Superstition Mountains

The smartest decision I could make. I could not make heads or tails of the Superstition Ridgeline Trail. Perhaps it was my inexperience, exhaustion or both but I decided the safest thing to do was to head back down Siphon Draw and race the setting sun.

Century Plant

Century Plant

A long century plant in the mountains.

Flatiron at Sunset

Flatiron at Sunset

As I stated above, I’m a novice and this trip did not turn out how I had originally planned. Knowing when to fold your cards and call it quits is the smartest thing anyone can do when hiking/backpacking. Watching the setting sun against the Superstitions is just as beautiful as watching the sun rise.

Sunset from Flatiron

Sunset from Flatiron

As this adventure comes to an end you can tell I did not make it down during daylight. Before the sun set, I reached for my headlamp and prepared for a night hike (bouldering/scrambling). It was not fun. Legs and back were killing me. 7 liters of water were down to about 1 liter which eventually became empty. Climbing down in the dark is not fun. Not an adventure I liked or wanted, but definitely worth the overall experience and knowledge. Eventually I reached the basin and I saw the moon rising behind me. All that did was remind me that this trip was one I’ll never forget. My headlamp and hiking poles were my new best friends after the basin. I heard and saw some cool critters on my way down. The best part of the journey was arriving back at the Lost Dutchman State Park and having some headlight high beams flash at me. My awesome wife and son had just pulled in as I was wobbling out. I am entirely grateful to them as they were tracking me coming down the draw. I’m one lucky guy!

Would you say Flatiron via Siphon Draw is the toughest hike in the Valley? Leave your thoughts below.

Time to gear up for my next adventure! See you on the trail!

Peas Out!

~Cameron

How I got Hooked on Hiking

How I got Hooked on Hiking

How I got Hooked on Hiking

Getting hooked on hiking is pretty easy and instead of sulking over the loss of 40 plus years of missed adventures why not start now?! It can’t be ‘that’ difficult, right?

Earlier in the spring of 2017 I picked up the little guy from school and off we went on a new adventure. We tackled Piestewa Peak and officially, ‘peak bagged’ it. A term I had to look up later. Needless to say it was not easy by any means. I probably stopped to catch my breath and rest 6 times while climbing the stair-master from hell. For the little guy, it was a breeze. He’s a true goat. The views from the summit were awe-inspiring! A massive sprawling metropolis as far as my eyes could see! Getting hooked on hiking was just that simple.

There was and will continue to be a lot to learn. I’m a novice on this new thrill seeking adventure of hiking and backpacking. My better, smarter and more attractive half has always told me the mountains were calling her, it’s about time this old office goat listens to her!

Welcome to the new chapter of Daddy Bookins! See you on the trail!

Peas Out!

~Cameron

‘At the Zoo with Lil Boo’ WINS PURPLE DRAGONFLY BOOK AWARD

‘At the Zoo with Lil Boo’ WINS PURPLE DRAGONFLY BOOK AWARD

‘At the Zoo with Lil Boo’ WINS PURPLE DRAGONFLY BOOK AWARD

CHANDLER, AZ (June, 2012) – The judges of the third annual Purple Dragonfly Book Awards contest, which recognizes excellence in children’s literature, have spoken, and At the Zoo with Lil Boo by Daddy Bookins, won an Honorable Mention Place in the Animals Pets category.

“Winning any place in the Purple Dragonfly Contest is a huge honor because in order to maintain the integrity of the Dragonfly Book Awards, a minimum score of 72 out of 80 must be earned for a 1st Place award, 64 out of 80 for a 2nd Place and 56 out of 80 for an Honorable Mention – even if it is the sole entry in a category,” explains Linda F. Radke, president of Five Star Publications, Inc., the sponsor of the Dragonfly Book Awards. “Competition is steep, too, because there is no publication date limit as long as the book is still in print.”

At the Zoo with Lil Boo is about is an illustrated children’s book based on the creative experiences and imagination of Daddy Bookins son, Lil Boo.  From the moment the sun rises, join the adventurous duo Lil Boo and Onote on a journey across the zoo. They will learn about an array of animals from penguins to zebras, as well as making a new friend named, Roo! You never know what surprises will turn up in a child’s imagination.  It retails for $13.50 and can be purchased at any online retail outlet, by request at most brick and mortar stores and of course personally autographed copies on the Daddy Bookins website.  For a complete list of winners including all 1st and 2nd places and Honorable Mentions, visit www.FiveStarBookAwards.com and click on “Winners.”

The Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, which honors all genres of books in 50 categories, is currently in progress with an October 1, 2012 deadline. However, Royal Dragonfly submissions postmarked August 1, 2012 or earlier are eligible for the Early Bird reward: a free e-copy of The Economical Guide to Self-Publishing or Promote Like a Pro: Small Budget, Big Show. The fourth Annual Purple Dragonfly Book Awards contest is already underway with a March 1, 2013 early bird deadline and May 1 final deadline. There is no publication date restriction as long as the titles entered are still in print.

                For complete winners’ lists including 2nd Place and Honorable Mention wins, rules and entry forms for any of the Dragonfly Book Awards contests, visit www.FiveStarBookAwards.com. For more details on Five Star Publications, email info@FiveStarPublications.com or call 480-940-8182.

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Horatian Ode – At the Zoo with Lil Boo – First Draft Exclusive

Horatian Ode – At the Zoo with Lil Boo – First Draft Exclusive

I have been reluctant to post this rough draft of the second book.  Why? Perhaps just my own insecurities.  Perhaps I was afraid of dishonoring the great poet Horace.  Perhaps…well I just don’t know, quite simply enough it was my first ever attempt at writing a Horatian Ode and I was unsure how or if anyone would accept it.  I was at odds with some inner writers turmoil…(how’s that for an excuse?)…

Without further adieu for your reading pleasure the original first unedited version of At the Zoo with Lil Boo before we changed it into quite a successful charming prose, enjoy!

P1

The bright morning sun is gleaming

Casting rays on a boy dreaming

Off in another land

Lil Boo’s day is planned.

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P2

Rise and shine, busy he will be

Many adventures he will see.

Wanting to look his best

He gets himself dressed.

P3

A hungry boy he is indeed

Growing frantically like a weed

Sitting at the table

Waiting like an angel.

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P4

Breakfast is important to eat

Maple oatmeal is Lil Boo’s treat

With a latte in hand

Looking down in dreamland

P5

There was a delightful array

Of many animals at play

The adventure began

Just as he had planned.

——————————————————————————————

P6

They looked up at him and smiled

“Treasures await you, young child!”

Happy as he could be

Lil Boo smiled with glee.

P7

Off he went to finish his chores

Brushing his teeth slamming the doors

One shoe on, one shoe lost

Lil Boo was crisscrossed

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P8

With the help of his mom and dad

Worries were gone and he was glad

The time had come to go

Packed, ready and so

P9

In the car and off down the road

The laughter and chatter echoed

Silly as they could be

Singing songs so cutely

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P10

Then out of the blue it appeared

“A mystery key”, Lil Boo cheered

Down the path he wandered

Twirling it he pondered

P11

I wonder how fun it would be

Just to mosey about you see

Animals at the zoo

From a boys point of view

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P12

With his friend Onote at his side

The two began to walk in stride.

The Zoo was packed galore

With animals and more.

P13

Where would they start, what would they do?

Stumbling into a friend named Roo.

Come join us on our way

First stop, a bird of prey

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P14

Sneaking in to play in the snow

Slipping and sliding to and fro

The snow is cold and wet

Not a place you will sweat

P15

Appreciate this penguin’s home

Even being under a dome

Far away from their home

On our journey we roam

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P16

Waddling and walking they stroll

With bamboo and fruit in a bowl

The panda is eating

While slowly depleting

P17

Soft and cuddly the giant plays

Living in harmony these days

Far away from her home

On our journey we roam

——————————————————————————————

P18

Turning the corner, looking high

A tree is moving in the sky

A giraffe is eating

With a tongue so greeting

P19

A long neck and a bumpy head

Happy are they to be widespread

Far away from their home

On our journey we roam

——————————————————————————————

P20

The adventurous group moved on

Over the Zoo paths and beyond

Together they charted

For creatures big hearted

P21

A few of the largest on land

New surroundings that were unplanned

Far away from their home

On our journey we roam

——————————————————————————————

P22

Living in a “pride” you will see

Lions resting up in a tree.

Belting out a large roar

This you may not ignore

P23

Soft is its mane

The lion is quite tame

Far away from its home

On our journey we roam

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P24

Flapping about her hefty ears

Spewing dust this elephant fears

Protection from the sun

Or her day will be done.

P25

Using her trunk to eat and drink

Stomach growls will make an eye blink

Far away from her home

On our journey we roam

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P26

Munching on an array of grass.

Startled he charges in first class

Bad temper he has not

Poor eye-sight on the dot

P27

The rhino is known for its horn

Crashing about you have been warned

Far away from his home

On our journey we roam

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P28

Black and white stripes, each is unique

Very social, zebra’s will speak

Nomadic is the herd

Predators are blurred

P29

Taking a bath in dust and mud

Protects them from a lot of crud

Far away from his home

On our journey we roam

——————————————————————————————

P30

The adventurous group moved on

Over the Zoo paths and beyond

They were lost with no map

Lil Boo wanted a nap

P31

Scurrying down the path with speed

The Zookeeper found friends in need

Lil Boo and friends asleep

Snoring with sounds of sheep

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P32

A soft voice said, “Wake up Lil Boo”

We have arrived here at the Zoo

Stunned he opened his eyes

Adventures are his prize

Please feel free to comment below, let me know what you thought – good, bad and/or indifferent.

Welcome to the YOB Years!  Where all you need is a BIG Hug!

Peas Out!

~Daddy Bookins

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