Nankoweap to the South Rim

I immediately said “Yes!” when William Petty proposed that we do a hike from Nankoweap to Phantom Ranch in March of 2014.

Our last hike together had been one my most memorable Grand Canyon excursions of all time, and this one immediately had the potential to surpass it. This rigorous off-trail route had been growing in popularity in recent years, and Will wanted to make a 9-day exploratory trip of it. The most irresistible items on the itinerary were ample time for poking around in upper Lava Creek, and an attempt to climb Vishnu Temple. Yes!

Anticipation reached a fevered pitch in late February when Jed Dryer announced that he could commit to the hike. He’d been on the fence for a number of weeks until he finally found a way that he could make it work. Jed would hike down the Tanner Trail and packraft across the Colorado River to join us in Unkar Creek on Day 6. Fun!

Day 1 – Nankoweap Trail to Nankoweap Creek
Day 2 – Climbing Nankoweap Butte
Day 3 – Kwagunt Creek to Lava Creek along the Butte Fault Route
Day 4 – Layover Day in Upper Lava Creek
Day 5 – The Hartman Natural Bridge
Day 6 – Climbing Juno Temple
Day 7 – Climbing Vishnu Temple
Day 8 – Vishnu Creek to the South Rim

Many of the routes discussed in this trip report are classically covered in Grand Canyon Loop Hikes by George Steck.

Day 1 – Nankoweap Trail to Nankoweap Creek

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d carried a full eight days of food for a backpacking trip. Maybe I’d never carried that much before. When I lifted my pack off the ground the night before the hike, it felt heavy with an additional 3 liters of water. Ugh.

So there was a lot of mutual groaning about it when Will and I had our rendezvous at the Grand Canyon Backcountry Office. One of us had the idea of weighing our packs with the scale that the rangers keep there. Will was the first one to place his pack on the scale, and it registered around 38.5 pounds. Not bad!

We had a moment of disbelief when my backpack weighed in at 37 pounds! Ahahaha. Will is dedicated to ultralight backpacking and this just didn’t make sense. It really didn’t, and this immediately became a running joke for the upcoming and ongoing days of hiking in our beloved Grand Canyon.


Saddle Mountain

The recent winter had been abnormally dry and warm in northern Arizona, and this beautiful day on March 2nd was proving to be no exception. I felt out of shape and was still re-acclimating after being at a lower elevation for a few weeks, so the approach from the lower trailhead seemed slow but deliberate. We left the parking area at 12:15 and reached the official Nankoweap trailhead at 1:30.

Our intent was to simply make it down to Nankoweap Creek. We began with a laid-back attitude about the relatively simple hike down a trail, but it had been four years since I was on upper Nankoweap. I generally remembered it as a rougher trail than it turned out to be on this day, but the “scary spot” had actually eroded a little in the last couple of years.

The late-afternoon wind was chilly on Tilted Mesa. We almost tripped over a conspicuously placed cache of two water bottles, in plain sight on the trail. The bottles had no name or date. Will suggested that it would be a funny joke to leave the water in its place, but to turn it into Kool-Aid (He had red Kool-Aid mix). We had a good laugh for a while out of the imaginary look of bewilderment on the faces of the cache’s owner… guess you had to be there (We didn’t really do it, of course).

It was an overall uneventful afternoon on the trail. The first day of a backpacking trip often tends to be a sort of groggy experience for me. Especially in the case of a longer trip, there’s just a whole lot of real-life responsibilities that need to be tied up before day one of a hike, so it takes some time to unwind… it takes a good rocky bed underneath a Grand Canyon sky.

We made it to the creek at 6:30 – almost exactly at sunset. I started thinking about the days ahead while going through the usual motions in the evening, and realized I’d made quite a mistake. In the process of trying to get Jed to do the whole trip with us, it was said in an email that this would be an 8-day hike. So I got the number eight stuck in my head, and packed for eight days and seven nights… March 2 to March 10… wait… uh-oh… our hike would be nine days and eight nights. Hmmm… better start rationing my food! Doh!

So that explained the weight discrepancy of our backpacks, but Will refused to find any solace in it.

“But I have a 40-degree sleeping bag and yours is a cushy fifteen! What about my bivy and your tent?! And look at that huge cookpot… and all that fuel… and that camera…”

Day 2 – Climbing Nankoweap Butte


morning view from Nankoweap Creek

This would be another short and simple day, as we only planned to go from Nankoweap Creek up and over the beginning of the Butte Fault Route to Kwagunt Creek.

We spent the better part of the morning just hanging out in camp. We’d collected some dew and condensation overnight, so we took the luxury of hanging out and waiting for the sun to dry out our things.


from the Butte Fault Route

We followed a pair of footprints for a little while on our way up the route to the saddle. Hoisting myself up repeated boulders in a drainage proved to be strenuous – I was again reminded that I’d fallen a little out of shape. This ended up being the only really taxing part of the day for me, as we picked a great line up the slopes.


boulders


hiking up the slopes

It was a good and fresh feeling to be picking our way through the trail-less Grand Canyon, and so pleasing to be standing on the saddle at 11am – we’d left camp only an hour before! And now that we were on the saddle so early, there was no reason not to go up and climb Nankoweap Butte. I’d come very close to doing it on a 2013 river trip, so ever since then it became a sort of “thing” to me. We’d gone up Nankoweap Mesa on the same day of that river trip, and even now, looking at Nankoweap Mesa… well… it looked quite intimidating!

“That looks like a lot of work!” Will said, studying the impenetrable-looking mesa.

So we went on up the smaller and more inviting Nankoweap Butte. It’s a rather simple route up a steep slope with only a short, direct scramble at the top to reach the summit. The view was fantastic!


scrambling to the top of Nankoweap Butte


Will stands on the summit.

There was a cairn on top, but no register. All of the great wide Nankoweap country was spread out before us! We could also see upper Kwagunt and a great sweep of land to the south of us. There’s a whole lot of Grand Canyon up in here!


Nankoweap Mesa as seen from Nankoweap Butte


the summit cairn, with Mount Hayden and Point Imperial beyond

It was another beautiful day, and there wasn’t even any wind.

Will had an interesting idea for the descent to Kwagunt Creek. Rather than immediately following the traditional route down the bed of the fault line, he thought it would be fun to follow the ridge of an interesting looking slope. The footing was loose and quite horrible in some spots, but it was a unique and exciting walk!

Will descends the slope.

We spent some time relaxing and enjoying the flowing water of Kwagunt Creek before moving to a higher, level shelf to make camp for the night. We groaned as we picked up our backpacks, freshly loaded with water. “When are our backpacks going to get lighter?” I’d already lost count of the number of times we’d asked that question.


Nankoweap Butte is on the left side of the horizon.

We had even more time to sit back and relax in camp, which was a really pleasant luxury. It was a wonderful campsite. Something about hiking in the Grand Canyon strikes an ambitious chord in me, where I feel compelled to see and do as much as possible while I’m down here. It’s only at times like this that I realize that it would be nice to do a little more sitting back and enjoying!

It all had its place as part of a good, solid plan – tomorrow would be an ambitious day.

Day 3 – Kwagunt Creek to Lava Creek along the Butte Fault Route

The Butte Fault Route makes up a great portion of the hike from Nankoweap to Phantom Ranch. It takes a rather direct line through a huge expanse of wild, un-trampled Grand Canyon wilderness that’s otherwise rarely experienced by most hikers. For a long time I’d wondered what this big swath of the Canyon looks like on foot, and we were slated to walk the majority of it today.

We were packed and taking our first steps up and away from Kwagunt Creek before sunrise. To get all the way from here to upper Lava Creek before sunset was going to be a challenge. It began with a steep climb out of Kwagunt that seemed to just keep going and going.


Kwagunt Butte


cresting the ridge

We were fortunate to have the weather on our side – the skies remained cloudy, overcast, and cool for most of the day. The route is basically a roller coaster of slopes that go in and out of (And up and down!) a series of side canyons. From the ridge above Kwagunt we dropped into Malgosa Creek, and then climbed right back out of it onto another ridge. From there we looked down into Awatubi Creek, and repeated the process until we were above the south side of Awatubi. From Awatubi we descended into 60-Mile Canyon.

One of the neatest things about this day was to hike behind the massive Chuar Butte. We’d already come south from Nankoweap to the region of the Little Colorado River confluence, and the butte is an unmistakeable landmark of the area – clearly visible all the way from Desert View and other points along the South Rim.


Chuar Butte

60-Mile Canyon splits into a few arms in this area, so (Unlike the rest of the morning’s hike) it was necessary to follow the canyon as it paralleled along the side of Chuar Butte. The Grand Canyon is just so wide-open in this area. You’d just never fully grasp it from just standing on the Beamer Trail and trying to imagine what lies behind the high wall of Chuar.


near the south corner of Chuar Butte

We had a nice lunch break at this spot before beginning our descent into the east fork of Carbon Canyon. The day’s hiking had been very pleasant despite the ups and downs. A pair of ravens had been intermittently following us, landing occasionally to make a series of elaborate clucking sounds to break the silence. The call of the Canyon Wren was already no stranger to us either.


This is the “famous” and unlikely piece of trail construction along the Butte Fault Route, also sometimes called the Horsethief Trail. Most Grand Canyon hiking aficionados know the tale of the horse thieves – the story goes that a group of Old West bandits used to steal horses in Utah, run them along this route through the Grand Canyon, and go on to sell them in Arizona. For the most part I always regarded this as more of a fable, but once I had the opportunity to ask the GC historian Mike Anderson about it, and he said that he believes the story to be true! In addition to the circumstantial evidence of horseshoes and makeshift corrals found along the route, he said that he conducted an interview with an apparent descendant of one of the horse thieves.


This short stretch of the east fork of Carbon was cool and interesting. After we reached the main bed of Carbon Creek, we left it again almost immediately to cut toward upper Lava. We were rewarded with this view of Lava Creek:

I must admit that the remainder of the day was just a long and tiresome march up Lava Canyon. We hiked a full two hours after our arrival at the creek to reach its spring. It was nice to get to camp at 5pm, because we’d originally been contemplating the “what-if” scenarios of having to find our way there by headlamp.


a waterfall in upper Lava Creek

Day 4 – Layover Day in Upper Lava Creek

This was a true layover day. I stayed in my tent through the morning for as long as possible – until it just became too hot in the sun. Then I got up and ate some food. And then I took a nap. And then I got up again, and wandered aimlessly up the canyon for a little while.

This was a secluded and intimate area. I really felt as though we were tucked away in a far-off corner of the Canyon. Upper Lava is one of Will’s favorite places. On Day 2 he asked me if the Canyon ever makes me feel melancholy, and I said “No, not really.” Will has his old haunts down here that he re-visits time and time again, and I suppose the timelessness of it all makes it hit home how much has indeed changed since his previous visits.

The melancholy finally did strike me in a sort of therapeutic fashion this afternoon as I sat alone in a dry, upper drainage. I felt a great detachment and idle peacefulness, the very sort of very thing that people claim to go to the wilderness to find in the first place. It was nice.

The compositional rock in the common dry, upper arms of the side canyons may be my favorite “rock layer” in the Grand Canyon. Most of the high side canyons are made up of a gravel and a “Canyon Medley” jumble of predominately red, white, and gray rocks and boulders. Normally I’d say the Tapeats is my favorite, but there’s something so familiar and homely about the upper dry creekbeds.


a view in upper Lava

Yesterday’s long hike with heavy-ish packs must have taken a lot out of us. Will had a similar day to my own, and we mostly kept to ourselves until we rendezvoused and enjoyed each other’s company over dinner. Orion was again familiar in the same slice of sky, and the moon had waxed just a little more since we viewed its thinnest sliver on the first night of our trip.

Day 5 – The Hartman Natural Bridge


lush-north-side-redwall-coconino-goodness

We had another relaxing morning in in upper Lava Creek. For our second layover we wanted to go even farther upstream and check out the rare sight of Hartman Natural Bridge. If there was enough time I also wanted to investigate the potential of a Redwall route that could lead up between the Siegfried Pyre and Hubbell Butte.


The walk up the canyon was scenic and enjoyable.


…but soon we had to turn up toward the natural bridge. We covered a lot of terrain that resembled this over the course of our trip – I was usually just too busy watching my feet to grab any pictures of it!

The Hartman Natural Bridge was just so private and awesome. I felt as though it was truly a rare and special pleasure to see it. There’d been no footprints this far up the canyon. I asked Will if he knew who first discovered it, and he replied “Hartman!” but I guess this Hartman gentleman sort of cheated because he discovered it from an aircraft.

We spent a lot of time here enjoying our surroundings, and basically gave up on any further explorations for the day. Will came up with the idea of investigating if it was possible to climb up on top of the arch… and he did it!

I subsequently followed, and it was a scary thrill to be up there. In most places the bridge was only about four feet wide!


The Siegfried Pyre, as seen from below the bridge.

We ambled back down the canyon after we finally had our fill of the bridge. Will pointed out a lot of key turns in the “Davis Route” that goes all the way up to the North Rim from this area.

We had some time to walk up another arm of the canyon toward the possible Redwall route that I mentioned, but we were suddenly tired and unmotivated, so our findings were inconclusive.

We returned and settled in for one final night in Lava. Tomorrow our duo would be joined by Jed Dryer and become a trio. And the day after that… well… on that day we were going to try and climb Vishnu Temple.

Vishnu had been in our thoughts since the first day of the trip, fearfully looming on the horizon of our conversations. I felt as though it was an elephant in the room, and I’d been procrastinating on fully acknowledging it. We’d just have to wait and see how it goes.

Day 6 – Climbing Juno Temple

We spent a few moments at the spring this morning before saying goodbye to Lava Creek, and then it was time to get to work.

The day’s work began immediately with a brushy Redwall route to get up the saddle between Juno Temple and Cape Final. Fortunately I had a great leader in William Petty – he picked out all the key lines of the route with deliberate ease.


up the Tapeats break

We took a moment to absorb the surrounding views.


This image has a lot of glare but it’s a good depiction of the Redwall route beyond, actually high and to the right.


looking back at Siegfried Pyre and friends

It took two and a half hours (From camp) of classic Grand Canyon scrambling and brush-fighting to reach the saddle. Upon stopping for a rest there, I realized that Juno Temple was right there and looked doable. Will liked to give me some good-natured ribbing about my affinity for “peak-bagging,” but he turned out to be game after I lobbied that we give it a try… a Temple, yeah!


Cape Final(left) as seen from the saddle


up Juno Temple

The climbing route up Juno was pretty simple and forgiving Class 3 stuff. The only main obstacles were two big bands of Supai cliffs, and they both had convenient breaks in the places that we hoped to find them. The lower break was almost in a straight line up from the saddle, and the higher break was a little to the left.

views from the top

The summit was outstanding, of course! A big piece of the Grand Canyon was visible from here, including a clear first sight of the ominous Vishnu Temple. There was a cairn marking the top, but no register.


Jupiter Temple


Cape Final, Vishnu Temple, and Krishna Shrine

We made it back down to the saddle at 2pm, making the round-trip of Juno Temple a 1.5 hour climb.

The Redwall Route into upper Unkar was an easy walk and scramble down a long arm of the canyon. We fell into a silent rhythm as though on autopilot for this part of the day. The only obstacle was a Tapeats pouroff that we bypassed to the left. Angels Window was visible at times, far and away on the rim near Cape Royal.


above the pouroff

We eventually reached the main bed of Unkar and bent our thoughts on the rendezous with Jed. Our day was still far from over, as we still had to make a significant side trip down Unkar to find the spring and collect water. Our meeting place was going to be a little farther toward the next Redwall route, and our intended camp. It was late in the day and we figured that Jed had already been waiting for us, so we tried to find him first before going to get water.

We ran into each other almost immediately.


“Hey guys, what took so long? I was starting to get worried!”

Yeah I guess the walk from Lipan Point to upper Unkar is only half a day’s journey for Jed Dryer. 😛

It was really neat and exciting to meet up like this in the middle of the Canyon. Now we had a power trio! After most of the requisite catching up on events was over, Jed went part-way down the canyon with us on our journey for water.


William walks down Unkar Creek

It was after sunset and nearly dark by the time we made it to our target camp, a short Tapeats overhang in a west arm of Unkar. It was an animated and stimulating evening with Jed on board, if not only for another human being to talk to! The Canyon sky was once again a gorgeous, sublime setting. Not only was Jed now with us, but we also had a seemingly brand new slice of night sky to admire that featured the Big Dipper.

Day 7 – Climbing Vishnu Temple

Vishnu Temple!

Today we were going to climb Vishnu Temple.

We started hiking shortly after 7am, and made steady progress up the Redwall. As of today I’d now reached the place where I’d done these routes once before, so the morning had the air of a sort of walk-through – almost like the walk down a corridor trail until you get to the good stuff.


on the Vishnu-Freya saddle

We rested on the saddle and did some re-organizing of our gear. An NPS helicopter curiously flew through the saddle almost directly above us, seemingly on its way to the Nankoweap area. We never saw it return.

Soon it was time to start climbing Vishnu Temple. In the past I’d subconsciously wondered what it would be like to take those first few steps toward it from the saddle, and I’d only been on this saddle once before… I can only imagine what it felt like for Will!

We contoured along the Supai to the southwest. There were some loose rough patches, but it was basic Supai-slope-y-ness. Will and Jed had the opportunity before the trip to review a Hikers’ Symposium DVD presentation of Tom Martin talking about climbing this thing. Apparently there are places in here that were coined “Butchart Alley,” and “Packard’s Notch,” or something like that.

Jed found the break in the Supai. It proved to be my first challenge.


This was harder than it looks. Despite the handline there was still a lot left to be desired for holds up the first two steps of the pitch. This was the only real barrier to get to the base of the Coconino.

The way through the Coconino took a lot of interesting and ingenious twists and turns, but none were especially scary – extra care just needed to be taken.


This part was fairly well protected and easier than it looks.


The only reason we took a handline here was because of the loose-looking boulder on the lower left. At the top of the Coconino we were greeted by an exquisitely amazing and and simultaneously discouraging sight – the Kaibab Limestone atop Vishnu Temple.


It just kept going!

This flat area of Toroweap was a beautiful psychological respite. The views just went on and on and on. To be up here on Vishnu Temple was different than anywhere else I’d ever stood in the Canyon. There was just a sense of so much sheer massive mass beneath my feet. Massive mass!


looking east


up the Kaibab

This is a little difficult for me to write – Jed and Will made it to the summit and I did not.

There was a mini-crux way up in the Kaibab Limestone that just killed my desire in that place and time. It had been an amazing but difficult day thus far, and I guess I just didn’t want it bad enough. I love going for the Grand Canyon peaks but I’m really not much of a climber – I get scared too easily.

In retrospect now I’m pretty sure that I could have done it if I’d just managed to shut down my nerves, but it’s easy to say that now… seated in front my laptop rather than perched on a ledge of Vishnu Temple.


At least I had this view from the place where I stopped and waited.


That’s Wiliam Petty on top of Vishnu Temple!
photo by Jed Dryer

They didn’t spend much time on top because it was cold and windy. Reportedly there were 40 parties listed in the register.


taking a break before the descent

We didn’t spend much time lingering on the saddle because it was now going to be a race against darkness to get to our camp in Vishnu Creek before dark. We simply cruised for the rest of the day. Darkness steadily fell through the pretty, narrowest part of Vishnu Creek that we’d visit, and there was a great confidence and camaraderie in the air at the close of the day’s events.


looking down the Redwall route into Vishnu Creek


last light on Newton Butte

I managed the overall disappointment really well and had an enjoyable evening. It was great to re-visit a neat little campsite above the Vishnu Creek near its main spring. We also came to the conclusion that we would hike all the way out from here to the South Rim tomorrow, so there was plenty of food to go around!

Day 8 – Vishnu Creek to the South Rim

So we were up very early this morning. We planned to wake up at 5:30 in order to be walking at first light before sunrise at 6:30. It was a good plan, and I woke and got started when Will’s phone alarm went off. After having breakfast and packing some of my things, something just didn’t feel right. I looked at my watch, and it said 4:54am! Will’s phone went off at 4:30. Today was Sunday, and I guess Utah (Will’s phone) had turned its clock back for daylight savings last night. Doh!

So we got a nice early start as soon as there was enough light to hike. We made steady work of the Redwall route and made it to the top while the day way still young with low, beautiful light.


Hall Butte

The guys took an extended break while I took a quick walk up Hall Butte. It was so easy that I basically didn’t even need to use my hands. The views were stunning so early in the morning. Once again, there was a cairn but no register.


I’ll never again look at Vishnu Temple in the same way as I had before. One of the main reasons that I like the Grand Canyon summits is because I look at them so often! It’s a great feeling to be able to look around and know that I’ve stood on top of several of the prominent places. Now when I look at Vishnu, it elicits a sort of squinty-eyed, mischievous smirk, as though I’d been out-witted by a clever game that it played on me.


Jed and Wotans Throne

The contour from Hall Butte to the Angels/Wotans saddle was a fun, animated time. It was a beautiful morning and we were on our way out of the Canyon.


Angels Gate

The downclimb from the saddle was tricky but just simple enough to be fun. We descended farther into the beautiful narrows of the east arm of Clear Creek, and finally arrived at the campsites and the trail for an extended break. We spent over an hour there washing up in the creek and celebrating the relative return to civilization.

We left the creek around 1pm and cruised along the trail, arriving at Phantom Ranch only minutes before they closed the store for dinner at 4. Lemonade!

The final hike up the South Kaibab Trail could not have been any more perfect. It was a warm night for this time of year, without even the slightest hint of any wind. The trail underfoot was different than I’d remembered it – the trail crews have done a lot of work out here. Will took notice of nearly the exact moment that the half-moon was equally as bright as the remaining glow in the sky from sunset. Later the moonlight was so good that we never needed our headlamps, but magically not too bright because it never outshone too many of the stars.

Comments

  1. Chad Peterman says:

    Am curious if you could locate for me the water source in Unkar…can’t remember seeing much till I got down close to the river. Am going thru in a few weeks on the high side, and don’t want to have to travel downstream more than necessary. Thanks for posting your great trip reports,..you sure cover a lot of territory in a day, sort of like I used to, about thirty or forty years ago.

    • Jamie Compos says:

      The water is a mile or two upstream of the River, which makes it a significant hike down Unkar from the high saddles route. The terrain down Unkar is relatively flat and easy – basically it’s the only option unless you’re especially fast and can make do from upper Lava all the way to the spring in Vishnu.

  2. Greg Baxter says:

    The trails you describe sound amazing and inspiring. I’ve recently discovered the joy of back packing and have read your reports on the Long Trail and Colorado Trail as well. I hope to accomplish some of those one day along with the John Muir Trail. I also plan to hike in Grand Canyon, but would like explore something more remote like you describe instead of the touristy trails. So here’s my question. I’m a fairly experienced hiker and outdoorsman, but all of my hiking so far has been on pretty well marked trails. The loops you describe in the G.C. seem like they may take some experienced route finding, is this true, or do you think the above averaged hiker could accomplish this? Sorry that I only recently discovered your work here in 2017. But you have some amazing insight and stories…keep it up.
    Thanks
    Greg

    • Jamie Compos says:

      Hi Greg, the few hikes that I’ve posted on this site should only be attempted by those with significant off-trail experience in Grand Canyon. The only especially “touristy” trails are the Bright Angel, South Kaibab, and North Kaibab trails. I’d recommend any of the other named trails for the sort of experience you’re looking for – trails like Tanner, New Hance, Grandview, Hermit and Boucher can all be made into into nice loops with the Tonto Trail.

      • Greg Baxter says:

        Thank you very much for the information. Hope to read more of your adventures soon.

  3. John Froehlich says:

    Hey Jamie,

    Thanks for your trip report. I just attempted a similar loop but got skunked at the Redwall saddle by Juno temple. I ended up going right up the middle which was clearly not the right way to go.The night before my trip I studied your trip report thoroughly. And jotted down many notes. all of your information in your report was super helpful on my trip. Also I went up and looked for Hartman Bridge but was not lucky enough to find it. How did you get there? I just came out of the canyon yesterday and even though I was not able to pull off the loop that I had hoped to the trip was still unbelievable.Bringing the raft downand using it to cross the river has opened up many new ideas. I just want to say thanks for sharing as much about your trip as you have. Maybe I’ll see you in the canyon sometime.

    Johnny

  4. Dave Johnson says:

    Jamie
    I am thinking of taking your route (Nankoweep to S. Rim). Is the Butte Fault Route primarily the bare rocky ridge that you picture descending into Kwagunt? Thanks for any other beta on this route. Dave Johnson Butte, MT

  5. Thank you for the write-up and photos! I’m looking forward to doing some of these routes in the canyon, and just need to find someone/some people to go with me.

  6. Greetings Jamie,
    Just wanted you to know that you have inspired my hiking buddy and me to tromp around the Grand Canyon.
    We’ve done a couple Winter trips (love Winter in the bottom!) and intend to keep it up every year. I really appreciate your site!
    Keep up the good work.
    Rick

    • Jamie Compos says:

      Thanks for the comment Rick! I absolutely love winter at the bottom too, but shhh let’s try and keep it a secret, okay? 😉

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