Monday, April 20, 2015

Day 29: A Nero To Tropic

April 20th
Just before Cannonville(457)-Tropic,UT(463.7)
6.7mi

Woke up to another cold morning in the mid 30s and condensation on the ceiling of the tent. I'm sooo glad it isn't hot, but whew, near freezing temps is quite a way to wake up! I'll be quick today as it's a nero and I have lots to do before getting on trail tomorrow. I had an enjoyable 7mi road walk to Tropic. I walked by the lone gas station/hotel in Cannonville on the way and was disappointed there wasn't a warm breakfast restaurant. I did however get a roll of chocolate donuts to put a temporary band aid on the stomach until I got to Tropic a couple hours later. 


I was in town by 9:30am and checked into America's Best Value Inn. When I walked in, Busted Magic was there checking out! She and Wade got a hitch a few days back as the same roads wind all over out here and we aren't really traveling too far from town. For example, we hiked 145mi to get here from Escalante and it's 40mi by road. There is no cell service in town unless you use roaming, but the wifi here is good. Just frustratingly slow to have to type all communications on the phone. I got a text from Katherine that she randomly got hosted by someone that lives 10mi back along the road walk. He is going to bring her to Tropic to resupply and she will hike from there tomorrow to take a cross country route into Bryce and avoid the 17mi total road walk I'm doing to be able to walk through Tropic and we should arrive in Kanab the same day. 


I ate breakfast next door to the hotel and when I walked out, who was sitting outside??....Gavin! He left a half day after we did and pushed hard through this leg and just arrived an hour or so after me. As we were catching up, Katherine arrived (the restaurant is also attached to the lone place to get groceries), and then Busted Magic and Wade walked up. Five Haydukers in one place all coming from different directions. It mush be a record! What a coincidence. Mad at myself for not getting that photo!

So there is now a new plan. Katherine is really enjoying her solo time she craves and appreciates in the wilderness and will move on her own, but chances are that we will still overlap at times since we are very close to the same schedule. I'm going to hike on with Gavin and we have an option to have our Grand Canyon permits coordinated if we don't drive each other nuts in the next two weeks. So chances are we may finish out the trail together. 


A bit more on Gavin. He is a semi-retired, 42yr old, investor guy type from a small town in New York. I don't get it, but much like Ferris who I hiked with on the AT, he put in his time and can manage his funds if he lives simply, so hiking is perfect! Gavin did the first half of the PCT in 2013 along with integrating the challenging cross country Sierra High Route. He likes off route stuff and does that with long distance dirt biking(motorcycle) trips. Apparently, there is a culture of dirt biking long distance just like thru hiking. He also likes photography. My favorite part is that he looks just like Treat Williams, the dad from the show Everwood! I'm totally right and no one out here gets my reference!


Ok, so tomorrow, I set off with Treat..er..Gavin on a nice short four day leg into Bryce Canyon!!!




Day 28: Smooth Sailin'

April 19th
Paria River, 1mi S of Snake Creek(431.8)-Just before Cannonville(457)
25.2mi

I was up and out by 7am. There was a chill in the air and I sadly had to put on my cold soaking wet shoes and immediately step back into the countless crossings of the Paria River. I had 10 more miles of the Paria and it was much like yesterday, but a bit better. It curved more and I was able to get on some tracks on land every so often, so that was more enjoyable. 


My feet were numb from the crossings, so I welcomed the break, even if it was in deep sand. There was still plenty of that clay mud that suctioned your shoes to the ground too. Fortunately, it seemed to go by quickly  and I was done with those 10mi by 11am. 




From there, I forked off to do the Bull Valley Gorge alternate. It added about 6mi, but it seemed worth it with some narrows to see. I had the whole thing to myself and was surprised not to see anyone else since it's a Sunday. The gorge and narrows were nice although I'm not sure I'd say it's worth adding 6mi onto an already long leg (145mi including the alternate) just one day before town. 


It didn't have anything beyond the other narrows we've seen and just 2mi of it has narrows. The rest of it is more of a wash. However, it is a popular hike and you may as well do it while you're here is my opinion. It was unique to be in there alone as it echoed easily as my poles clacked. Some of it was quite narrow too. 




At one point, there were mounds of mud that seemed out of place along the walls. Then it felt like I'd entered a refrigerator. Then I realized the mounds weren't mud, but mud covered snow that had yet to melt. That was a surprise! 




Bull Valley isn't a stroll all the way. In the narrows, there were many obstacles that needed tackling. Many boulders to climb around. The most precarious ones for me had bare branches leaning against them to assist or even scale like a smooth and possibly unstable ladder. All made more interesting by the added weight and imbalance of the pack. 


After Bull Valley Gorge, it was a short road walk to another popular day hike, Willis Creek Narrows. It was fun to do two such different narrows so close together. Willis Creek had many day hikers. It is a 2.3mi out-and-back hike for most, but not for me since the end of it connected with Sheep Creek, which I took 2mi to a dirt road. It is just fun sometimes how all these can be connected and it must have been fun for the trail creators to piece all this great stuff together into one continuous hike. 


I'm now on a road for about 10mi to my next town of Tropic. I did the 3mi of dirt road walking and had fun seeing the same people I saw in the canyon drive by and some even stopped to chat. The view as I hiked was great! Apparently, I'm back in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park. An info board gave background on the name. It refers to the layers of rock and their colors that make them seem like different colored steps or levels, which they sort of are since each represents a time period from long ago. The clouds had gathered all day and it was a great view to have. 


I did get time to also watch the final episode of Transparent's first season. It is a good series and it's cool that it's been recognized by the major awards ceremonies given that it's an original series from Netflix and not on broadcast television. My next series is probably going to be House of Cards, also from Netflix. I've yet to see any of it and it has already had 3 seasons, so I have some catching up to do. Good thing there's plenty of road walking in and out of Tropic!

The miles flew by today and I stopped at 6:30pm having done 25mi. My body is sooo ready for a nero tomorrow with just 7mi to Tropic. Oddly enough, I'm just two miles from the tiny downtown of Cannonville, which I'll walk right through and possibly eat breakfast. I could have hiked on and pushed a bit faster to stay there tonight at the KOA, but I don't need to pay for something I can do happily for free without tons of others around. Plus, I have tons of extra food (finishing this leg two days earlier than expected) and don't want to be tempted to buy from a restaurant. I had to stealth camp off the road and seem to be in a somewhat legal spot. I didn't cross any barbed wire to get here and seem to be on the correct side of the no trespassing sign...if there is a correct side...I'm well hidden and will be out early, so no one should notice. 


That's about it for my second solo day on the Hayduke. The miles went by so easily, it will be possible that Katherine will make it into Tropic tomorrow too. Then we will reassess what will happen with the next leg. We are now on the Bryce Canyon Extention, which adds some of the awesomeness of Bryce to the route. Really excited about the next leg and finally seeing Bryce! 

Day 27: Independence Day

April 18th
Hackberry Canyon(404.8mi)-Paria River, 1mi S of Snake Creek(431.8)
27mi

We got going by 7:45am this morning. It was still cold, but we could tell it would finally be a warm day once the sun was high enough to warm the canyon. We had about 14mi of Hackberry Canyon to go down. The first couple hours of the morning, the canyon was dry and sandy. It wasn't too wide and I liked the rock walls on each side as it curved.  The sand was fine and damp, (possibly unique given the recent precipitation) so it was easy walking. With the ripples in the sand and abundance of smooth stones and pebbles of various shapes and colors, I felt like I was on the beach of an ocean with no water. 




Katherine has had a bit of a nagging knee that swells from time to time. Nothing that would stop a hike, but something she wants to be careful not to over stress so she can enjoyably return to dance (which she loves) when the hike is over. We have ~60mi left and with the pattern of 20+mi days we've had, there's a chance of making town in three days. Katherine is thinking of either taking it easy and stretching it to four days or possibly taking a zero in town to rest the knee. We discussed it and since it's all unpredictable and dependent on how the knee feels, I'm going to just do my pace to town (probably in 3 days) and then we'll check in with each other in town(Tropic). My laptop is in the next town(Kanab) just four days after Tropic with someone who offered to host me, so I may just hike on to Kanab and take a lot zero with my laptop until Katherine catches up...or we may end up hiking separately. We are just going to play it by ear. So, mid morning, we split at a spot where Katherine wanted to check out a side trip to a technical slot canyon called Stone Donkey Canyon. As I hiked the remaining miles to the end of the Hackberry Canyon, it got narrower and changed completely with more foliage, a solid stream, and reddish colored rock all around. 



It is Saturday, so there were tons of day hikers coming in from the trailhead. By the last few miles, there was no point in dodging the water as the trail became the water and I just hiked in the stream, which was just a couple inches deep most of the time. It was really nice and I recommend it as a nice unique day hike. 




I had lunch at the trailhead and 30mins into my lunch Katherine arrived and was also planning to have lunch there. We were shocked that we had done over 14mi by lunch and still had half the day of hiking left. Katherine was trying to slow down, but apparently can't help it, ha! The knee was ok, but her plan was to stop early if it got aggravated the second half of the day, which is what's been happening. I packed up and hiked on, this time knowing we probably won't see each other again until town. 

I was excited to get a 3mi dry road walk to the next canyon and soon realized that the map suggested the road as an option, but the was an actual trail along a creek, so I cut back over and took the trail. The rat of the day was spent hiking up the Paria River which looks like chocolate milk. 


It was wide and wound a lot, so I had to cross it all afternoon. At least it was shallow and warm enough to have shorts on. There wasn't any quicksand, but there was a lot of that claylike mud that can make things slow. 


I was able to find harder packed clay or sand much of the time, but I this terrain is not great for Katherine's knee. I have my ankle brace on for the third day in a row and will probably wear it the rest of this leg. It got irritated with the heavy loads at the start of the leg a few days ago and is improving, but still sore, so I'll give it the brace for a few days. 


There were tons of cows and I couldn't bring myself to drink that water. I tried to get some cleaner water from side streams marked as possible sources on the map, but they were either dry or just as murky. 


I went a bit later than I would have liked and hiked until I found a pothole of water that somehow wasn't so silty at 6:50pm. It had been a big mile day (27mi!) and I immediately setup camp nearby happy with the progress. I got a great spot again protected by some pesky tamarisk and I have a nice view with the red rock cliffs around me. 


This has definitely got to be the biggest of the trip for me since but miles generally don't happen on the Hayduke. I really think the map must be wrong as I don't feel like I did that many miles. I would have guessed a few miles less, but Katherine has the GPS that runs all day to track log the hike, so I couldn't compare today. 

I'm starting to fall asleep, but I will comment a bit on hiking solo today since it's the first day solo this hike. It's something I'm comfortable with and so is Katherine. I find it refreshing and enjoy the independence of it. It's nice to get some days to be on my own again.  For the Hayduke, I feel comfortable going solo, but my opinion is that having someone to share the Hayduke with definitely makes it more enjoyable for me. Having said that, Katherine really likes the solitude of her hikes and I'm happy she can get this time since she doesn't get out on long hikes each year like I do. She probably prefers hiking solo and that may be her decision once we reach town. Nothing to do with our pairing, just her preference and something we both knew coming into this. I don't want her to look back and wish she'd had more of that solitude she enjoys so much. We've been open about that and may end up doing this second half separately. For now, just these few days to Tropic and then we will reassess. 

Day 26: Cold Road To Cool Narrows

April 17th
Jeep Td after Paradise Canyon(382.6)-Hackberry Canyon(404.8mi)
22.2mi(GPS says 23.1mi)

Brrr! We both awoke to frozen condensation on our tent ceilings. I am lucky that I seem to perspire and exhale less than Katherine, as she also had the condensation frozen on her sleeping bag. Her thermometer read 25 degrees when we hiked out of camp at 7am. Again, thankfully there was no wind, so it made the hiking more enjoyable and my fingers and toes soon warmed up. We had about 12mi of nice dirt road walking this morning. It's like a perfectly big wide trail just for us. There was thick frost on all the sage and we could see snow on a set of mountains off in the distance.


The clouds didn't lift all day, so the cold remained with it in the 40s today. Tomorrow, we heard it will get a bit warmer. I actually prefer these cooler temps to the hot days, so I'll take everyday like this we can get! The clouds were just glorious and really enhanced the scenery along the road walk. 


It was such smooth terrain that I was able to catch up on some blog entries I hadn't finished putting the photos in the last couple of nights due to cold and just plain falling asleep. It was nice to multitask and get some things done. I even listened to more of The Interestings. Here I am "multitasking."


Our plan was to stop at a Grosvenor  Arch 12mi into the day for lunch. We are in Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park and it's a popular one. We were excited for a picnic table, a pit toilet, and possible trash can. Just a mile before Grosvenor Arch, we topped out on a hill and I got LTE on my phone. It was super fast and I just had to stop and load the last four blog posts and some emails. By the time I arrived at the trailhead, Katherine was there talking to a couple that just happened to be there and they offered us water and to take our trash. Now that's trail magic on the Hayduke! Goodbye alkaline water(from which we both are experiencing some digestive issues)! We also got enough water to cook dinner for lunch since we are in a long waterless stretch and we won't see water til tomorrow. Thanks so much to Andrew and Emily for the much needed water and for taking our trash off our hands!


There were two picnic tables and we were able to spread things out to dry while we ate. Other day hikers came and went while we were at the trailhead. Two guys drove up who were photographers and they had every huge camera you could imagine. They gave us some strawberries and we talked a bit. While one camera was setup near us to grab a time lapse, they hiked over to the arch and had a drone they flew up over the arch to get shots. One of them had a fancy Polaroid camera that looked like it was from the 50s or something he took a photo for us to keep. The exposure got a bit messed, up, but it was fun! They even took more shots for us with the really nice cameras (one was huge and had its own cooling fan attached) that we may one day get. It was cool to see such unique and huge cameras. 


As if that all wasn't enough, as we were packing up, two more Haydukers hiked up that we had yet to meet and unknowingly hiked past early this morning while they were camped. Two really nice Colorado brothers named Ethan and Chase. 


They are the 5th & 6th that we've met and I know of two male pairs ahead of us and one solo gal that started the week after us, so that makes 13 this season so far doing a full thru. That's a lot for the Hayduke. Ethan and Chase started two weeks before us, are doing the guidebook route without alternates, and are doing caches so they don't have to go into any towns. They haven't been to town yet! No pizza, burgers, or milkshakes! They may go in a week or two to get their Grand Canyon dates figured out. They've been doing shorter days than us since they have 9 resupply caches and can split the long carries that towns limit. They stashed them before their hike in big buckets and will drive to pick up the buckets after the hike. With our varying routes and paces we could possibly end up leap frogging with them every so often, so they may pop up again in the next month. Today they stopped early to camp at their cache while we hiked on. It was nice to meet them and match those footprints to people. 

From the Grosvenor Arch, it was about 5 more miles of mostly road walking to the big event of the day, Round Valley Draw Narrows. Yay Narrows!!! On the road walk, I got to watch two episodes of Transparent. I haven't gotten any time in the evenings or towns to watch lately and was quite happy to watch a couple as I walked the road. When we got to the narrows, it was quite a high tight drop to get in and I was uneasy at first, but it wasn't as tough as it looked. There was even a strap at the spot where packs needed to be lowered and that's the first time we've had to do that this hike. I definitely have some duct taping to do on the bottom of the side pockets of my pack. The constant scraping against rocks has worn holes on those, dang! I knew it was inevitable on this trail and should have premtively reinforced those. 




It was a fairly short Narrows of a few miles, but it was great! We took tons of photos and they really are surreal to be in. Here are the highlights and all the photos will be in my slideshow in another week or so from this section. 









After the Narrows, the canyon opened up to deeper sand walking and my body realized how tired it was. I started my period and it just knocks me down a few pegs. I learned of Naproxin last summer to manage the pain, but the outright exhaustion can't be avoided. I was having difficulty even keeping my eyes open the last hour of the day. We had trouble finding a spot that was, sheltered, flat, and on dry ground. We are guessing it is from either rain or condensation...and we are hoping it isn't from condensation. We don't want to have to wake up to wet tents again...it's chilly, but much less cold than last night. I'm in my odd state of being overheated and clammy, but chilled like I tend to be during this time for a couple days. I chose the sand with limited options and Katherine is up off the sand on a small dirt hill next to me. It isn't flat, but she is hoping it will be drier. It was quite a great day, and I'm going to hopefully sleep hard. 

Friday, April 17, 2015

Day 25: Cold Canyon Cruising

April 16th
Last Chance Creek Canyon(361.2)-Jeep Rd after Paradise Canyon(382.6)
22.4mi(GPS says 24.5mi)

It was in the upper 20s when Katherine checked her thermometer on our way out of camp this morning at 6:45am, but it didn't feel all that bad. Cold in the desert just isn't as cold as it would be in other places with more humidity...but it's still cold. It was fortunately a good night last night with no wind, snow, or rain that we noticed. 

Our canyon cruising continued for the second day in a row and it was pretty cold all day. Thankfully, not windy, so it wasn't uncomfortably cold. This also meant another full day of using the iPhone for photos, with my Panasonic Lumix not working in cold temps for some reason. It's fortunate that happened today I guess because it was pretty mundane and only took a handful of photos all day. We had a some more miles to do in Last Chance Creek Canyon before we turned into Paradise Canyon. The terrain and views were pretty consistent all day. More of the slick claylike mud covered with white powder from minerals in the water that once ran down the cantons. Just crossing the small stream or fully saturated ground constantly to find the driest or least muddy place to walk. 


The water chart for the Hayduke is interesting as you only have info from what past hikers have done and Skurka hasn't updated it in like 6yrs...so we've done our own research and updated what we could from recent hikers. Katherine is track logging the whole trail for Li Brannfors who has taken it upon himself to really detail maps and combine the pertinent beta from previous hikers. She is also waypointing all the water sources and their quality and going to send it all to Skurka to finally update that bundle. That will be really helpful to future hikers. The difficulty with the Hayduke is that most sources are seasonal and dry up by the end of spring depending on the year. Sources on the water chart are ranked 1-4 on reliability and we have lots of 2s that are very iffy. We have to be cautious, assume sources will be dry, and carry enough water as if they are dry. Anything else we come across is a bonus. Today was a big example of that. We were not sure of our sources and grabbed a lot this morning thinking it could be over 30mi to our next for sure water, but that there'd probably be water before then. Well, it turned out that much of the day we had a small trickle of a stream pretty much running down canyon on and off. We still carried our heavy loads not knowing if each time the stream stopped if it would ever reappear. Frustrating to carry 6L of water today and to keep seeing water much of the day, but we just had no way of knowing when it would disappear completely. 


All of the water is highly alkaline and I've been dodging those sources pretty well since I had my stomach issues early on this trail. There's not way to know for sure if that's what caused me to get sick, but here was no avoiding it today. I've now drank liters of that alkaline water and it does make my stomach gurgle, but I'm hoping for nothing more than maybe some loose stool since I have to drink it again all day tomorrow and possibly the next. Here is our wonderful source we were lucky to hit for lunch today (thinking it'd be our last til the end of the day). We got a pothole behind a rock and took the opportunity to cook dinner for lunch figuring we wouldn't have water at camp to cook tonight. As we ate, little snow flurries would fly down from time to time. The clouds built more as the day went on. 


Other than the water concerns and cold weather, today was very mundane, but we both welcomed the break for a bit. The terrain was very unstable with either slick mud of varying depths or deep sand to slog through. It was not the fasted moving, but better than the pace of boulder scrambling. Again, my bad ankle wasn't having it with the combination of the terrain and heavy pack load. It was giving me strong complaints and was unstable, so I gave in and wore the ankle brace I carry for such occasions. The brace actually helped and I'm relieved it did as it made the day much more enjoyable. It was just us and the cows today! The second day in a row without seeing anyone else. 


I listened to more of The Interestings audiobook and it's fine so far. I'm halfway through and still wondering why it's such a bestseller? I'm thinking it will get more "interesting" the second half. 

At the end of the day, it started snowing fairly steadily just before 5pm, which was when we also hit our ideal goal distance for the day and our final for sure water for 30mi. Well, it was ranked a 3 on the water chart, which is highly reliable, but it was dry. It was only 5pm, so we grabbed the water we needed for about 48hrs from pretty much a puddle about 100yds back on the trail. Here is Katherine in the snow doing her best to stay warm while using a scoop to get liters of water for the long carry. It was quite the uncomfortable chore with frozen fingers at the end, but that's just part of the Hayduke. We do hope to see water in the next 48hrs, but are carrying enough if we don't. I took 7L and Katherine took 9L, again choosing to carry a gallon in the jug in her hand rather than carry those 8lbs on her easily strained back. 


We hiked on through the snow, which didn't accumulate, for another hour and a half or so. Yes, SNOW! We expect nothing less from the Hayduke where it could snow one day and have sweltering heat the next. 




It's been nice to hike with Katherine who also isn't perturbed by these discomforts of hiking. Many would have set up camp at 5pm with snow and a water source, but we both enjoyed hiking on til just before 7pm and don't mind dry camping since it got us now that many miles closer to the next water.  


With the higher humidity tonight, the cold is much damper and more cutting. I feel like this is our coldest night yet. Rain pants are on again for added warmth and I have my down jacket and hood on along with my beanie and buff to keep my head and torso warm. Temps should rebound tomorrow. 

Day 24: Canyon Cruising

April 15th
Rogers Canyon(340.2)-Last Chance Creek Canyon(361.2)
21mi(GPS says 24mi)

Whew, the wind died down last night and was completely gone this morning! We were glad we didn't have to deal with sand and dust blowing into our tents all night the way it was before we went to sleep. We got going about 6:40am. Both our bodies were definitely feeling it from yesterday's humbling heavy carry, boulder scrambling, and jarring downhill leaps from rock to rock. I was pretty much sore all over. My bad ankle (that had surgery on a severed ligament in 2006) was not happy with all the weight from yesterday and again today, so it voiced its displeasure all day. It was in the 40s much of today and thankfully not very windy. Clouds gathered all day and we expected temps to drop, but they didn't until the afternoon when it was just 40 degrees. It was good with the sun, but it could turn quickly when the wind kicked in and a cloud would block the sun. I kept my down jacket on most of the day and it was fine. Had to use the iPhone for photos all day since my Panasonix Lumix has stopped working in the cold for some reason. 

We had a very relaxed and plain day and that was a surprise after yesterday. We knew we were headed into a full day with canyon hiking and were prepared that it could be as congested with boulders as Monday Canyon was yesterday. This morning, we did a few more miles in Rogers Canyon and it thankfully opened up a bit so we could get a rhythm going. From there, we spent the rest of the morning hiking up the slight incline of Navajo Canyon. We were stoked to find that much of Navajo had flat, hard clay to walk on and we got many miles in early. I even listened to more of The Interestings audiobook. 


There was about an hour of climbing up through boulders that got us worried that we'd be knocked back down to the 1mph pace of yesterday, but it soon cleared and was a cool tighter canyon the last mile or so. 




After Navajo Canyon, we entered Reese Canyon, which was also smooth sailing and uneventful, but a nice view up top as we hiked down. 


It's really just been two days of canyons and it makes a big "W" when you look at it on a map. We are hiking to the town of Tropic over 145mi and I think we could have driven there in 40mi. Not the most direct route, but that's the Hayduke. It's not about the destination and we have some cool narrows canyons that I'm looking forward to later this leg. 

Next, we entered Last Chance Creek Canyon. A very wide canyon with clay-like terrain that can be deceivingly slick if you don't steer clear of muddy parts. It can be tricky and we were constantly testing with our poles to make sure we had solid steps. Water will appear sporadically in small potholes or stretches, but it's not great and is pretty alkaline. The whole floor of the canyon is quite white from the minerals in the water that no longer covers the ground. 


The clouds were gathering more, temps dropped to 40 degrees, and the wind gusts were more frequent and cutting at times. We wanted to camp with a water source and somewhere protected since there's a 30% chance of rain/snow. We made many more miles than we expected going over 20mi and we were tired from yesterday, so we started looking for sheltered camp spots early at 6pm. Water was getting more sporadic, so we found water and then settled for camping nearby in a bunch of fully grown tamarisk. We are NOT fans of tamarisk, which seem to grow like strong, tall, thick weeds along every bank of every stream we come near or need to follow. Well, tonight, we hope this cave made of tamarisk will protect us from whatever weather may come. We just barely fit in here and it seems to be a regular cow hangout. Our water source is quite alkaline too, but that's normal out here. 


The sky is clear, there is no wind, and bright stars right now, but earlier as we had dinner and setup our tents, there were moments of each snow flurries and light hail that covered the ground briefly. I washed off the zipper of my tent and it worked for a moment and is now back to not working, dang. I'm glad I have the umbrella to prop up in the vestibule and keep the warmth in. Today was the first day that we officially saw no one at all. We had two other days where we didn't see anyone, but did see other Haydukers. 

We conservatively planned for 10 days at 15 miles per day this leg, but at this rate, we will probably be a day early...or even two...but as we learned yesterday, the Hayduke can have extended sections of 1mph trail at any moment. I'm now bundled and warm with my rain pants on over my smartwool pajama pants for added warmth. Off to sleep warmly...