Angel Arch Campsite(105.9)-Just before Basin Wash(124)
18.1mi (GPS says 20.7mi)
Well, the good news is that the stomach ache went away overnight and I was able to hold down a liter of water and a couple bars. I also got a really good night of sleep. The bad news is that I’m just not hungry and still had trouble eating what I should today. I’m hanging in there, but low on energy. We still have three days after today til we resupply at the remote Hite Marina where we sent boxes(few other amenities)…then it’s still three days to Hanksville and a much earned zero! So, basically, I need to hang in for another 6 days and better start eating more!
As for today, we started with headlamps at our usual 6:40am. We spent the first half of the day hiking up Salt Creek mostly in cool shade with canyon walls blocking the sun towards the exit of Canyonlands National Park. The morning hiking was fairly easy going with more of what we did yesterday hiking along the creek through mostly overgrown trail and leaping over the creek as the trail wove from side to side. Once out of Salt Creek Canyon, we were able to get more expansive views and it warmed up with the sun.
There were other backpackers out and it was nice to talk to some of them. We have yet to go a day without seeing someone, but it’s usually people on four wheelers, dirt bikes, or mountain bikes, not backpackers. We stopped at a great waterfall source for our extended lunch. We’ve been taking at least 1.5hrs for lunch each day and it’s actually been well needed. Lunch has been our sole water source many days, so we’ve been making dinner for lunch and doing some housekeeping and cleaning that we’d normally do at camp. While at lunch, we met Art and his son. Art knew about the Hayduke trail and had spent time in much of the areas we were headed into. We were concerned about our next water source. It’s hard to know how reliable the unreliable sources are on the Hayduke and it’s gotten many hikers in serious predicaments when they count on an unreliable source and don’t carry enough water. Our next for sure source would be 27mi away, but that is much further on the HDT than other trails. That would mean camp tonight and possibly all day tomorrow into the following morning. It was going to be a big carry. We were lucky to meet Art who assured us that we’d find water in 13mi, so we should hit it tomorrow morning. Whew, that saved us quite the carry! Here is Art giving Katherine some tips on what’s ahead. Thank you Art! We also had fun meeting another group of three that knew about the Hayduke and many of the places we are headed. It’s just cool that people are aware of the Hayduke.
The second half of the the day was the draining part. I think it is just assumed that each day on the Hayduke, there will be something that will wear you out. If it isn’t the heat, it’s the trail, and sometimes it’s both! Today we were very fortunate to have a good breeze in the afternoon and a few clouds that did help shade us from time to time. We had quite a climb up out of a wash that wiped me out. It was sandy, rocky, and pretty vertical. It took us an hour to do 1.3mi up out of the wash. It was difficult to get a picture that really showed what it was like, but here’s an attempt. Katherine is in the center towards the top.
The rest of the afternoon was a mix of cross country dodging little cacti and an old road that was sandy and rocky and more uphill. We both had runins with some cacti. They are tiny and everywhere. Somehow one flung up and stuck into the back of my leg. It was not fun to get out as it seems to have a way of sticking in there with maybe a tiny hooked edge or something that really digs in. Of course I had to get Katherine to take a picture. Notice how it sticks in from multiple directions to make removal difficult. Katherine got 3 stuck to her, but was quick to pull them out before I could get a photo. She wanted them out asap.
There was a lot of sharp brush the
second half of the day, but we both stuck it out with shorts and plenty of scrtches. At the end of the day, we had to scramble downhill on something just as steep as what we’d climbed on the other side. Here is the view before the final decent of the day and Katherine scrambling down. We are camped above the wash on the right.
It was a tiring day for sure for both of us, but we pulled it off and got to our goal camping spot for the day by 6:15pm. It is now about 9:30pm and I’m going to get some sleep and hopefully be more hungry tomorrow. I forgot to get a picture before it got dark, but I’m excited we are in trees! Still in sand, but I’m happy to have trees around me!