Hack Canyon(851.1)-Hwy 385(879.2)
When we woke up this morning, we knew we had a shot at making it to town, but we weren’t sure how the miles would go. It would be over 25mi and we weren’t sure that we wanted to go into town that late and waste a hotel stay on a short overnight. We are a half day behind our intended schedule and planned to get into town earlier today to get a full 24hr rest before heading out on the final leg tomorrow afternoon. The clouds were threatening again and that also added an unknown factor to today…so we walked. In the first hour or so, Katherine caught up to us and we all overlapped until the water source at lunch.
It looks like we all may now be on the same schedule to the finish, which was not the plan. We were trying to stagger our days so Katherine can have her solo time and we’ve, once again, been fated to possibly overlap. We tried to run the options today and unless one of us zeros, we will probably overlap some. It’s just horrible luck that Katherine is on one of the least traveled routes to find solitude and has found herself caught in a bubble much of this hike. I get it and feel bad for being part of the frustration, but even when we plan to stagger, things keep happening to realign our dates. Who would have thought such a thing would happen out on the Hayduke!?
We all had lunch at a piped spring a rancher had well fenced off to animals. The temperature dropped quickly and the wind picked up as the dark clouds got closer. That made for a quicker lunch and we all packed up sooner than expected.
The 30mi or so through this stretch of desert is notorious for being oppressively HOT and we have, once again, lucked out. It was hardly 60F…but storm clouds loomed. There is an alternate that adds a few miles to hike through Colorado City, a polygamist town and unique experience to walk through. There isn’t a store or motel, so an option is to then hitch to the much larger town of Hurricane just 20mi away. Our plan was to do that and hitch partway along the road walk and finish the road walk tomorrow. Katherine’s plan was to camp outside of town and just drop through tomorrow to get her resupply box and back out, so that’s how we will still be aligned. She hung back, not needing to hike much further and we hiked on hoping to make it to the highway to hitch to town. The miles flew by in the cool air! I got service enough to make phone calls and read my emails from the last 9 days. There is an iPhone feature of selecting text and having it spoken aloud to you. Great way to go through emails on a road walk with my headphones in. I love multitasking on a road walk and it gets me a head start on town chores. We hadn’t planned on pushing so fast to town, but all fell into place. Sometimes, I feel like I’m in a pocket of hitting things at exactly the right time without breaking stride, figuratively and literally speaking. Today was one of those days. I also feel like much of this hike, and the way my plans for the rest of the summer have fallen into place, are the same way. I’m in a good pocket and rhythm and all feels in sync. It’s nice and makes me feel like I must be doing something right.
We hit the highway at 4:30pm and had 5mi on the highway to walk before the turn to Colorado City. Having done 27mi already on our 9th day out, our feet were screaming. We decided to hike and hitch and to just start up tomorrow wherever we got the hitch. The temps dropped again and it was windy and 50s. The storm was right in front of us and moving a little too close for comfort.
After 1mi of hiking and trying to hitch on the very fast highway, a white truck pulled over! Three teenagers kindly let us lie in the back of the truck and it was a cold ride with the incoming storm. We were so happy to be heading to town. They were on their way to see Pitch Perfect two and I badly wanted to go too! Thanks for the ride you guys!
We were all checked into the Roadway Inn (great deal and accommodations!) by 6pm and headed across the street to the restaurant. They had a deal of a warm sandwich with fries and an unlimited deluxe salad, fruit, soup, and dessert bar and we took it! Great deal and so satisfying to all the cravings. Even a taco bar! Hit the spot!
It was 8pm by the time we got back to the room and still had showers and laundry to do…and blog posts. While I blogged, Gavin finally shaved! Treat is back people! Here he is enjoying some late night milk and mini donuts.
Really a great day and big miles with 28mi done by 5pm. My feet are still quite swollen and I’m very happy to be resting and to have a relaxed leave time tomorrow. Life is pretty darn good in the pocket right now. I want to give a big THANK YOU to HDT 2013ers Buck 30 and Skittles! Their detailed blogs have been an amazing resource and I am sooo impressed with the amount of detail they each wrote. Well done guys and thanks so much for paying it forward. I wouldn’t be here in this perfect hotel spot if it wasn’t for them. You two are great! Tomorrow, Colorado City.