Memories from October 15, 2018.
There was a lot of wind last night. This doesn’t usually matter on a warm night but at some point moves into a depression a few feet away to have less sand blown in my face and my inflatable pillow get blown away in the process so I used my shoes instead.
The Dirty Devil dance, a side moving two-step that looks a lot like good stream crossing technique continued this morning until about 10am. Neoprene socks made this a much better experience.
Final score: two misadventures in deep, sucking mud (no shoes lost); two falls onto sticky mud, one instance of getting cliffed out; three failed crossing attempts; zero encounters with quick sand; and one pair of shorts which are still dry. The trick to the dry keeping the short part of zip-off pants dry is that I have far thighs and can pull leg hole up and the larger size of the thigh holds them up.
The little boy in me was smiling.
From there it was just canyon cruising for 15 miles to the road where I could hitch into Hanksville where I have a resupply box.
On nearing the road, I saw an SUV with its flashers on and three people who, as I got closer, looked like hikers. Two were getting off trail and dropping off the third back at the trail. It was a little awkward to introduce myself in the middle of their goodbyes. It turns out that I’d seen their entry in the Needles Outpost log and it was Superhip whose footprints I had followed across the Red Benches the day before when I was struggling to reconcile map, compass, and directions. I’m pretty sure that I later overheard myself described as “overeager” which is probably accurate given that I hadn’t talked with a human (besides myself) in over two and a half days.
The two leaving trail graciously gave me a ride to Hanksville and recommended I ask about a hiker discount at the motel. There was a discount but the heater didn’t work. The shower was hot and the internet connection fast enough to get photos uploaded.