Hayduke Day 7

Memories from October 10, 2018.

I was cold last night because my deflated sleeping pad didn’t insulate against the wet sand very much. I wound up shoving my backpack under my torso and hips which let me pass out but not sleep well. Also, it had been calm when I pitched my tarp so I pitched it high and in the night gusts were coming from all sides.

I successfully tracked every turn of the remaining miles of Butler Wash by compass and was expecting the spire which marks the exit canyon when it came into view.

Getting out of Butler Wash felt like a minor ordeal. However the Fable Valley exit was so much more intense that I can only remember a few things about it.

Getting out of Butler wash involves most of the way up one drainage then cutting over to another, contouring to it’s head, then scrambling out. I actually got lucky with identifying the cut-over point. I was tired of taking steep scrambled to bypass things and saw a gap where a ridge came down and thought I might see if I could bypass a couple of things at once. Then I checked the guidebook and map and realized that this was the point where I switched drainages instead of continuing to go up this one.

Finally getting out of Butler Wash and looking out across Beef Basin (I did see some beef while crossing it) felt so good.

During the descent into the wash after the pleasant walk across Beef Basin, I didn’t see either of the springs I’d intended to refill water at, probably because I came in a little lower than you’re supposed to. I wound up finding relatively clear water in potholes on the way down.

Fable Valley trail should be more popular given that it goes next to the HUGE Gypsum Canyon. Maybe the problem is that it’s accessed by a 4×4 road. The rest of it is pretty ho-hum after that.

[The WordPress app doesn’t show panoramas in its picture selector and I only took panoramas]

Getting out of Fable Valley by means of a side canyon involves, according to the guidebook author “numerous pour-offs. The Skurka supplement says three. I think he has a higher standard for what counts as a pour-off or bypassed two and once on several occasions. By the end I was getting fed up and started looking for bypasses as soon as I thought a pour-off might be coming.

Finally getting to the Dark Canyon Plateau with it’s gentle slope, grass, and trees which were far enough apart not to try to steal the trekking poles you had stashed so you could scramble with both hands.

Tonight ended by unexpectedly finding a campsite in a pleasant spot on the track into Horseshoe Pasture. I’ve given up on my air mattress staying inflated so I spent some time building an elaborate nest with my backpack.

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