Hayduke Day 12

Memories from October 15, 2018

I woke up in town, finished my blog posts, ate breakfast, got my resupplying boxes from the post office, exploded my backpack, then filled it up with new food and cleaned gear. Then I went to hitch back to the trail.

It took about an hour and twenty minutes to get a hitch. After the first hour, I got a milkshake and asked the cashier for a cardboard box with which to make a sign. After moving to a better spot, I got a ride from a beer drinking pair who had trouble staying straight in the lane. They also gave me some chapstick.

After getting dropped off at Poison Springs, it was a little hard to find the ATV road where the trail was supposed to continue. I made it to the guidebook’s first waypoint easily. I’m really not sure what happened thereafter.

The book says to follow to a T intersection. The T intersection I came to was definitely not the right one. I tried to piece something together from Skurka’s notes (which say that the map doesn’t show the roads correctly) but eventually gave up. With two hours of daylight I finally used the GPS to find my way back to a Crescent Creek Rd. GPS is so convenient.

My objective for the evening was to get to what looked like a small pond after a small mining operation. While walking the road, an ATV came by in the opposite direction and asked if I was OK. He said they’d rescued three women off the pass over which the route goes. The top of Mt Ellen is covered in snow and I had been planning on taking an alternate. He confirmed it would be clear. Much thanks to Mike McCandless.

Mike had said it was 15F and I’d noticed that despite hiking hard, I wasn’t cold so I put on everything I have while still warm. The reservoir as the pond turned out to be was well sheltered. I’ll collect water in the morning so it doesn’t freeze overnight.

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