Hayduke Day 13

Memories from October 16, 2018.

I took the bypass route around Mt Ellen today so everything was a road walk. It was actually quite pleasant morning because there was this odd feeling that I was walking through a landscape painting. Something about the colors and muted light.

In the afternoon I descended off Tarantula Mesa. I had a hard time finding the start because I was sure there would be cairns be there weren’t any even though everything was lining up on the map. Finally I realized that I’d made the mistake of not getting close enough to the edge. Sure enough, there was another 20yds of the same point of land that I was on.

The actual descent was much sketchier than the one into Fiddler Cove or either descent in Young’s Canyon. Notably, instead of dirt, it was dry mud which crumbled easily. Also, there were a few places where the distance to the rock below was just a little too far to be done easily. I damaged my pot by dropping my pack down first so I could balance without it. There were several places where I would not have guessed that the trail would go without cairns.

Tonight when I went to send a waypoint in my InReach, I discovered that I’ve lost it. The nearest road is the Burr Trail road in about 10 miles so I’ll go there and hope to find people with whom I can leave a message for my parents. My parents will probably call search and rescue after not getting a message for 48hrs so as much as I hate it, I’m going to have to treat this like an emergency. No map and compass guesswork tomorrow, all GPS.

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