March 12, 2019
“Am I a thru hiker again?” I ask the sky in the morning. It doesnt respond–that silent assessor–but something inside me says no, not yet. The old skin is still there, not completely shed, but I can feel it peeling.
Melanie and I walk along at an easy pace, talking as we go and trying to dodge all the crypto. We come to a wire fence which marks the boundary of Arches and follow it for a hour while the grey sky grows heavier and heavier. We eventually trade soil for rock and delightedly follow tinajas down the cracks and wedges of rock. Tinajas are cup-like indentations in rock that hold rainwater, and all along our path they’re lined up like drops of dew on a summer leaf. We take water from one and enjoy a fine lunch of avocado and cheese wraps while a gentle rain falls.
But good miles and sisterly faces cant save us from Courthouse Wash, which is the crux of the day. Courthouse is known for two things: quicksand and overgrown brush. As advertised.
I led the way and got taken by the sand three times, once all the way to my hip. It’s quite the thrill to feel a whole limb suddenly slip deep into the sandy water earth.
Despite all its challenges, the day was engaging and dare I say a lot of fun. Not something I’d care to do again, mind you, but a genuine Hayduke experience for sure.