Hayduke Day 4

March 14

By 6:30 I was in the common room of Lazy Lizard Hostel eating the dregs of a community jar of extra crunchy peanut butter. As I topped off my cell phone battery a couple of early risers filled in the room and I casually asked one if he was going in to town this morning. No, he responded, in fact he had nothing at all to do for the day. I took full advantage and suggested maybe he give me a lift to Arches, and he was game, so before the sun was even up I was back in route to get this hike going.

On the way he talked of odd jobs he’s held down, and geology (of which he is a casual expert) and of the Hayduke. People always appreciate hearing about long journeys, and as we parted he said he was glad I asked him for a ride, and that I find what I’m looking for out here in this desert.

But first, I have to take my revenge on old Courthouse Wash. The river bounced it’s way along the canyon, tamer now but still full of force and intention and memory. It knew me the moment I pushed a stiff foot into its icy waters and held me fast for a moment, but that was all. I forged on and soon the cliffs rose high above me and rock amphitheaters opened up and before I knew it Courthouse Wash was at its terminus and I was back in Moab.

I quickly made my way through town, obtaining a modest amount of food for the next leg of the walk and was chased back into the hills by a pack of ferocious chihuahuas and shih tzus.

The rest of the day is road walking along the popular Kane Springs road, a dirt thoroughfare for jeeps and dunebuggies (?) They roar past as I wave a lonely “hello.” But the canyon itself is worth a throat full of dust as it fills me with a humanly type of inspiration.  I’m slipping into the long distance mood–my eyes losing focus and training their sights on something far far out of view. This place can take me in increments, if that be its will. Cold descends steeply tonight and as much as I want to linger in the sunset, a stiff breeze forced me into shelter.

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