Hayduke Day 8

March 18

Fiddling about is a fine way to pass the time, and that’s exactly what I plan to do. As I break camp I must have touched each thing at least twice–creating piles, moving the piles about, packing the piles, unpacking the piles. By the time all is put away the ground around my tent has been tamped down hard by hundreds of steps, all of them taken in the same 15 foot diameter. I take each rock that anchored my tent stakes in place and put them back in their rightful spot and notice animal tracks nearby. Was there a nightly visitor?

My foot has been causing me a moderate amount of pain these past few days and my first resupply stop is nearby so I plan on a short day. And by that, I mean I intentionally lose myself in the national park and find it much more difficult than I imagined to get back on track. Apparently Canyonlands is full of tiny random canyons…go figure. I’ll try a route and find it cliffs out, so I climb up or down or backtrack according to whichever way seems non-fatal and thus proceed for a few hours until I finally gain a road and from there I gratefully walk to Needles Outpost where I find friendly old Bard, watching over the place.

People come and on and I watch them pass from a recliner in the store. Bard lives in a cabin in the La Sal mountains and backcountry skies, or climbs, or carouses around the southwest when he’s not helping out at Needles. For a moment I envy his life, and then I think…wait a minute, I’m on the Hayduke Trail! Nobody is living a better life than me right now.

In the evening another Hayduke hiker walks in and we share a campsite and decide that yes, it has been cold at night, and yes, it is quite sandy out here.

I realized today as I was loading some of these entries that I dont have a whole lot of pictures to show for this first week on trail, so I resolve to snap more shots along the way even though we all know “it just doesnt do it justice.

So here’s a beautiful sunset looking kinda mediocre in a picture.

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