Day Three: Rocks and Sand

Map Miles: Today: 14.2/ Total: 35.9

GPS Miles: Today: 16.7/ Total: 42.0

Today’s Miles Sponsored by: Anonymous, Helen, and 12 Ounce.

One park done and safe in Moab. What a day! Physically I’m happy to be sleeping in a bed tonight. I’m nursing a cough/chest cold that started right before I left, my feet are feeling pretty wrecked (though the blister released on it’s own) my neck and face are on the pinker side and I’m getting some nasty pack rub on my hips- all par for the course and I couldn’t be happier!

The sun isn’t rising here until about 7, but my body is still waking me up around 6 so I spent my first 15 minutes or so just sitting in my sleeping bag listening to the dark world around. Packed and ready to go- I was treated to a beautiful Sunrise over the La Sal mountains.

Sunrise over the La Sals

I followed the border fence for a ways, before striking out on the slickrock and transitioning to sand dunes and back again. This would be the general theme for the day- rocks and sand neither did well by my feet. The rock is easy to walk on, but pounding and the sand gets into everything seeping through my shoes and into my socks where it grinds between my toes and under the ball of my foot. I stopped 5 or 6 times today just to empty all the sand out.

Mini Arch in a dry creek bed.


Hello slickrock!

I cruised along as well as I could, generally making good time until all of a sudden I was on the edge of a giant cliff- The Great Wall.

I’m supposed to go down that?!

From here it was slow going- finding the starting location took a bit of time, and then carefully picking where to drop from shelf to shelf. Three times I took my pack off and lowered it down first before scooting over the edge on my butt, but all in all it wasn’t quite as bad as I’d built it up. 

Made it!

Then it was back to the sandy bottoms all the way to the Park Avenue Trail where I ran into my first people of the day. Park Avenue follows a canyon floor next to some gigantic rock fins. 

Lydia’s Geopet enjoyed Park Avenue

After the nice mile reprieve along the “Avenue” it was back cross country again through the rocks and sand to the cliff band that looks out over the Colorado River. 

Looking back across the slickrock towards the rest of the park. Park Avenue, Balanced Rock, and Devil’s Garden are all visible!

At this cliff band I had probably the most interesting moment of the day- a narrow 15foot? 20 foot? Dry fall. I got there and said to myself there’s no way in hell this is the route- but I looked at the map, and that’s what it showed. Then I pulled out the GPS- sure enough same thing. Finally looking down I could see a few footprints from someone who had gone before me. Uff da. I chucked my poles to the bottom, took off my pack, tied a rope to it and lowered it down then stemmed my way down to follow. 

After lowering down my pack by rope. Uff da.

The rest of the way in to town went by as fast as a 3.5 mile road walk can on sore feet. But then it was time for all the town things! Showering! Shopping! Eating! Post Office!

Tomorrow I’ll be taking off from Moab and heading out on two more alternate routes developed by Jamaal Green (check out acrossUtah.com -it’s a great resource!). I’ve set myself a pretty aggressive agenda here for the next week or so- hoping that I can keep up.

Also! I’ve just passed the 1/3 mark for my fundraising! Thank you so much to everyone! If you’re able, but haven’t yet had the chance- click the link and make a donation to a great cause.

2 thoughts on “Day Three: Rocks and Sand

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