map Miles: Today: 24.5/ Total: 187.9
GPS Miles: Today: 24.8/ Total: 203.5
Today’s Miles Sponsored by: Dick & Debbie
This cold will just not let go. It’s been in such weird phases. First the chest and the cough. Then the runny nose and the sneezing. Now the sinuses and ear pressure. It was still bothering me all day. I even have a sinus headache right now above my right eye. I’m looking more and more forward to the day off coming up in Hanksville to get some good rest.
Before Hanksville, though, comes Hite! A small general store that’s part of the Glen Canyon NRA. There is nominally a marina there too, but they’re lucky if Lake Powell’s level ever gets high enough that they can launch boats from it. The original town of Hite is actually hundreds of feet below the lake level. (I won’t go into all the history behind the flooding of Glen Canyon but I encourage you to read about it! Edward Abbey has a great section on it in Desert Solitaire, and John McPhee devotes a lot of time to it in Encounters with the Archdruid, and I’m sure there are hundreds of other great resources too) It’s pretty remote and sparsely staffed, so the store is only on limited hours.
With that in mind, and still being a good 13-14 Miles away I was up and out of camp and on the road going as fast as I could. I expected to get in around 1, but either I was going super speed, or the map mileage is incorrect because I arrived around 11:30.
Not much to report on those miles in. The Henry Mountains stood out at sunrise (I’ll be going over them in a week) but otherwise it was mostly mindless road walking with cows- moo!
When I arrived at Hite I was blown away by the staff there. Stan immediately gave me his phone number and said if I needed anything just call. And Janice was so friendly! She knew all the things- unprompted showing me where to charge my phone, where to fill water, where the best spots to sit out of the wind were, offering little bites of crackers and cheese and ziplocks and so much more. What friendly folks! It sounds like they’re used to having both hikers and bike touring folks come through and they treat folks really well.
I recharged after the brisk morning hike for a few hours and then was off again. Across the Colorado River and on to the next section.
I didn’t go super far, only 6 miles or so to give my feet a rest, and because I’m now carrying 8 liters of water (the next drinkable water is 27 miles away) Most of it again was on dirt road or up an easy wash- which had petrified wood! Pretty cool!
I ended the day with what the map calls a “class 4 chimney- the tightest place on the trail ” and yup it was pretty rough. I climbed up easily enough but then I had to pull my pack up after me with my rope. It’s one thing to lower a pack, completely a different one to raise it, especially fresh off a resupply with all that water. I did it, but man I was afraid the rope was gonna break, or that I’d cut off the blood flow to my hands.
Camp came not long after- earlier tonight than recently in hopes that I could get some better rest. It was windy for a bit, but that’s mostly died down now. Half moon and the stars. It’s good to be cowboying again. Now to get rid of this headache.