Day Twenty-Four: Change of Mindset

Map Miles: Today: 24.3/ Total: 382

GPS Miles: Today: 23.6/ Total: 408.2

Today’s Miles Sponsored By: Kristi, Anonymous, Ellen, Woodbury Family, Jenine

All night I was being buzzed by either a hummingbird or, more likely, a hummingbird sized moth. Even so, I slept great and was excited for the morning to begin.

It’s amazing what a little rest can do to help change your attitude. I really enjoyed hiking through the rest of Navajo Canyon, though I’m really glad I stopped where I did last night. The canyon had so many different parts to it, starting off yesterday with the barren, desolate disintegrating gray walls and open flat bed, it soon narrowed up considerably and filled with huge boulder debris:

The first of many boulders that began blocking passage up Navajo Canyon

Again a different mindset- whereas yesterday the boulder fields drove me crazy, today I found them a fun challenge. Though as I’m writing this, I’m wondering if the difference is that I was going up them instead of down them today. Once above the boulders the canyon actually slotted up for a bit!

Short slot!

Once above the slots it was wide open smooth sailing once again, but this time in a world of red rock with some greenery to accentuate.

Wide open upper canyon

I also found a few random metal tubs and troughs just abandoned in the boulder fields as well as some old tubing that looks like it had been partially buried. 

Finishing the climb out of the canyon I hit a nice jeep road that I followed for a half mile or so before dropping into Reese Canyon.

Dropping into Reese Canyon

Reese Canyon was smooth sailing! A wide open bed and solid floor and I was down to the water at Last Chance Creek before I knew it! Though not before exploring the old cowboy trailer near the confluence.

Old cowboy trailer and corral. Every time I stumble across these I find it fascinating!

I had a long relaxing lunch break at Last Chance and used the new sawyer to make some water. (Thanks again guys!) and then it was on my way again following the creek upstream for the next 12 miles.

Last Chance Creek flows the whole way, though it doesn’t always look like it will. Many times the flow is less than an inch deep, barely trickling down the canyon floor. 

Last Chance Trickle

Every now and then though will be a small drop and mini falls and pools will form:

One of the larger pools in the creekbed

While there were some paths through the sandy grass that cut the meanders, I decided to mostly stick to the river bed. It had some big spotches of mud, but it was generally pretty easy to know where the muddy sections were. And besides, I’d rather take the mud than the sand anytime. So I made my way upstream. 

One random thing I saw, a cow leg/hoof, partially bone and partially with the skin and fur still attached. Never seen anything quite like it before. Thinking that more of the skeleton was probably around, I looked back, and sure enough, there it was…right in the middle of the stream.

Cow remains in the creek

I was just hoping that the water was diluted enough down where I had pulled it out, and thankful that I double treat my water.

The march upstream took the rest of the afternoon. The stream bed getting muddier as it went on, and my feet were pretty shot by the time 7:00 rolled around. A dirt road crossing was nearby which I figured would make a good place to camp. I turned the corner, and there was a white SUV and a tent set up next to the road. I was disappointed because I didn’t want to disrupt their solitude, but I knew that I wouldn’t be physically capable of going farther tonight. So I tried to set up camp as far away as I could.

Camp at sunset

It’s not the best campsite. I’ve discovered there’s a pretty good ant community around, it’s a touch mosquitoey, and I’m being buzzed by the hummingbird moth again, but it’s warm and the stars are out and bright and I have the peepers and the croakers and the trillers all serenading away.

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