Day 2: Today the sun throbbed above an open sky while a persistent wind pushed on us from the west. Convection. Oven. Our course took us from a dispersed backcountry site in Devils Garden cross country to the western perimeter of Arches National Park. We then struck careful course across open slick-rock to ultimately fumble our way down something called “The Great Wall” and into the thickly overgrown Courthouse Wash. The wash should take us out of Arches and deliver us back to Moab early tomorrow as we pass through in route to Hurrah pass. We are moving along well and still feeling strong at the end of day 2. (I want to thank @danigoesoutside for putting together an updated water report during her hike last year and @m.thibault90 for sending us up-to-date water notes as he hikes about three weeks ahead.)
Day One of the Hayduke is in the books. This route was created by Mike Coronella and Joe Mitchell, both of Utah, as the combination of several treks including a 94-day expedition in 1998 and a 101-day journey in 2000. We will take several alternates and extensions to expand the hike to about 1,000 miles. It’s on. #hayduketrail#hayduke2019
Reaching from Below
A pine tree reaches for the sunlight from down below massive, towering hoodoos in Bryce Canyon National Park’s incredible eroded wonderland. The scale of these towers is mind blowing, as they stand improbably in this Utah gem of a National Park. It’s easy to get lost in the awe of such a place, pondering the centuries and millennia of slow but relentless erosion that uncovered and then sculpted these formations. And then the mind drifts further back to ponder what deposited the exquisite shades of orange in the ground to begin with so that they would later be uncovered here in the Colorado Plateau, which is such a geological gold mine. It’s as if an art gallery was created to showcase the greatest wonders that erosion could produce. And Bryce Canyon certainly has some of those masterpieces of erosional art. One thing is certain, and that is that the forces of change will march ever on here. We are lucky enough to see this art in all its glory during our brief stay here in geologic time. The forces at work here will long outlast us, but we can sure appreciate the beautiful works those forces have created while we are here.
If only the writing on the wall could talk.
For months I’ve been following a man named Clyde Whiskers around the canyons of southern Utah without any clue who he was. Research proved elusive, about as helpful as the frontier of my imagination. Then one day, the canyon called me (on a phone).
I started as a curious hiker asking too many questions, which brought me into the heart of one of the least discussed cases of indigenous injustice. When Clyde Whiskers found me (literally) it helped realize one of his dreams for the Southern San Juan Paiute Tribe.
This rabbit hole went deep. Read the full story in Issue 10 of @thegulchmagazine (FREE in Durango). Online link in my bio. Subscribe to support stories like this. 📍San Juan Southern Paiute ancestral lands 📸 @eginoire_photo#writingonthewall#pathoflight#wherethemountainsmeetthedesert#callofthecanyon
This perspective might seem a little underwhelming/awkward, because the real business is only visible from the other side - a 10+ foot “downclimb” off a diving board surrounded by outward-sloping walls - so no easy stemming. Questionable holds, questionable route, no belay - nonetheless, mandatory moves. Story of my freaking life. But I wouldn’t want it any other way.