Wednesday, June 2
After being at home in Denver Colorado for 13 days, being with my mom during her passing away, I was needing to get back on trail. Trail time would allow me to collect my thoughts about the loss of my mother. My mom also clearly told me she wanted me to get back on trail. If you have been reading this blog you’ve read many posts about how I cherish my mom. To continue with the excitement of the Four Corners Loop, I’m going to transition back into describing my experiences of my walk.
I’m resting in Cannonville Utah in the only hotel in town, a town that does not even have a diner. So for dinner I had canned Raviolis and Vienna sausages, microwaved to a hot tasty perfection Gordon Ramsay would be proud of. On top of this I added cheese curds, but they were not the squeaky cheese curds that makes poutine such a delicious dish. I am in this town because the town I mailed my resupply to 3 miles down the road has no services only a post office. My dust laden body desperately needed a shower.
I hiked to total of 70.6 miles since getting back on trail. I started at wire pass which is a very popular entrance into Buckskin Gulch. Wire pass and Buckskin Gulch were truly amazing. I see why this area is so popular it was amazing being in the worlds longest slot canyon. There were a few thunder clouds to the north so I chose to take the short route out of the slot canyon and travel upstream. This allowed me to travel up and over some sandstone features that were very similar to The Wave. I managed to hike all the way to the Paria Contact station in the first day.
On my second day out I was fully laden with 11 L of water. I needed this much water because the Paria river looked somewhat salty because there was salt encrusted earth everywhere and I really did not want to drink salt water for dinner. The beginning of the Paria river was a broad wide canyon with blocky red sandstone features all around. The bottom of the river was full of cottonwood trees and it was a very nice place to hike. During the warm parts of the day, or I should say hot parts of the day I took siestas generally from one to almost 5 PM to allow the atmosphere to cool so it becomes more of a manageable hiking temperature. One of the siesta points I was under an overhang rock near the jeep road. People kept pulling up asking if I needed any help one of the cars even offered a PBR which I took them up on, and as they drove off a root beer must’ve fallen out of their car they did not see on the ground. So was awesome to get trail magic in the form of a PBR, a root beer, and they also gave me an orange. It was worth packing the empty aluminum cans through the rest of the river drainage.
The third day going up the Pari River I entered part of the canyon that was more narrow and then I entered a part they got wider where I ran into some people and I looked up and the guy that gave me a ride all the way from Kanab to Wire Pass was standing in front of me, I can’t believe a person that pick me up hitchhiking was the same person I ran into in the middle of nowhere. Small world.
The fourth day continued up the prior river where I saw petroglyphs and steep red sandstone walls with the bottom of the river covered in cottonwood trees. I enjoyed hiking through the water the entire day and I also had to spend my time avoiding quicksand. This day the red stonewalls giveaway to even larger white sand stone walls and I saw more petroglyphs as I traveled.
If you’re near Cannonville Utah stopping by Kodachrome State Park is worth your time. I entered this part because it was a good known water source and I was amazed at the beautiful colors in the sandstone sculptures if you want to see something amazing without the crowds then I recommend Kodachrome State Park in Utah.
From from Kodachrome State Park I did an up and over / cross country route and I came off the highlands using a key route that I spotted via satellite photographs. I’m giving myself some kudos here for nailing the only possible route down through some cliff bands using nothing but satellite imigery information. I really do have a six cents in route finding. As I’m walking, i can say to myself I remember looking at this from the satellite there’s even individual bushes I remember from looking at the satellite imagery in the section.
Tomorrow my resupply package should be in Henrieville and I will continue on hiking to the town of Escalante Utah. I’m looking forward to the awesome organic grocery store in Escalante. Their sandwiches were amazing when I drove through there last year.
I’d like to sum up this section with some thoughts about my mother. When my mother was passing away I played her a song On Eagles Wings. Wow was this this song as the British say an “earworm” for the last five days. Now I just need to give somebody a “tune coodi” because I do need another song to be stuck in my head so please somebody get On Eagles Wings stuck in your head so I can get a new song stuck in my head. I also carried a brass bell from my moms house with me, it was nice to hear the bell jingle, but I determined the bell jingle does not scare away rattlesnakes.