Day 12, 13? Miles
The 1.6 miles back to the main trail seem a lot shorter this morning than last night. It helps when you’re not tired.
We see four backpackers on their way to the arch, it’s kind of fun to see some other hikers on the trail.
We continue our way along Salt creek, sometimes down below sometimes higher up. We pass by a small cascade right around 11 which since yesterday just happens to be our new lunch time. Break time it is!
After this spot we pass by some cool ruins and pictographs. Then it’s on to see the All American Man. It’s a famous pictograph which, to be honest, looks a bit fake. We have a fun chat with two other hikers there who assure us there is water all the way up the canyon. There is also a hiker register and we discover there are two women two days ahead of us on the Hayduke. That makes four with the couple we met early on. Since that couple was sticking to the main route I was kind of hoping we would stop seeing footprints ahead of us. I guess that’s not to be.
(Above is not the the All American man.)
We continue on past an old cowboy cabin and have another sweet water break. Having water cascading in the desert is just so special. We only carry out minimal water since we’re assuming there will be water at our turn off since it looks like it from the map and what the hikers told us.
Just about two miles later we get to our junction and cross a dry creek bed. Crap! I walk a little bit up the other trail and Prana our trail. I just see dry sand and return to Haiku. As we’re discussing options on whether to walk the trail back or follow the wash back Prana comes back with good news. He found a big puddle of water! It’s not the greatest looking water but it’ll do.
I think we’re just filtering some and carrying some ‘dirty’ water so we can hike on a bit longer and make a dent in the 26 mile waterless stretch. Unfortunately they’re filtering more so they can backflush their filter to prevent it from clogging and they need water for cooking too. I’m getting chilled waiting and then we realize time is slipping away and it makes more sense to just camp. I’m pretty frustrated since I was really wanting to hike some more. I very much enjoy hiking with Haiku and Prana but I really miss Greenleaf right now, we do things so differently and it’s hard not to have him with me. It’s funny because Prana and Haiku’s hiking style is for the most part more similar to mine than Greenleaf’s is. When I find a campsite I have a little pity party but after about ten cookies, a cup of coffee and a hug from Haiku I feel better.