Day 4, 10 ish miles
We have about a mile and half to the road and are happy with our choice of stopping early last night. We didn’t see anything more scenic than our camp spot which was awesome and the traffic noise didn’t penetrate that far into the canyon.
At the trailhead we meet two other Haydukers who we met during our Devils garden alternate. They were day hiking then but now have their packs on. They slack packed to the courthouse wash bridge yesterday and our now finishing up the last five miles to the bridge from the other direction. I don’t think we’ll see them again because we’re planning lots of alternates and they don’t.
We walk a bike path into town and have excellent breakfast at eclectica cafe. The food is amazing and I pack out a piece of quiche and a piece of cheese cake.
We then move on to the Wake and Bake cafe where I have an excellent latte and charge my phone. We left a box of food at the Pagan outfitter so I buy the things I’ve been planning to buy there as a thank you but they aren’t super friendly and when Haiku comes in to pick up the box they don’t know where it is and they say they never hold boxes. Later in the day we stop by Gearhead outfitter and they are much nicer and say they could probably hold boxes (note for future hikers). I wish I’d spent my money there instead. They have three faucets to fill up water bottles which is just what we need.
So what did I add to my pack? A little canister stove and the thickest warmest socks I could find. Prana and Haiku take the time in the morning and evening to make coffee and tea and they have been giving me coffee in the morning but I can’t have that going on forever although the ‘room service’ was pretty sweet. As I spotted fuel canisters at Needles outpost as well I know I can have two solid weeks of hot tea, well worth carrying the tiny pocket rocket (or whatever it is that I bought).
I set off to buy my six days worth of food and we meet again at the grocery store. Haiku randomly spots a full can of soda on the side of the road and I feel obligated to drink it since it’s free. That was a very bad idea after having just chugged some applesauce but let’s not get into the details.
We roadwalk out of town, join up with the official route (which is a narrow road along the Colorado River) and leave it again to do another alternate. This one is called the behind the rocks alternate and takes us up and up steeply on a slick rock 4WD road. There are several heavy duty ATV’s making their way up as well. I have no idea how they do it. There are huge steep sections and ledges to navigate, I feel safer walking. They tell us that it’s not too late to turn around and ask us if we have enough water. Indeed we do, 4 liters of water and 6 days worth of food. Our packs are super heavy.
The views during our climb are amazing. Red rock walls, an arch and other cool formations with the Colorado River in between. At the top we have an overlook of Moab and the La Sal mountains.
The ATV-ers catch up to us and again tell us laughing that it’s still not too late to turn around. One of them even offers us a ride down. We explain what we’re doing and I don’t know if they’re impressed or just think we’re plain crazy.
We leave them behind and continue on more slick rock road. We are now in a sort of a valley surrounded by slick rock and more red rock formations with a distant view of other cool formations. It’s amazing. And when the evening light sets the place on fire it’s incredible. I have a huge grin on my face. So cool!
We find a sweet spot under a juniper tree and enjoy the spectacular sunset. I am so grateful to be hiking with Prana and Haiku, they’ve done more research on various alternates and I didn’t even know this one existed.
Coyotes are yipping in the distance.
What an awesome day!