Day 6, 14 miles
I wake up in the middle of the night because the wind starts gusting. My head is in my bag but I hear the sound of precipitation. Oh no! The weather forecast was correct, the chance of snow materialized. Suddenly we’re all scrambling to up our tent. That’s always fun when you’re half asleep. At least I was sleeping in my rain gear so the snow doesn’t bother me. I guess I might as well take my pee break while I’m out.
I crawl back in and don’t sleep too badly afterwards eventhough the tent set up wasn’t perfect and included some shrubs and a stake in an uphill. There is always the “put the backpack in the sagging corner” technique to keep things in place.
In the morning there is just the tiniest bit of white stuff around my tent. I enjoy making a giant cup of tea with my new stove. I’ll start the day well hydrated at least.
Our first objective is Pritchett Arch only about a mile away. Initially it doesn’t look accessible but then we spot the trail going up to the ledge. Op top is all slick rock and there are three arches near each other and lots of little nooks and crannies. Pritchett arch is big and solid. Very cool and definitely worth the extra mile in our opinion.
Next is a tour of Hunter Canyon. We’re following an old 4WD which turns into single track and the scenery is amazing. Distance wise it would have made more sense to have turned right at Pritchett canyon yesterday but then we would have missed Pritchett arch and Hunter Canyon which were both awesome. I’m excited about all these scenic detours.
The weather can’t quite make up its mind today. It’s pretty chilly and windy with sometimes sun but as we’re descending towards Kane spring we’re in a brief snow flurry. Luckily it’s sunny again during our lunch break. Kane spring is dripping from the wall and we’re loving the sweet water.
We pick up the original Hayduke route but we’re walking it ‘backwards’ to pick up Jackson’s trail near the Colorado River. It’s another gem. We climb up along the Colorado with great views all around. This area is just amazingly beautiful.
We top out and make our way over to Jackson’s ladder which reminds me of the golden staircase in the Sierra. It’s a bit rougher but snakes its way down to Jackson hole, another impressive scene. We figure the hole is an abandoned meander of the Colorado and it’s so cool when a bit later we see a ton of rounded river rocks. Haiku being the river guide is super excited.
The wind is still chilly and we debate continuing on or finding a camp site here. Continuing on would put us higher up and possibly even more exposed to the wind so we settle for a spot which seems at least a bit protected. Haiku and Prana are in the sandy wash with rocks securing their stakes and I’m just a bit further in slightly more clay ground. Hopefully the stakes will stay in. It’s supposed to dip below freezing again tonight so I’m wearing all my layers. It’s completely normal to sleep in your Frogg Togg rain gear every night right?