Day 20, 23 miles
I start the day facing five miles of fording the Dirty Devil River back and forth. It’s brown and opaque which gives the fording that fun extra challenge of not being able to see how deep the water is. Thank goodness for having poles to gage the depth. Besides that poles also can test the muddiness and possible quick sand sections and give me support while crossing. I once test the water depth on a steeper shore and almost keel over since it’s much deeper than I anticipated. I definitely wasn’t crossing there.
The picture above is water from the Dirty Devil after it settled overnight. I filtered it and it tasted fine.
I have to cross back and forth because sometimes one side of the canyon gets walled in and has no shore to walk on so I have to get to other side and so on. The shore is often sandy and slow walking so this whole endeavor is slow going. I have to figure out where I can cross safely and then what’s the best place to walk and not get stuck in tamarisk. The five miles take me about 3 1/2 hours. I don’t mind it since it pretty and there is so much to look at. The canyon walls have different patterns and colors, it’s all very beautiful. In the end it does get a bit tedious and I’m glad when I make it to the Poison Spring canyon. I’m glad I water proofed everything in the morning since I did have one little mishap where I forgot to check the depth and stepped of a little island straight down in the water to my waist. Oops! I hurried back to shallower water and all was well. At least I got a good washing out of that one!
The Poison Spring canyon is gorgeous as well. There is so much to look at. There is a road through most of it and it’s a relief after the Dirty Devil. I just wish it didn’t have the sandy stretches. I’m hoping to get to my cache at the end of the day and the sand walking is so slow. Luckily there are some nice slick rock ledges along the way to take some breaks on.
I get water out of these puddles on the road not knowing there will lots more haha. It tasted fine.
In the end the trail splits of from the road and follows a pretty canyon until it joins back up with the road. I’m tempted to just stay on the road but both are sandy at this point and maybe the trail route is more scenic? It is pretty but it’s also littered with cow poop. I’m happy to make it back to the road and make it to my cache just before sunset. The bucket is really hard to open but I finally manage. I dump my jar of peanut butter in and leave a tube of Nuun tablets. I probably could leave some more food in there because this last stretch was quicker than expected but take it all anyways.
Loaded with food and water I continue a few more miles in the dark. The temperature is nice and the sun isn’t pounding on my head which is a nice change. I find a good spot before a road turn off and tuck in for the night.