Day 28, 12.5 miles? Monday canyon
It rains a bit overnight but my tent is more wet from condensation than anything else. I wipe it with my little yellow cloth and it should be good to go tonight.
I’m packed up before Zach is which has been the case most mornings. Usually I find a chore to do but this morning we have a long climb on dirt road, 4WD track and pack trail so easy navigation and I decide to get a head start on the climbing. The climb isn’t too bad and the views are amazing. I have sweeping views over the valley we just camped in and I can see the Henry mountains in the distance. When I get higher I can even see the canyons we just walked through. So cool!
My pack is heavy with all the food in it for this section and at some point it’s time for a pack off break since my shoulders start to hurt a little. I see a nice rock and sit down. I’m also high enough to get a sliver of cell reception and am able to call Greenleaf. Yay!
While I’m on the phone another hiker passes me going the other direction. I apologize for ruining his wilderness experience, he doesn’t seem to have an issue with it. Shortly after, I see Zach catching up and he’s talking to the hiker. It turns out he has hiked the AZT and continued on doing the Hayduke. He’s only got the maps. What a sweet adventure!
Zach and I continue the last bit of climbing together and soon stand on top of the Mesa. I love it! We’re now following a pack trail and the footsteps of our fellow Haydukers through sage brush country. Lunch is at our last sure water for about 30 miles, Mud Hole springs. It’s a neat spot with aspen and a little BLM cabin. And to Zach’s delight there is also a privy! The cabin is locked but the privy isn’t. Hurray!
The water is piped into a metal through and looks great. I fill up five liters to carry out and drink about a liter. Ugh it’s going to be heavy. At least it’s not hot today or tomorrow otherwise I would have had to carry more. It’s actually down right chilly today. But at least sunny enough for me to fluff and dry my slightly damp sleeping bag and catch some rays for the solar collector.
After lunch we make our way over to Monday canyon which is a little brushy to get in to. The wash we’re supposed to follow is a bit muddy so we skirt around a bit and finally drop steeply down to actual canyon bottom of Monday canyon. There is some easy walking alternated by maneuvering over and around some boulders. It’s kind of fun but also a bit slow. A lot of the rocks and boulders are sand stone and have holes in them or caves. I fantasize about having one in my house to use as a little display cabinet. Would be tough to transport haha.
Around 6:45 pm we come to a bend in the canyon with a little treed bench and we’re both a bit tired and thinking about camping. We have some daylight left but there may not be any good camping in the next stretch so we call it a day. We’re set up underneath a big tree. It’s a bit breezy but the ground is taking my stakes well and I use some guy lines to secure my tent some more. Boy, I’m ready for bed!