Day 45, 8? Miles, suggested raft hitching point
I wake up extra early today hoping to get to the suggested raft hitching point in time to catch a raft willing to ferry me across the Colorado River. I feel really tired still but plan to take a nap after I’m across the river.
Up to Kwagunt Creek I’m following mostly use trails, some are sandy, some are on shale ledges, some are hopping rocks. There are prickly bushes and cacti to battle and I keep my long johns on as long as I can stand it. When it gets too hot it’s luckily a less brushy section and my legs don’t get scratched up too much. I take my dress off and leave the merino wool long sleeve on for sun protection since I got a little too much sun on my arms the last two days. Also, the dress is catching on branches and thorns so that’s not working too well. The thorns!
I’m basically hating this section. It’s tedious, sketchy and really slow. After Kwagunt Creek there is not longer any trail to follow but I have some fresh footsteps ahead of me. They make the decision making a little easier but they’re not always there and I have to make up my mind which is the best way to go. Down towards the shore line hoping there is some sand to walk on or up higher climbing rocks and boulders? The shore line has the issue of having thorny brush. The boulders, well they’re boulders. There may also be somewhat of a route slaloming cacti every once in a while. I’m getting hot and tired and annoyed and just want it to be over. This section totally sucks. I mean the scenery and views are amazing, the river is beautiful, the canyon walls impressive, but the walking is horrible.
I have two meltdowns, use a plethora of curse words and basically have to talk myself through it. ” You can do it, only four more miles, that will be four hours at the most. It will end, you will get there.”
In the very last section there are some rock ledges called tapeats which are sometimes easier walking but not always. The question is how high or low to go. One time I pick low and I end up crawling to fit me and my pack under the ledge above me. Going over is a bit high on the exposure scale. Ugh.
All the while I see no boats, at least me being so slow hasn’t made me miss a ride. About a half a mile before the suggested hitching spot I see a group of people. Hurray!! It’s a group of friends who are hiking the canyon for two weeks. We chat for a while and then move on the last half mile. We get there around 3pm and see no boats.
Below is me negotiating some tapeats.
I don’t mind the afternoon off. I could use the rest and have plenty of food. I am so lucky to have company. I don’t know how I would have handled it had I been alone.
We hang out for a while and when it gets too late for any boat to pass by they find a camp spot in the tapeats and I hang out a bit longer and enjoy the quiet. It’s also time to filter some Colorado River water. It looks much clearer than I expected.
I join them for dinner and get served a delicious hot meal. I’m so lucky. I very much enjoy the conversation and the view from our rock ledge patio. What a great ending to a suck fest of a hiking day.