Miles: 17.5 Steps: 37,045 Vertical gain: 2,650 feet Liquid consumed: 105 oz. Wildlife: Bald eagle, cattle Faith in Humanity: Thanks so much for coming along on the journey, Tara, you are awesome! Another amazing day! Last night I heard what seemed like a pretty large animal clamoring around and chewing on some trees and jumping into the river several times. Assuming it was a beaver, but didn’t see her... We slowly got up today. With yesterday’s decision to go a bit slower, there was certainly no rush today. Felt pretty nice to wake up slow, hang out at camp and enjoy the view before hiking. It’s not that I’m necessarily in a rush all the time, but with daylight being so short this time of year I do try to hike as much as I can when it’s light out. We walked 2 or 3 miles on single track and dirt roads and arrived at the paved highway. We walked the paved shoulder for 4 or so miles which was pretty low traffic and quite scenic and by noon we made it back to Tara’s car. I had run out of food so was quite excited to get the food I left in her car out. I ate a brownie, and some pepperoni, haha. I filled up a ton of water since my next water Cache is 43(!!) miles away. I gave Tara and said goodbye. So much fun to have company for four and a half days! Tara was super cool too, and quite the trooper. I really hope our paths cross again. I’d backpack with you anytime. I was a bit jealous of her starting her car and zooming off to civilization, but I need to continue with my trek. I got in about 10 more miles in the afternoon. Beautiful classic Southern Utah scenery including huge domes and cool canyons, red sand, and junipers painted my surroundings. A large climb too, which I really enjoyed. Towards the end of the day I decided to stop a few minutes early since I switched shelters! My zipper on my tent was starting to fail which I knew would get worse in the sand Utah desert, so I sent it in for repair. So, now I’ve got my Mountain Laurel Designs Grace Duo Tarp and ultralight bivy with a Tyvek ground cloth. I hadn’t set my tarp up in a while so it took a few extra minutes. Overall tarp life is pretty nice. It’s a large area and you can cook right next to it and you can see the stars with minimal effort. It’s definitely a bit drafty and can be non ideal in a big storm, but I’m kind of excited for the variety for a while. Long nights out here! Excited for tomorrow!