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Day 112: 11/13/17   Polar Mesa to Crazy Bushwhack to outside of Moab!

Miles: 23 Steps: 48,460 Vertical gain: 3,381 feet Liquid consumed: 160 oz. Wildlife: Rabbits, deer, cattle, dog Faith in Humanity: One guy stopped and rolled down his window and asked if I was ok. Thanks man, I’m doing great! What a day! A bit of a slow start due to the cold but once I was on my way it was smooth sailing; for the morning at least. One cool thing was a whole bunch of dinosaur tracks! There was an overlook with a trail and supposedly a bunch of Dino tracks. It was hard to get a good photo, but the concept sure is cool! Next mission: find my water! On the way to the eatery here was a huge Road Closed sign for the road I needed to take. Uh oh! I found my water and continued to the road. It was definitely closed for full repaving. I asked one of the workers if I could walk the closure and the answer was no. I looked at my map and asked if I could just create another route in the national forest without using the road. He said anything is free in the National Forest. I thanked him and went on my way. The repercussions of my decision were quickly apparent. I’m gasping, out of breath climbing a super steep hill. Hmm, will it be like this the whole way? Then I look at my map and realize I’m on the edge of some private property. Damn. I quickly move elsewhere. I debate my original plan to stay above the road and decide to cross it once. On the other side I can Bushwhack to another road and go from there. Clear? Not at all? Nor for me... What am I doing? I crossed the road quickly and immediately had to contend with a steep gully crossing. The main issue with this whole Bushwhack, starting here, is incredibly thick brush and prickers! I’m honestly amazed I came away with only a few scratches and a beat up sleeping pad that was on my pack. Quite a few of the steps I took were directly into more and more pointy bushes! It took a while, but I reached the other road after some determination. As I’m walking the 3 or so miles on this road I look at the map again. Without using the closed road, is it even possibly to connect to where I want to go? Only one way to find out, I guess! I started my 2nd long bushwhack section. Most of this one wasn’t as bad as the first due to somewhat recent fires, but some of it sucked pretty badly! Really not a fun Bushwhack at all, but I made it back to my intended route without too much damage, so I’ll call it a win! Once back on route things were great! Amazing vistas overlooking Castle Valley and Fischer Towers! So beautiful!i took the UPS trail which stayed really close to the rim for another 3 miles and savored the view. Such an amazing place I’m very lucky to be able to explore! Due to the crazy Bushwhack I didn’t get in quite as many miles as desired but I’m not complaining. I’m just super happy the unplanned route worked and I didn’t get injured or anything. Still got in 23 Miles setting me up nicely for my Moab entry, I hope!

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