Day 127: 11/28/17 Oak Creek Canyon to Boulder, UT
Miles: 23.2 Steps: 47,360 Vertical gain: 2,395 ft.
Liquid consumed: 148 oz. Wildlife: Several deer, birds, cattle, horses Faith in Humanity: One guy on an ATV stopped on the road and asked me about my trip, Another couple traveling from Steamboat Springs to Texas was stopped due to brake trouble and were super nice and encouraging about my trip, thank you! I woke up not really knowing how the day would go. I had all these alternatives of what I should do,but I didn’t let this worry me, I carried on walking. It was so cold! My hands were ice early in the morning. The place I choose to camp was seriously 15 degrees warmer than anywhere else, weird! There were some confusing directions in the American Discovery Trail Guidebook at one intersection but I figured it out eventually and climbed and climbed. Finally I got near the road and found my water Cache! I also had my only good Cache here which was untouched and the food was very tasty but heavy. Plus I had to pack all of the garbage out of course, so at this point I had 5 empty gallon jugs of water and a 2 gallon bucket attached to my pack. It was very heavy and quite awkward, but also a bit funny! I knew I would be hiking on the road for at least 4 Miles so I started right along. When I reached the point where I needed to leave the road I looked more closely at my map. I could save some miles and a big climb if I just stayed on the highway... not as scenic but still a really beautiful area, and traffic was really low, so why not? When I got to the next point on the Riad a couple of hours later I thought again: I need a shower. Badly! With limited or no natural streams for much of the past 12 days to use to clean up, I was gross and my socks and clothes were much more gross than that! I needed to be clean and if I went down the trail it’d be a guaranteed 5-6 more days without laundry or a shower. The decision was made: I would walk the road into Boulder, UT. Thankfully much of the hike at this point was a gradual downhill all the way to town and it was a beautiful sunny and warm day! I’ve been so lucky I feel like with my November weather. Only a few super cold days! Town was very dead, to say the least. First motel I passed? Closed until Spring. There was a small gas station and expensive grocery store with a really nice woman working inside. I bought a soda then continued on to find lodging. There was a cheaper looking Motel that said open but no one was around. I tried calling too, but it went to voicemail.... I continued down the road hoping there was something else. I found a place that was really nice but pretty expensive my no shower in 12 days body caved and I went for it! All of the restaurants were closed in town but the hotel sold frozen microwave food which I purchased. I also did some laundry which was luxurious! I lounged on a comfy bed and enjoyed the internet and catching up with some TV on in the background. Ahh, very nice! I also looked at maps and my calendar and changed my route again! It’s pretty fun to change my route on the fly! I found a lower elevation route that would take me on some trails and some roads to Bryce Canyon National Park! I originally thought I’d go all the way to Great Basin in Nevada then backtrack to Bryce with my bicycle, but this makes more sense and isn’t as much mileage overall. Sweet! I stayed up quite late enjoying the luxuries of town!
#walktheparks #backpacking #dixienationalforest #winterbackpacking #hiking #utah #grandstaircase #escalante #grandstaircaseescalante