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Day 186: Escalante Excelente Route, 1/25/18

Miles: 12 Steps: 29,675 Vertical gain: Strava Knows! Liquid consumed: 100 oz. Wildlife: Small birds on the beach, one Lizard who quickly hid Faith in Humanity: briefly met some really nice rafters from Alaska. The Escalante Route is Excelente so far! I believe I have the most challenging parts first thing tomorrow, but it’s been so great! Starting at Tanner Beach it’s a beautiful and easy beach walk, then a beautiful climb with expansive views. I took a Sweet side trail to a beautiful view above the river, some side hill hiking with exposure, and a deep narrow canyon to end the day! So good! The trail is really easy to follow so far as well. The whole “route is not a trail” seems a bit silly, but like I said: the hardest part is tomorrow and I’m confident that will be the reason this is called a route. We shall see. Winter hiking in the Grand Canyon is full of moderate extremes. The shade is cold, the sun is warm, days are short, nights are long. Listened to a bunch of podcasts today which has been my norm lately and I really love it! I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to realize how much I love them and how much I can learn too! 6 months ago, on July 25, 2017, Walk The Parks started. Today is the 6 Month anniversary! A half year out here! Feels amazing! A long way to go still too! Beautiful sandy beach camp again. Excited for the challenging hike tomorrow, then a big 3,000 foot climb to camp at Horeshoe Mesa. How long will it take for folks to realize Winter hiking and camping is so nice here, causing permit shortages? Hopefully it’ll take a long time! Here’s the secret: it’s awesome here in Winter and more solitude!

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