Hayduke Trail – Day 8 (28 miles)
I got up near the top of Dark Canyon, packed up quickly and started walking. I thought that I took enough water out of Dark Canyon last night but would like to get to Hite before it gets too hot outside.
I walked on a well-graded dirt road. It was pretty much dead flat, so I put down the pedal and wanted to see how fast I could walk the 12 miles to Hite.
I stopped to chat with a retired couple. The chat turned into a 9 am beer and that beer turned into a long stay and a couple more. They come down here every fall to enjoy the perfect weather. They offered to fill up my water bottles for the next leg.
Even though they saved me some boring walking, I still had a decent chunk of the highway to walk. I started this chore, and after a while came to the reason I was on the road, the bridge across the Colorado River.
I had spectacular views as I walked across it. On one side I was looking at a section called Narrow Canyon. As the name suggests, the Colorado is funnelled into a narrow gorge, with steep vertical rock walls on either side. The other side was the complete opposite, with the river opening up due to the Lake Powell dam.
I finally left the bridge and hiked the remaining mile of the highway. Here I turned off onto a jeep road and meet a biker who had just finished a 5-day ride through the mazes of canyons.
So many people all of a sudden.
I followed a small cliff for an hour or so until it broke into a wash. Here I left the last road I would be seeing for a while and followed it up.
When I got to the top of what is called the Red Bench. An extremely open, extremely flat mesa. There was one peak in front of me and I walked towards it for most of the afternoon.
Late in the day, I hit the wash that would lead me into the Dirty Devil Creek, a polluted source that the guide thoroughly recommends not drinking.
It was a productive day but I wanted to get to Hanksville tomorrow before the post office shuts for 3 days, so I continued walking into the night. I walked for almost an hour until I realised just how slow I was moving. I gave up and went to bed.