89 miles hiked
I wake just after midnight, yank open my sleeping bag, run out of the cave and find a spot to dig a cathole about ten seconds before I would have shit myself. Why did I drink those three liters of alkaline water, I think, as my gut cramps and the dogs next door go wild with their barking. I’d read other hikers’ blogs, I knew what would happen. Why why why. Afterwards I crawl back in my sleeping bag and lay there for a moment before realizing this storm isn’t over yet. I walk back out into the cold howling wind, around the moutain to the bathroom building, and find myself a warm stall where I can sit on the toilet and just chill. I stay there until after one a.m. On the plus side, I get all of my photo editing done.
When I wake in the morning I feel like absolute shit. And the weather is still cold and stormy- they say it snowed higher up in the mountains. We have a slow morning doing our resupplies and by the time we hike out of Needles outpost it’s nearly noon. Two miles up a winding wash in deep sand and I realize that I just. Cannot. Fucking hike. Today. Dan is nice about this. Dan is always really nice. He’s probably the chillest person I’ve ever met. I am so grateful for him. Always saying nice things and putting his hand on my back. I find him to be massively comforting. We sit in the dirt going over our options- I can find a place to lie down for a few hours, and then we can start hiking again. We can go back to the cave at Needles and spend another night. We can hitch to Moab.
Really, I just want to be warm. Warm and close to a toilet. My van is in Moab, I can be warm in there. Moab has toilets.
Hitching to Moab takes a really long time. It’s 5 p.m. by the time we reach my van. All is better, though, once I’ve consumed a massive plate of nachos sans cheese, and Dan a burrito, at a taco place. Then errands, laundry and the gear store, where I find a shirt that hopefully won’t get stiff with salt and chafe my back like my white desert shirt. We find a quiet place to park that is also magically near a bathroom. And then, rest. Finally.
Photos on instagram