Hayduke trail day 58: the Arizona strip

May 14
Mileage: 25
791 miles hiked

I dream that my house is in the upper freight container on a doublestack intermodal freight train that is hurtling down the track. I share this “house” with a bunch of people, all artists. We wear colorful clothing and live mostly off of butter cookies. We have bunkbeds and lace curtains and chandeliers. Except! Evil demon-possesed monkeys are trying to break in the windows to murder all of us and eat our faces. We have to stop the monkeys… but how?

I wake just before it’s light and gnaw on some “tropical” flavor caffeinated clif shot bloks. I love clif shot bloks, but the tropical flavor tastes like laundry detergent. Time to hike!

Life is a dirt road. A flat, straight, good dirt road cutting across the dry yellow grass towards some far distant benches. Tumbleweeds blow across this dirt road. We walk down it. It is very relaxing.


All day

The heat is not as hot today- in a slow subtle way we climbed up to 5,000 feet in our exit of the grand canyon, and the sun is more merciful here. Also there are these wild isolated stormclouds like ships sailing across the sky, dragging their tentacles of rain. Now and then one crosses over us, spattering us with warm drops. Mostly, though, they add a weird pressure to the sunlight, and I sweat off the end of my nose. We walk.

We reach the highway in the late afternoon and a kindly Latina woman on her way to work stops for us, pushing things aside to make room. We talk about the polygamists in Colorado City, which we’ll walk through next.

“I worked with one of the polygamists,” she says. “I said to him- ‘If you can have seven wives, why can’t I have seven husbands?’ That made him very angry.” She laughs, her gold front tooth glinting in the sun.

Twenty minutes later we’re in Hurricaine, with DropNRoll, Bubs and Joey, who just finished the Hayduke!! But are laying over for a moment while they plan their bonus traverse of Zion. The five of us end up in a massive hotel room with thee huge beds, and eat a mediocre but filling dinner at the restaurant across the street. Showers, laundry, the desire to fall asleep when one has blog things to do… we’ll be zeroing here tomorrow, as we got in after post office hours and tomorrow is Sunday, so we can’t pick up our box and my new debit card until Monday. We could resupply here in town for our last few days and pick up our stuff after, but our box has our maps. Maybe that’s an excuse, though. We’re beat down from this last section- why not take one last zero? Other things of note- Dan’s phone died the first day out of the South Rim, so he is phoneless. This is sad, as it’s his camera too. He’s having a replacement sent to him after the trail, but it’s a bummer that he can’t take photos in the meantime.

I finally put down my phone way too late, after everyone is already asleep. I love being a writer, but sometimes I’m really tired, too. Fuck it! I love my life!

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