Into the Henry’s… please

After a restful, productive zero day, time to return to the Hayduke. We had estimated the time to take care of last errands and hitch would have us back on trail by 1 pm. Two clean hikers, shiny, kinda small white packs. How long could it take to get out of town? Turns out most cars go down Hwy 95 to go to Stan’s burger stand not onto Hite.

Those that do drive by us. Well, some people wave. Some ignore us. Some grin sheepishly. We have given up on Subarus, Priuses, and most cars with Colorado plates. This time, a nice couple on a road trip from Kanab to Montecello picked us up. They had to clear out their backseat to make room for us. The couple seemed a bit bemused when we told them our route to Zion involved walking over the Henry Mountains. We thanked them and were on our way.

Back to Poison Spring Canyon Road and the Hayduke by 1 pm. Good estimate? Realistic goal? Just what happened?

So began a warm afternoon of wandering old roads through the foothills. We noticed we were going up hill. The kind of up hill to be just enough bothersome, but not so steep that you feel it should take effort. I likened this road system to my nemesis mile back home: 3rd Avenue West on the north end of Queen Anne. A slow mile grind. The lower Henry foothills are my new training ground for 3rd Ave West.

From dry sage desert to juniper to pinyon woodland, to pine and fir forest. Up we went. We walked by some active mines and eventually hiked up to Crescent Creek and the first aspen groves of our Hayduke route. Close to 8,000 feet.

As we picked up water from the stream we heard, then saw, turkeys walking in the forest. Gabriel especially likes the turkeys.

Another bend and climb away from the stream to a warm bench of pinyon. Good duff, in a nice grove. We camp. A warm night, but we can hear the wind in the tops of the pinyons. It is cozy on the ground. Before I drift off to sleep, I hear turkey gobbles.

Day 15: 11.5 miles, 222.6 total miles. Hwy 95 to flat bench above Crescent Creek.

GPS: used once; people sighted: miners driving down from the mines; roads: it was all roads.

Gabriel is a charming hitcher.

Getting closer to the Henry Mountains. Tomorrow we hike over the south ridge of Mt. Ellen, 11,400 feet.

Foothills walking. Are the mountains getting closer yet?