Saturday, April 29th, 2023, 0645-1120
1.5 miles south of LeFevre Cabin to HWY 89, then ride to Kanab
15 miles, elevation 5350′
I felt especially cold overnight. It was significantly warmer in my tent but the wash was quite chilly…down to 31 degrees once we started walking. It wasn’t a very good site but we didn’t have much of a choice. I knew it would be blazing hot later and still couldn’t reconcile such oscillating conditions. I would slowly transition from wearing all my layers, including puffy, to nothing more than my dress and sunbrella. Another typical day in the desert.
We were walking fast in the morning, anxious to get to town, where the conveniences of a car also tempted us. We’d made it back to where we left our modern day transportation contraption one month prior. We’d done so by walking (almost) all the way. But first we had a boring road walk and long hitch to contend with. I secretly hoped for a vehicle to come by on the dirt road, offering a ride, which kind of did happen, just not early enough. At least I got to add another animal to my list of pettings: a horse. And I appreciated how green the high desert was. It wasn’t like Florida green but it sure looked different from what I’ve seen in the past. The sage was especially verdant…and smelled great too.
Just as I got to the highway and had begun twirling my brella (to attract attention), a small truck sporting my hiking companions in the back drove up. I laughed at the timing…it was pretty perfect. What’s more, it turned out to be our 5th ride from a fellow Hayduker (Plants, Leah, Emily, and Lemstar had been the first 4). This time, a guy named Woody served as our chariot. The day before, we’d seen one of his water caches but it was dated 2022. Then this morning, we’d passed a guy sleeping in the back of his truck. We should have noted that he had thru hiking gear and pulled up short, waiting for him to give us a ride.
But still, what luck to meet him while he was putting out more caches. He’d been cracking away at the route for several years, hence his older cache, and was coming back this year to hike from Tropic through the Grand Canyon. He had just enough room in the back for all 3 of us and our packs. It was 30 some miles to Kanab, so we had some time to ponder if riding in the back of a pickup truck is legal in Utah. Hitchhiking is definitely not, and since we hadn’t needed to stick out our thumbs, at least we hadn’t broken that rule this day.
Woody took us straight to the post office, since we needed to get packages before it closed for the weekend and he too needed to ship something. Then he drove Stellar the 2 miles out of town to get his car while Artemis and I got started on lunch. Big thanks to Woody who helped us out so much!
The rest of the day was just typical town stuff…but with a car! When we got an inkling for frosties from Wendy’s, instead of walking almost 2 miles across town to get there, we simply drove. What bliss.
All the other hikers got into town the next day, plus a new addition: Worm (who also started April 1st). Sadly, this would be the end of our Super Bubble, since we all had slightly different timelines and strategies for tackling the last quarter of the route through the Grand Canyon and Zion. Our group of 3 had decided to utilize the car by traveling back to the Escalante region for some more side trips. We needed to change our permit itinerary anyway to account for snow, trail closures, alternate routes, etc. So I hit the pause button on this thru-hike and would resume after about a week. To be continued.