Hayduke day 1: A flip floping marathon (26.2 miles in 11 hours)

What a day? I think Cuban B and Pete hate me after today. We left our Moab motel at around 7:30am with rain showering us. We actually began the Hayduke as a flip flop, which means that we started backwards. Instead of starting at mile 0, we began in Moab, mile 23 or so. The reason why we did that was because tomorrow we wish to be done with the remaining 7 or 8 miles of this section by noonish so that we can prepare for our packrafting section on Monday. Anyhow, it was about three miles by the time we left the asphalt and began pounding dirt. By that time, it began to rain heavily, so much so that waterfalls began to form along the canyon walls as we were hiking up Courthouse Wash. Needless to say, the wash began to flow quite heavily but not in a dangerous flash flood kinda way. It was delightful to see the many waterfalls. Well, hiking up Courthouse Wash, we began to realize how tedious and gruesome this hike would be. It was endless bushwhacking and route finding. To avoid bushwhacking so much we eventually just started hiking in the ankle deep water, getting our feet wet. After about 17 miles, we finally left the confines of Courthouse wash and began to travel cross county over slick rock, paralleling another wash, which the route had us go thru. We avoided that wash because we were fed up with getting our feet wet in cold flowing water. It snowed on us intermittently as we traveled over slick rock. Eventually, 20.8 miles later, we made it to the pipeline route, which was the direct route to the road that was to take us to our camp. That pipeline went forever. By then, Pete was slowing down significantly. Even Cuban be began to complain. The terrain was taking its toll. Finally reaching the road, Cuban was starting to bonk and needed food. Pete was far back but was still in view. We waited for him so that he would not miss the campsite turnoff. As we waited on the road pullout near Skyline Arch, people stopping by began asking us questions about our hike. They were mesmerized and impressed. I don’t know if they felt sorry for us or were just being kind, but they gave Cuban B and I food. Ha!! Let the yogiing begin. It was right at sunset when we made it to camp. Even I was beat.

Today was essentially an intro of what’s to come, the arduous journey we have up ahead. Today was a break in-period, and a hard break-in for sure.

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