Hayduke Route 12th day: 18 miles today/200.4 total. Good Bye Dark Canyon. Hello Hite cache.

I was kinda sad to leave Dark Canyon and its delicious perennial waters. I definitely wouldn’t mind coming back here again. From our campsite to the base of the Sundance “trail” that climbs out of the canyon was about 3.5 miles. This would be our last water for the rest of our 18 mile day. Needless to say, we cameled up. Pete and I wet our shirts and hat to cool off for the climb, as it was starting to get warm. Gotta engage that evaporative cooling. Oh, and that so called Sundance Trail…huh.. it was barely even a trail, with cairns scattered all over the place. The route was more class 3 climbing with scree and talus everywhere. Some of the boulders seemed like they were on the brink of falling if you put all your body weight on them. It was more like, pick a line and commit, and good luck. Actually, that 1200 foot climb in 1.2 miles could have been worse. It wasn’t as bad as Lava Falls trail in Toroweap Grand Canyon that climbs 3000 feet in 1.5 miles.

Once on the rim, the cairned Sundance Trail led to a 4×4 road which we crossed and travel cross country, route finding our way to another dirt road. The rest of the 10 miles for the day was on dirt roads to Hwy 95 and Hite and to our food bucket cache. We decided to actually just camp in the wash were we cached our food and not even bother walking and camping into Hite Marina. Well, Cuban B and I actually did end up walking into Hite Marina, just so we can dump our trash, use the restroom, charge our devices, and me to try calling my wife. There was a payphone, but I had no calling card. I haven’t had cell reception since I’ve been on this trail. Granted, I’ve been communicating with her daily via satellite text, but nothing compares to a voice call. Sorry, my love. I tried.

Tomorrow we start the 37 mile section to Hanskville. From what I have studied, there is a lot more route finding involved. That and we have about a 28 mile stretch of no water availability. Hence we are each packing out about 8 liters of water. Wish us luck.

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