Hayduke Route 17th day: 21 miles/263.3 total. Into the Henry Mountains.

After a delicious breakfast at Blondie’s Restaurant, we proceeded to wait for Jared for a ride, but i think he had forgotten or perhaps something came up. We ended up offering the ATV rental place owner across the street $20 for the ride back to trail and he obliged. He got us back to trail by 9am. This set us up for a 21 mile day into the Henry Mountains. The day was uneventful and the hiking was easy since it was mostly on forest road. We climbed about 5000 total today in those 21 miles. We didn’t actually bother summiting the 11,000 foot something Mt. Ellen. I’ve done bigger summits, so it had no real appeal to all of us. Either, way we were allotted amazing views eastward of all the country we have thus far traversed. We saw the La Sal mountains near Moab, the Abajo Mountains near Blanding-Monticello, Canyonlands, Bears Ears, and even Dark Canyon. It’s amazing to be able to see from this perspective all the ground we have covered. Kinda humbling, yet empowering too. I love this country, Southern Utah. We ended up camping at Airplane Springs, where thankfully there is actually water. The only downside of the day was the we never saw the native herd of buffalo that roam these mountains. Hopefully tomorrow they appear.

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