Hayduke Route 19th day: 10 miles/280.1 total. Good Bye Swap Canyon. Hello Capitol Reef National Park.

Today was an easy ten mile day leaving Tarantula Mesa and Swap Canyon. Since we knew we had such an easy day, we slept in again and started by 9am. Again, we followed the buffalo trail into Swap Canyon, where there was a good spring water and pool about 4.5 miles from our last water source and camp. Once in Swap canyon, the hiking was straight forward. Just follow the canyon out towards the amazing 100 mile long escarpment known as the Water Pocket Fold, which essentially makes up all of Capitol Reef National Park. The land feature is so massive, it is visible from outer space. I’m really excited for the next 5 days, as we will be hiking pretty much in the water pocket fold and even traverse it to get to the Escalante River.

So the reason for the shorter day today, was because we have 3 friends from Tucson meeting us at Notom road/Burr Trail junction in order to hike this 5 day section with us. Actually, only Belinda and Garrison will hike with us; Scott will be day hiking and will pick us up at the Hole-in-the Rock Road, where this section ends.

We arrived at that juncture around 1pm and the Tucson 3 wouldn’t arrive until 3:30. Hence, a long nap was in order, of course. While waiting there on the side of the road, we were surprised to see how busy this Notom-Bullfrog road was. I guesstimates maybe 30 cars and trucks rolled by. And out of all those vehicles, only one nice guy in a white Tacoma bothered to stop and check on us, even offering us water. He guessed correctly that we were Haydukers. Turns out he used to be a PCT trail angel when he lived in Wrightwood, CA. He stopped and chatted with us for quite a while. Nice man indeed.

Anyhow, once the Tucson 3 picked us up, we bee-lined it up the Burr Trail road to the Grand-Staircase-Escalante in order to camp for free and legally at large. Belinda bringing us our food resupply, we began to prepare our food for this next stretch. They even brought us fruits and cherry coke. We are all looking forward to tomorrow.

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