Hayduke Route 21st day: 14 miles/311 miles total. Halls Creek Narrows Delight

The highlight of the day was definitely Halls Creek Narrows. Essentially we have been hiking in or along Halls Creek since leaving camp this morning, but 8 miles into our day was when Halls Creek really became narrow and boxed up into a deep canyon for 3 miles. It was these three miles that were the most magical. We took our time in this section, taking many photographs as we traveled slower than a 2 mph pace. The canyon walls were steep, up to maybe 500 feet high, with Desert varnish streaking them from top to bottom. At this point, the creek was flowing quite adequately, at times becoming up to mid thigh deep. When the creek made sharp bends, the canyon walls would take the form of huge amphitheaters, larger perhaps than any man made concert hall. The cottonwood trees, ever so deep in these narrows, grow tall, reaching as high as 100 feet, as they seek the light of the sun. These are my cathedrals, my cathedrals in the desert. As I pass thru, I do so with reverence, and reflexively find myself wanting to whisper as if I was in church. At the same time, I childishly want to shout just so I can here my echo. Sunlight, clouds, blue sky, shadows, steep canyon walls, water, sand, cottonwoods, songbirds, breeze: all these in harmony like the most brilliant symphony for all the six senses. What that sixth sense is, I bet you already know.

Leaving these three miles was difficult. I wanted to camp there in Halls Creek Narrows (heck maybe even live there), but in general thru-hike fashion, we needed to press for miles. We proceeded on for another 3 or so miles before making camp by 5:30. All was fine and dandy until Garrison realized he had left his food bag perhaps about 3.5 miles back when he had taken a break. Damn!! Needless to say, he proceeded to go fetch it, going all the way back to where he thinks he left it. By 7:30pm it began to rain and wind gust quite heavily. Oh damn!! It is 9:30 pm and he hasn’t returned. The rain finally has stopped after two hours. We hope he is ok. Stay tuned.

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