Hayduke Route 24th day: 7 miles/347 total. Goodbye Coyote Gulch. Hello town of Escalante!

What to say about today…other than that it was a legit nero (a day with almost zero miles hiked). Our sole purpose for today was to get to the famous Hole-in-the-Rock Road for our prearranged ride at 11am with Scott our volunteer shuttle driver. The hike out was easy, only 7 miles via Coyote Gulch and Hurricane Wash. I had a quick pace, 4 mph, and was anxious to get to Escalante, not only because we were doing a zero day there, but because my wife was driving all the way from Tucson to meet me there. Damn I miss her!!

Thru-hiking has become more difficult for me now because of that fact, and even more so because of another variable that I will disclose at another time in this blog. I’m not gonna lie, I’ve thought about quitting this trail, not because I’m not having fun, but because I do miss her. But both her and I know that if I don’t finish this trail now, I probably won’t be able to do so for another 15 years from now. I’ve been talking about this trail ever since we met. My wife understands me very well and supports me. Thank God for that. She knows that I have always had a thing for big, arduous adventures like these and that it will kill my spirit to stop adventuring in the wilds. I owe her big time. She knows that the Hayduke Route will be my last hurrah for a loooong time because of a new adventure that both of us will embark on together. Thank you my love. I am hiking as fast as possible to make it back home to you.

Making into town, Belinda, Pete, Cuban B, Scott went directly to the burger joint to eat. I waited for my wife to eat despite my hunger as I knew she’d be in town in about 40 minutes. It was so good to see her, hug, and kiss her again, of-course, after we checked in to the B&B I had reserved and I showered. Believe me, after 8 days sans a shower, even I couldn’t tolerate my stench.

We also met three other Hayduke Hikers, Quetzal from Mexico City, Cougar Bait, and (damn I forgot his trail name). They’ve been hiking together for a while now. My group sat and chatted with them for a while to swap stories. They are taking a zero day here as well. Needless to say, we ate a lot food today in town. My hiker hunger is finally kicking in, especially because of the calorie deficit in this last stretch due to Garrison losing his food. I’ve lost about 5-10 lbs already, and I can see that when I saw myself in the mirror. I started the trail at 156. I probably weigh now 145. If i get below 137, my hiker hunger will really kick-in because my body will essentially have no fat to burn. I don’t want it to start eating away at my muscle. I still have 500 miles or so to go, and we plan to start cracking up the mileage to 19-25 mile days. Anyhow, I will eat my way thru Escalante.

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