We left our food cache camp near Grosvenor Arch by 8:45 and I personally bee lined it to the restroom near the Grosvenor Arch parking. Yes, an actual restroom. Granted, it was a pit toilet style restroom, but at least I didn’t have to dig a hole.
From there it was a 4.5 mile walk to the trailhead to Round Valley Draw, one of the highlights of the day. I’ve actually been looking forward to this part of the trail because it was an actual slot canyon, albeit a non technical one. I love slot canyons. Despite its nontechnical status, someone had already rigged a rope which we used to lower our packs only. The rest of the down climb was easy, requiring some easy stemming moves, which all of us had done plenty of canyoneering in the past to facilitate this portion. The slot portion was only about 1.5 miles long, eventually opening up. This canyon then dumped us into Hackberry Canyon, which I had never explored before despite being on my to-do-list forever. Thank you Hayduke for bringing me here. The upper part of Hackberry was dry, but eventually as the canyon led further down, cottonwoods began to be visible. You know what that means. Water!! Sure enough, the canyon began to flow with water, ever more so the further down we went. Also, as we travel more down canyon, the canyon walls began to turn red. After about only 20 miles, we finally stopped to camp. And the best part was that there was still flowing water. Yes!! A wet camp. The winds persisted even by the end of the day. As a matter of fact, they were quite the nuisance all day, especially when the gusts where up to 50mph. I got sand all over myself and my gear, even places i thought where inaccessible. We can’t really complain. It comes with this territory.
On side note, we thought we’d see the other three Haydukers, but we did not. Maybe they slept in or where hung-over. They claimed they had lots of booze in there Grosvenor Arch cache. We didn’t care to join them. Getting shit-faced and hung over is not my thing, and I’m too old for those shenanigans anyways. I’d rather stay up star-gazing instead. We
never saw them at all today, not even their footprints. Oh well.