Last night was eerie. I was awakened several times by what I think was a lone coyote. Speaking of coyotes, we haven’t heard a single coyote or pack throughout the trail. What’s up with that? Anyhow, what i thought was a lone coyote sounded like it was mourning or in distress, like it was looking for someone, perhaps it’s pack? Then again, the superstitiousness in me was thinking, perhaps it was la llorona. (If you are Mexican, you know what I’m talking about.) Hmm…we were near Park Wash, and from what I gathered from the sounds of frogs, there must be water. This mourning coyote (or llorona) woke me several times. Who knows!?
The rest of the day was straight forward. After the 5ish mile dirt road walk towards highway 89, we made it to Buckskin wash. The best part of that easy dirt road walk was that I had cell signal, which means I got to talk to my wife. Damn I miss her a lot. Can’t wait to be home and see her. I definitely didn’t factor in how much I would miss her.
Upon entering the wash, we saw the most depressing thing ever, a dead mule dear tangled up on the barb wire fencing. Apparently it misjudged how high to jump. Seeing this really got me upset. Have i mentioned how many thousands of miles of barb wire fencing we’ve witnessed in our public lands while hiking the Hayduke. All that fencing just to contain free range cattle. Seeing that dead tangled dear really got me thinking about becoming vegetarian.
Continuing on Buckskin Wash, we couldn’t deny the smell of another dead animal. This time it was a cow. Damn putrid smell permeated for about a quarter mile. I suppose the only good thing about all these roaming cattle in our public lands was that they actually stamped out a decent path in the wash to facilitate easier hiking.
At the 13 mile mark, we finally reached House Rock Valley Road. Here is where Pete decided to ditch Cuban B and I in order to dirt road walk directly to our food cache and camp. Cuban and I decided to stick to the standard route and continue on the Route into Buckskin Gulch. I am glad we did. While I had done Lower Buckskin Gulch (the longest slot in the world) and Lower Paria Canyon, I had never done this 4.5 mile stretch. It was very scenic and this part also slotted up. We even had to remove our shoes in order to wade deep mud. Oh well. Adventure has its price. Exiting the slot, we were dumped onto Wire Pass, where to the left was the famous Wave (which require permits), and to the right was the road to our food cache and camp. Thank god Pete had already brought down the buckets from our hiding spots by the time we got there.