All Humans Are Welcome Here!

Category : Hayduke

I hiked the Hayduke Trail solo eastbound in Spring 2016 and solo’ed it again westbound in Fall 2017. Then I designed a similar route and hiked that solo in 2019. I had fun. If I make it look easy, just keep in mind I’m tough as nails.

From the back cover of the book that started it all:

Traversing six national parks (Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Bryce, Grand Canyon, Zion), a national recreation area, a national monument, and various wilderness, primitive, and wilderness study areas, the Hayduke Trail is a challenging, 800-mile backcountry route on the Colorado Plateau. Whimsically named for a character in Edward Abbey’s The Monkey Wrench Gang, the trail begins in Arches National Park and ends in Zion National Park, stays entirely on public land, and traverses the complete variety of terrain available to hikers on the Plateau short of technical climbing.

Joe Mitchell and Mike Coronella pioneered Hayduke after concluding that a long trail—such as the Appalachian or Pacific Crest— was possible on the Plateau, thus introducing more people to these unique and threatened public lands. The Hayduke Trail includes detailed maps of the entire route, suggested cache points, and a wealth of description and tips for tackling this intense undertaking.

ranchers water well in surprise valley

Water Issues

When you’re having water issues in your head and you find this in the middle of the Utah high desert. (It’s warm and tastes sulfuric. Think: hot spring.) water issues in head carry on…

Navajo Canyon

Navajo Canyon. I’m learning how water off the red rock tastes much better than water off the grey rock (it’s like 300 million years old and ready to dissolve and it tastes like 300 million year old shit). Hey! Look that that breaching whale!

Dirty Devil

My first step into the Dirty Devil went up to my hips. I turned right around and walked an extra 5 or so miles to avoid crossing it numerous times. This is the view down on it from old uranium mine roads. It seemed to be flowing hard and is said to be unpredictable with quicksand too. I just wasn’t mentally prepared to tackle it alone. Like I said in an earlier post today, I have a little issue with walking in rivers. I opted for the psychedelic (awesoooooooooome) Hatch Canyon route, and came down to my ONE Dirty Devil crossing that night. I didn’t have courage; I slept on it. That night a truck pulled up on my side…. continue reading


How am I going to get into town from the middle of nowhere? Oh I know! I’m going to meet a family of Dimond alumni from Anchorage, Alaska. I am Dimond alumni (freshman, sophomore). I was big into cross country skiing and raced state at Kincaid, as well, so these sweatshirts were just blowing my mind. I got to ride in the back of a pickup 35 miles down a dirt road with these awesome Alaskans. And then their dad bought me pizza. How does this happen?! ??


Some free flow dancing after finishing up wading down the Escalante River yesterday. I’m not scared of many things but rivers over knee-deep have almost claimed a couple friends of mine (as I watched) and I have a deep respect for their power. The Escalante was pretty low but mostly opaque and with patches of shallow quicksand. I was alone so there was nobody to laugh it off with. My anxiety was high and I had to talk myself through it; I even sobbed in gleeful relief when I discovered my phone had fallen out of my pack 20 yards back and not a mile upstream as I feared. It took all my nerve to do it once, and to… continue reading

woman walking on red rock wall

Escalante Admirer

Had I known I was being watched from above, this moment’s tension would have shattered. I was leaving my nice eagle’s nest view/rest spot below Stevens Arch because I’d realized I had dropped my phone somewhere along my walk down the Escalante River. I had bolstered all my courage to wade the thigh-deep waters, and now I was bolstering more to head back and do it twice more. First I had to walk straight down off the wall. (But that doesn’t scare me – fast-moving water scares me.) My “secret admirer” captured my descent. I found my phone in the bushes at left. Then I’m sure I did a little dance and wept a little. And I was being watched…. continue reading


Proof I’m doing just fine. 20 days without a shower, 17 days without a town stop, hiking solo. Almost wishing I could do this whole thing without stopping in town, but also sort of looking forward to a shampoo and some light beer. (Total tally at town day (4/14) is 22 days without a shower and 19 days without a town stop.)

Little Package