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Day 4

Coyote Gulch 1999 - 2000
Adventure in the American Outback

Back to civilization

Sunday, January 2, 2000   It was a fairly long evening, nearly 11 hours. There is only so much time you can spend lying in bed, whether at home or on a Thermorest pad in the middle of the wilderness. 11 hours seems to be my limit, anyway. It took us a bit longer to break camp than usual, probably because we had scattered so much stuff around camp. I think that three nites is the longest I have ever spent camped in one spot. Given good day hiking opportunities, it is certainly something that needs to be considered on future trips. Susie and I were out of camp by 9:30, wearing our bags on our feet again. Anything to keep the feet more comfy.

For a while, it looked like it might turn out to be a nice day: high thin clouds, but of course, in the canyon, one sees very little of the sky. So it is hard to do any sort of a meaningful assessment of what is on the way. I guess I should have known better. It seemed that on the hike back up Hurricane Wash, there was less ice than a few days ago. There was still plenty, just less than before. As we got further up the Wash, A&S caught up, with a guy and his dog in tow. Or maybe he had them in tow. This was the first other human we had seen since the walk in on Thursday. We set a pretty torrid pace going up the Wash, as it became increasingly clear that the weather was deteriorating. Fresh snow was on top of 50 Mile Mountain, and there was more than just a hint of it in the air. The wind picked up, right as we stopped to rest. It made for a very short rest stop. Susie started to complain that her back was hurting, due to the heavy load she was carrying, and how she was not going to carry more than 35 lbs anymore. Of course, such was fine with me - I never expect her to carry more than that anyway. I think the problem is that she was nursing her hip, which shifted her load in a way which was causing her more grief. But she refused to see a doctor, claiming that it is too expensive. A little pathological, if you ask me.

The walk out seemed to be a bit of a trudge, probably because we finished in 2 hrs 45 minutes. And there is a slight upgrade. It was good to get back in the warmth of the car, because we could see a big snow shower on the way. As we drove up Hole in the Rock Road, we were hit by the snow: sorta like a micro-blizzard. We noted that the quality of the road is much worse south of the Garfield-Kane county line. Just for future reference. We also noted that by being a thousand feet lower than the upper part of the basin, Coyote had been spared quite a bit of snow.

We were excited about getting pizza at the Golden Loop Café in Escalante, but it was closed, as was most everything else. We had lunch at a gas station, microwaving frozen burritos, or a sandwich for a late lunch. We said our goodbyes to Andy and Sue, and settled in for a long drive back to Salt Lake, while they went off to play for a few more days in Bryce Canyon.

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© Roger A. Jenkins, 2000