Hayduke Trail Day 6: You Can Go Your Own Way…Oops We Did

Daily Neat Beat
Day 6
Total Miles: 25.7
Cumulative Miles: 96.5
Map of Hayduke Trail Day 6

Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride. Yep, Ray and I got lost….on a road. We consider ourselves to be expert navigators and have many times been off-trail locating ourselves. Here come the buts: but it was windy and cold today, raining, sleeting, snowing and I put away my phone and app thinking we were on a road and could just follow it. Yeah, right.

A misty, moody day

We blasted by the road we were supposed to take, heads down to keep the wind out of our faces. I was focusing on the drip off the tip of my nose and how to keep my fingers from going numb. When I finally pulled the phone and app out of my pocket we were 3 miles down the wrong road.

Snowy and cold today on the trail

As we stood in the freezing sleet, rain and snow, we considered our options. As you may recall from yesterday, we were down to 1 liter of water each. Ray said maybe he could open his mouth and swallow the sky.

We had so much rain and snow, the dry arroyos began running with water. This side drainage in Indian Creek made a nice waterfall.

We could go back the 3 miles and take the road into lower Indian Creek like we had planned or we could continue on this dirt road which takes a more convoluted route and requires a 6-mile hike along the paved road into Canyonlands.

I was real happy with my Hoka One One Speedgoats. They did great in the mud and grip well on rocks.

We still supposedly had another day to get to the Visitor Center but with the cold wind and sleet, we feel like a stampeding herd of horses headed back to the barn. Ok, maybe a small herd…..

So we keep going and eventually hike 25.7 miles to the car where we turn on the heater full blast. I suspect this past section between Moab and Canyonlands Visitor Center will go down as my least favorite section of the trip but it’s all an adventure, right? I was surprised we were able to hike 25.7 miles on 1 liter of water. Go figure.


  1. Lost is relative, right. Possibly the result of weathering a storm on a different trail. A phrase like “open your mouth and swallow the sky” makes me pause–so powerful. Please complete your journey safely dear friends, I love you very much.
    I also want to thank you for all your insight and for listening to my suffering over martini’s and wine. … feeling better now thanks to you. Big hugs for a safe journey–surrounding you with 👼 angels.
    Lydia (aka the chocolate kid)

  2. Looks like those Hokas are not waterproof, but you are wearing big gaiters. Can you enlighten a wanna-be on that choice?

    1. Hey Erik! The gaiters are vertice rain gaiters by zpack. They are very lightweight and are great for walking in wet brush like on the Colorado trail. I combined them with the rain skirt (also from zpack) and it is a very lightweight combo for wet weather (weighs less than rain pants) and allows your legs to breath. I am not a big fan of waterproof hiking shoes/boots as my feet get sweaty in them which gives me blisters. I do think that waterproof shoes would have been good on the Colorado Trail as we got solid rain the last 2 weeks out. I wore Salomon X Ultra Prime hiking shoes on the Colorado Trail and loved them on it but they were the ones that gave me blisters in the sands of Arches NP. I wore the Oboz Sawtooth hiking shoes on the John Muir Trail and really liked them as well. They have solid support and a good insole. I will probably wear them for the Grand Canyon section of the Hayduke.

  3. Thanks for the intel, Kerrie! I’ve been agonizing a bit over both rain kilt/pants and gaiters. I will give these a close look. Walk well!

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