Saturday, August 22, 2015


The Hayduke Trail is 812 miles from Arches to Zion. Not the easiest route, not the safest, not the most logical, but probably the most spectacular and one of the most difficult. Sometimes on designated roads but mostly GPS coordinates is what you have to go by. Four to six times a year Haydukers come by here for some shelter and perhaps a meal or so before they head down some of Lockhart Basin on the way to Needles. The book says there are a couple water spots on the way but having driven it several times now I've never seen one in the summer. The Hayduker leaves at first light. AmeriGas delivers propane once a year and today is that day. Once I see the truck come over Hurrah Pass then I head up to see if I can help.The Canyon Wren has the most distinctive call of most any critter out there. It's also pretty territorial so more than once I've been lost in the Behind the Rocks area and used a Canyon Wren I heard on the way in to give me direction for the way out. For the last few months one has been frequenting the area up by the hogans but only recently has moved down to visit the three feeding areas of morning. Today we have first contact. Soon, we'll be friends. If the high temp is below 95 the heat breaks about 4pm and starts downward. If above 95, it's closer to 5pm when it breaks. Kobae comes out when it breaks. A few times on our hikes Kobae wants to go where I don't want him to like into the tamarisk. I have to walk where I don't want him to and he fights me. Stepping on my boots and trying to bowl me over or force me off balance. As he gets heavier and I get older the odds are shifting in his favor. Today unintentionally he picked up a new weapon. Everywhere he wanted to go involved cactus and many of them stuck in his feet, legs, and neck. When he would attempt to venture into a place I thought was dangerous for him or me and we'd begin our foot shoving match he'd stick me in my ankles with the other end of the cactus which I was surprised to find out is also pretty sharp. Returning from down by the river Kobae as usual makes his own trail back to the lodge.

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