Day 14: rest day in Hanksville

Town time is like this: wake up too early for town because you’re still on a trail schedule and wake before sunrise like magic but nothing is open yet; move objects around your motel room that mean so much (everything) to you on the trail but somehow just look like junk against the cheap floral bedspread; try to do stuff on the internet and watch the spinning wheel tick endlessly away while waiting for things to load and shake the stupid phone in frustration; sit under the motel proprietor’s window on the sidewalk with the sand and the cigarette butts to angle for better wifi reception, try not to overhear the fights with a girlfriend about money; eat breakfast at the restaurant and get very excited about pancakes which you never eat at home; eat too much greasy food from the only restaurant in town (still, it’s pretty good food) and sit alone in your motel room and fart on the tacky bedspread; drink too little water because your stomach is just over the edge of too full all day and you can’t make the water fit; have both an infinite and an infinitesimal amount of time and instead of finding yourself comfortably in between, vascillate wildly from feeling like you’ll be in town forever to panic about how much more you need to get done; shop in three different stores, walking too much for a rest day looking for precisely the right glue you need to fix your gaitors which are getting destroyed by the sand; put off so many errands until the morning you plan to hitch out of town (post office, phone call, grocery store) that it almost feels like you saved all the rest day chores for the day after the rest day. 

I’ve had a great day here all told, quite relaxing despite the frenzied pace of managing everything. It’s been good for all my ligaments, which sometimes feel to me like very old and brittle rubber bands, to get some rest, and I have managed to get quite a bit taken care of. I like Hanksville, partly because of the air of gritty realism floating around the place, like a wafting despair, and partly because so few things are here it makes for a simple day. Basically one restaurant, only a couple stores. Not much to do, no sights to see. Perfectly understimulating. Couldn’t ask for more. 

Tomorrow I head out of town in the morning and begin climbing over Mt Ellen, elevation 11000 ft (I’m starting at about 5000 ft). After that I descend into Water Pocket Fold in Capitol Reef National Park, down this to Stevens Canyon, out to the Escalante River, and through Coyote Gulch to Hole-In-The-Rock Road where I’ll hitch into Escalante for resupply. It’s about 115 mile between Hanksville and Escalante, a distance I hope to cover in seven or eight days. I will post updates before then if I can, but don’t be surprised if you don’t here from me before.

Also, thank you for commenting on the blog! I love to receive comments (it’s like shouting into a void and geting a response back). I often won’t respond due to time pressures, but know that your comments are  highly valued. 

I kind of love this place

food for the next section

Hayduke hikers eating dessert


16 thoughts on “Day 14: rest day in Hanksville

  1. Daya Goldschlag

    Love reading about your inner workings. Your such a good writer of such things. Hope it’s not to cold up at 11000 ft., or too much snow or too hard a climb. Sending boosts to those legs, back and shoulders of yours. love and hugs, Daya

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Momo

    Order in the house, the heart, the steps, the words, the posts, the packs of food…
    I feel the order of things that are lined up one step after another…simply stepping.
    May those 11K be full of happy moments of arriving home with every single one.

    fine times ahead include to be + step + dance with you at sea level on whidbey island in september.


  3. christian swenson

    Katherine! Your entries are terse and laced with humor and “gritty” reality. I don’t gaze too long into the photos lest I get jealous… Good to hear you are enjoying your fellow hiker(s). We’ll miss you this Thursday night at the Underscore Jam. My knees keep improving while I keep improvising..! Love, Christian


  4. Janet Cook

    katherine: I love your writing and am enjoying all your experiences. Thank you for all your comments, feelings, humor, and pictures! My heart is happy when I read your blog. Happy Trails! Love you lots. Janet

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Melissa

    Rudi and I finally planted our garden box on Sunday. We even got a blueberry bush and put into a pot! The blueberry already has so many green fruits, I can’t wait for the warm sun to ripen them for our picking. The barrio has gained and lost a few folks in the past week… The cowboy kids have (finally) moved on! The new (cowboy kids house) neighbors are so far pretty great. Young and only have ONE car!! Regan the paleontologist is moving to Wyoming next week and promises the new neighbors will be cool. We will be the judges of that! πŸ™‚

    I have LOVED all the pics. Its really nice this round that we get to see your shining face more since you have a fellow hiker also taking pics. Maybe this should be a thing… if only for blog purposes. Cheers and know that your are celebrated on the daily back here on 5th ave.


  6. Hot Springs

    I’ve been reading a lot of hiker blogs in preparation for the CDT this summer (or in two weeks, rather), and I think yours is my favorite! Even though it’s not technically related to my research, I can’t stop reading. You’re an amazing writer, and the Hayduke sounds like the best kind of adventure. All the best! I’ll be following along even after I get on trail myself.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. juliwolter

    Love reading both of your blogs. You guys make hiking the Haydook seem amazing and a hike I might enjoy someday….challenges and all. The pictures are amazingly beautiful. Seriously…thank you for taking the time to blog….I learn so much, and it’s a way I can be out there when in reality I can’t, just yet.


  8. brayhayden

    Just a quick howdy to say that I am soaking up every word! I can almost feel the sandy wind on my skin especially. πŸ™‚ And such a unique contrast to read about your long distances while watching a wee man string together steps and figure out this walking thing… Take care of you for all of us!


  9. tandemtrekking

    Just caught up on all the blog posts in one go. It was fabulous, like binge watching Orange is the New Black or something (not that your blog is like Orange is the new black… but you know what I mean). This is making me want to hike this trail SO bad. And I have all kinds of questions for you about route finding and what kind/ how many maps are you carrying and all sorts of things… incredible everything, keep it up and continued good luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Robert

    This is AWESOME!! We are doing the HDT this fall. You got me so pumped up and, class 4, exposure … gur… gulp… :/ super psyched to read more of your prior posts!

    Happy trails…


  11. Roger Spaulding


    Thanks for making the effort to do all this e-communication, in addition to hiking the Hayduke.

    I’ll be attempting the hike beginning about the middle of August and really appreciate your, and Wired’s, postings.

    I just returned from a four day-three night sashay into Dark Canyon. I had not been there in over twenty years and it was good to get back there, in spite of all the crowds. They weren’t there in ’95.

    Anywho, again, thanks for your efforts, be safe.



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