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.