Day 29: Tropic. Well, sort of. 

Let’s all note that I made it here two days ahead of schedule, despite trying to slow down because of knee pain, despite the weather, despite Monday Canyon’s giant boulders the icy fords of the Paria River. The terrain here is just so flat, on some days when the canyons are favorable, it’s easy to rack up the miles. 

Last night the temperature dropped to the low 20s and my breath filled my little pup tent and then froze in crystals all over my sleeping bag and the tent walls. I woke up tons glitter in world in the beam of my headlamp. A cold but fast walk would bring me into Tropic in just ten miles. I was quickly on my way, hands shoved in pockets, enjoying the cold morning air settled like a blanket over the sage brush. An hour later and a couple miles outside of Cannonville (a tiny town five miles before Tropic), I walked past a man with three dogs and a cat standing at the end of his driveway. “What are you up to” he asked, surprised to see someone walking by at 7:15 in the morning who, as he put it, didn’t appear to be lost or stranded or in need of help. We got to chatting and he invited me in for a cup of coffee. Roy ended up offering breakfast, a shower, a camper out back to spend the night, wifi while he patiently waited for me to spend the hours it takes in a town stop to load the blog entries, a ride to Tropic for groceries and mail, lunch, dinner, and he even drove me out of Kodachrome Basin State Park, an area of fascinating multicolored formations that I was going to miss on the Hayduke. I’ve changed up my route so I don’t have to walk through Tropic from here, instead taking a shortcut into Bryce from the east. A win for me, because going through Tropic would have meant a fair amount of paved road walking.  

So, almost a rest day. I did hike three miles this morning before landing at Roy’s, but a good chunk of time off feels restorative. Tomorrow I’ll head into Bryce Canyon, make a loop out of Under the Rim Trail and Peekaboo Trail (probably), and then head south through the park. I should be to Kanab Utah in about four days. 


Roy’s place


barbecue ribs for dinner



11 thoughts on “Day 29: Tropic. Well, sort of. 

  1. Liza Cohen

    That seems like quite a serendipitous morning contact.  A day of rest sounds great, and that meal looks pretty sweet.And then on you go!!And I noted that you got there two days early. In spite of everything. Thinking of your and your time out there,Love,Susan

    From: Hiking the Hayduke Trail 2015 To: Sent: Monday, April 20, 2015 9:18 PM Subject: [New post] Day 29: Tropic. Well, sort of.  #yiv8587549629 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8587549629 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8587549629 a.yiv8587549629primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8587549629 a.yiv8587549629primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8587549629 a.yiv8587549629primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8587549629 a.yiv8587549629primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8587549629 | Katherine posted: “Let’s all note that I made it here two days ahead of schedule, despite trying to slow down because of knee pain, despite the weather, despite Monday Canyon’s giant boulders the icy fords of the Paria River. The terrain here is just so flat, on some days w” | |

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rudi

    Hey Katherine! Melissa and I are loving reading your posts and viewing your beautiful photos. You are a very gifted writer with a talent for being poetic yet leaving the reader totally understanding what you are talking about (which is an area I usually get into trouble when I try to write or read poetry myself)- regardless what I’m trying to say is that you are doing a really great job, and I really like your writing. Though none of this is a surprise to me, as you are very good at all things you put your mind to.
    Today as I got home from work I heard your voice coming from your house and got so excited at the prospect that you were home (and sad that you had potentially ended the trip early)…then I realized Dan was facetiming with you, and I was then sad and happy in the opposite order. You are missed.
    You being gone in the spring means that Dan has been learning the wonders of gardening- he has been very cute about it. The peas you planted got eaten by slugs, so he bought 12 (!) containers of pea starts to replace your peas. The three of us planted them together in the sun last weekend, and part way through the planting session he was disappointed to learn that he had bought almost all non-edible (but very pretty) sweet peas. So we will have a lovely flower garden upon your return! We also bought and potted one blueberry and one Rhubarb plant for making all the delicious pies and tarts when you return!

    We love you and miss you. Be well and I do hope that your knee starts to mend soon!


  3. Christian

    I’m loving getting to binge-read your posts, and gawk at the amazing pix. You must have a special vertical lens on your camera to capture the endless curving walls of rock. Here’s to healthy knees!!! More egrets for pure graceful company, smiling all by yourself, warm feets, sweet water and bottomless nourishment… Xxoo


  4. Daya Goldschlag

    Your in good company:
    “John Muir found work as a sawyer in a wagon wheel factory. He was quickly promoted, and expected to have a great career. But after a year, he was repairing a belt for a circular saw when a file slipped and struck his eye, and he was temporarily blinded. He spent six weeks in a dark room, not knowing if he would ever see again. When his sight did return, he realized how important the beautiful world was to him. He wrote: “It was from this time that my long continuous wanderings may be said to have fairly commenced. I bade adieu to all my mechanical inventions, determined to devote the rest of my life to the study of the inventions of God.” He set out on a 1,000-mile walk from Indiana to the Gulf of Mexico, then walked from San Francisco to the Sierra Nevada.”


  5. Kirk Swann

    If you see this before you get to Kanab, check out the Rockin V Cafe. Great food, Victor Cooper owns the joint and is a dear friend and fine host.



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