Day 32: getting to Kanab

Something of a beautiful, uneventful day. Washes and roads, a long lunch break at a spring, faster miles than I had anticipated. I had planned to spend this night near Highway 89 and hitch into Kanab tomorrow morning but despite dawdling at various points during the day (including a window of time when I sat of a flat red rock and stared slackly into space and did nothing but watch the grass move in the wind), I was at highway 89 by 4:30. I wasn’t sure whether to hitch or not. All the day the decision was clouded, but I postponed confronting it by just walking. It’s always a kind of solution on its own, just walking is. I stood at the edge of 89 pondering the choice–hitching in would mean two full rest days, three nights in town (for reasons that will become apparent later), or one more night out and then only two nights in town. As I thought, within only minutes and before I had decided one way or the other, a truck pulled up and asked if I wanted a ride into Kanab. Well that just settled it right there. The guys driving the truck had picked up another hitchhiker, a sun-dried old man looking for part time work and traveling with a couple rucksacks. The man and I rode in the open bed of the truck for thirty miles to Kanab, me in amicable silence. I’m not sure his state of mind. He kept throwing sidelong glances at me and muttering things I couldn’t hear over the wind whipping into the truck bed. I watched road signs recede in the distance. What strange and sweet pleasure to travel backwards in the open air at 70 miles per hour. I never spoke with the drivers. When we arrived in town they dropped me and the man in the parking lot of the local McDonalds. As we were unloading one of the guys came back with two tens, one for each of us. I declined. No no, thank you for the ride, I don’t need charity. But good guys, to be so generous. 

I found a motel room and went to the town’s gear store where the owner let me use the store washing machine to do laundry. While my clothes cleaned I walked to a fast food joint nearby in my rain jacket and shorts for dinner, a sad floppy burger and some fries.  Tomorrow I will have to improve on that one. 


an abandoned ghost-shack below a stunning cliff



5 thoughts on “Day 32: getting to Kanab

  1. Gromit

    Oh my, the good Samaritans that gave you a ride thought you were a homeless drifter…did you have another birds nest in your hair? Sorry just laughing, with you I hope. Yes, no floppy soggy burger thing..get a steak!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paige

    I’m really enjoying your writing and photos. You’ve got a fan and a friend in Colorado. You’ve inspired me to get out for a longer backpack in June before my life gets too crazy to do so this summer. I wonder if that crazy hostel still exists in Kanab run by the retired professor from San Francisco who would put out a very interesting breakfast spread each morning. Anyway, looking forward to your journey into the Grand Canyon! Thanks for hiking and writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Charlie Canyon

      Nice meeting you in my store, Willow Canyon Outdoor Company. It’s fun to hear about your experiences on the trail. I had a thought about having you give a talk in the store. We’d put you up at one of our houses and have pizza or something (beer). We’d need a little lead time to get it out there to the local community. Whaddya think?



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