August 21, 2018
It's not easy. The route, for one, but also the planning.
Never have I planned so much for a hike. On the Appalachian Trail I let my friends do all the work; on the Pacific Crest Trail I made sure I had the right gear, did some quick calculations to figure out when I should send myself food, and took off. And that was about the extent of it.
Not this time. This time I have been pouring over blogs. Reading some of those blogs twice, then taking notes. Examining maps of the route, and examining them again. Comparing different people's GPS tracks, and loading them onto my phone. Meticulously adding notes to my own maps. Prepping guidebook notes for the trail. Dehydrating all my leftovers for food caches. Calculating when I'll reach the Grand Canyon so my permits can be accurate, then reconsidering if I'm out of my mind hiking that part of trail alone. (The answer is probably yes.) Trying to understand where the painfully slow-going one mile per hour terrain is. (It's everywhere.)
Am I overdoing it? Is it possible to overplan for the Hayduke, or is it more akin to something called being prepared?
For those curious, my resupply strategy is below. You can read about the gear I'm taking or nerd out on my LighterPack. For a list of the blogs I've been reading, head on over to hayduketrail.org.
Mid-September in Arches National Park
Just 18 miles daily
Late October in Zion National Park
#1: Maildrop to Needles Outpost, Canyonlands NP
#2: Cache at Hwy 95 near Hite
#3: Cache on Burr Trail Road
#4: Hitch down Hole-in-the-Rock Road to Escalante
#5: Hitch to Tropic, UT
#6: Walk into Jacob Lake, AZ
#7: Maildrop to Phantom Ranch
#8: Maildrop to Colorado City, AZ
Go to my next post to read about it, or nerd out on my LighterPack.