Day 2 - Kanab to Wahweap Marina – Sunday, April 17th
The plan for the day was to make it at least to Big Water, about 56 miles away. We figured it would be hard to go farther, since there were some significant climbs to do, though mostly the route was downhill. This was one of those sections with a great distance before the next store, so we made sure we had emergency food, and (as was the rule for the trip) each had two 2-liter bottles of extra water.
Profile from Kanab to Page
We ate breakfast at a restaurant, stocked-up with supplies for the long trek in a store, and had sandwiches made for our lunch at a Subway Sandwich shop.
Best restaurant of the trip, in Kanab – the omelets were great!
At a grocery store, ready to leave Kanab
We started out with high hopes, and with a tail-wind, which we considered unexpectedly good fortune.
Scenic views north of the road, east of Kanab
Shady lunch break, under a tree – notice the road stretching west to the horizon
At an interesting road-cut
Scenic views to the north, as we came nearer to Lake Powell
More scenic views, still closer to Lake Powell
Our first view of Lake Powell, in the late afternoon sunlight
We made it to the first store in 56 miles, in Big Water, Utah. There we met a hiker who had hiked from Boulder, Utah, and was headed to central Arizona, and from there east into New Mexico.
There didn't appear to be any motels in Big water. From what the store owner said, and from looking at maps, we thought we could make it to the Wahweap Marina campground, so we forged on. We passed a few motels, but they were not open.
After a long, hard day (and a partial day), we finally reached the Arizona border, as darkness fell
By the time we made it to the Wahweap Marina, it was dark. We had the lights and strobe-lights for safety, but they didn't help much for finding things in the dark.
We finally found the place where you sign-up for campsites, and they had a list of available sites we could sign-up for. We selected one of them, and signed our name for it.
As we cycled to the campsite up a steep hill, I commented it would be just our luck that we would get all the way there (to the site we signed-up for) only to discover someone else was in that site. This indeed turned out to be the case. Someone had just taken a space which appeared to be available, not knowing you had to sign-up for such spaces first.
We weren't going to cycle back down and up that hill to sign up for another, so we just shared the space.
It was here we discovered a big flaw in my plan for the trip. On all other trips, I have used my self-inflating pad with no problems. This campsite, to my surprise, had thorns scattered all over the ground, every place one might set up a tent, which would certainly be enough to puncture the air-filled pad.
I became frustrated at this, being unable to solve the problem. I didn't think I could last the night sleeping with no pad. Malcolm very generously offered me his roll-up foam pad to shield the inflatable pad from the thorns, and slept with just his sleeping bag over the ground-cloth.
This worked for me, but I worried the thorns would stick through Malcolm's sleeping bag, though apparently they didn't. That was very kind of Malcolm to make that offer.
Before going to bed, Malcolm wisely ate a can of the emergency food. I didn't feel much like eating, so I ate only a few handfuls of trail mix. This turned out to be a mistake, as it left me weak the next morning at a time I needed energy. Live and learn...
This was the longest-mileage day of the trip, with a distance of 72.1 miles at an average speed of 9.9 miles per hour.
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