A night of fitful sleep made me glad for the coming of the dawn. I was ready to put a little space between myself and bear territory. The Kannah Creek Trail follows a gap between two mesas thousands of feet downward. I had been told this slope was the western edge of the Rockies. A milestone was near and I rushed ahead.
Bear tracks were evident most of the time, leading me to believe my friend from yesterday was a regular hiker him/herself. I was in no rush to be reacquainted. Hiking alone is okay sometimes.
By eleven I finally reached the end of the interminable trail and returned to country roads. The weather was dry and hot at this lower elevation, the work harder, but I was glad to trade the claustrophobia of the narrow path for a wide road, even if the sweat toll was greater.
I had initially planned to find a spot to camp on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land, which is a common sight as you move into the empty western desert. Unluckily when I found a promising area I was too low on water to consider stopping. I finally found a house where the resident shared some of the refreshing liquid, but by this time I had passed out of BLM territory.
I was entering the village of Whitewater when Lynne Cobb returned my call. I had phoned earlier to tell her about the bear sighting since she lived in the vicinity and knew Carson Lake intimately from our scouting expedition. I relayed the story as I walked, running into a cheap looking hotel. The manager saw me approach in my hobo costume and came outside to see why he had a freak on the premises. I told him I was looking for a room and he informed me there were none. I called Lynne back and she revealed her presence in nearby Grand Junction. She had come down for the day and was looking for a place to stay herself. She would be glad to pick me up and we could stay with one of her friends.
First we headed to Pablo's Pizza and had an excellent dinner. The pizzeria makes a variety of interesting selections. I opted for the baked potato pie, with bacon, chives, cheese, potatoes, and sour cream. While we dined Lynne called in a favor from her friends Beth and David Hoffman. They had stayed with Lynne and Bill in St. George the last three years while their son Ben competed in the Iron Man Triathlon there. After a couple of close calls he won the event this year, which is composed of a 2.4 miles swim, 112 mile bike ride, and finishes up with a tiny little marathon. I got tired just typing those words.
The Hoffmans were glad to put us up at their lovely home. There son has boundless energy and an incredible competitive drive and which you can see in his parents. David has competed in Triathlons himself and actually rode his recumbent bike from Grand Junction to St. George on the way to seeing Ben race this year. Beth is also incredibly active, riding hundreds of miles a week. All this talk of exercise exhausted me and I am sad to say I fell asleep during our conversation. I gave up and left for bed, falling into slumber the moment I hit the covers.
19 miles/2923 total miles