If you've been following my journey across the United States for a few minutes you'll probably notice things don't always go according to plan on the rare occasions I even have one. Adding a car and a couple family members to the equation complicates logistics even more. Not surprisingly, my temporary teammates and I found our first major impediment twelve miles into today's hike.
I should probably start by explaining that I wandered off the trail again yesterday. We had previously decided using Kokopelli's Trail would be too difficult given the large gaps between pickup points. The Ford Mustang mom rented is a pimpin' ride, but won't operate on most back roads in the West, which are usually repaired only once every couple of centuries. Instead we found an alternate route, taking us to Green River, somewhat north of the ADT. I'll return at some point, but I'm not much into the MacArthur thing, so don't hold your breath until then.
The Google Maps directions were perfectly spiffy until the third shift early this afternoon when Colin and I ran into a little problem, the Colorado River. Westwater Road ends there, leaving us momentarily befuddled. We had an hour to wait until mom returned with the car, so we sat down for a long wait, which did not occur.
Rather luckily a man named Alan showed up and offered to take us to the Viewing Station where she was passing the time. He also happened to be an Appalachian Trail alum, so we spent the ride talking shop. The trade off for our good fortune was a lack of room, mainly for my legs, which slowly went numb. When we arrived and I touched ground they had no feeling whatsoever.
The sensation passed, but there were still other problems, like where we should go next. I suggested we could hit up the bike shop and get a better map of the surrounding moonscape. At Over the Edge we found our solution - head onto the previously forsaken Kokopelli Trail. We had seen a Kokopelli sign on Westwater and a Forty Latitude Map convinced me I could hop on and get back to the Google route at Cisco Landing.
Mom resolved to fix the car problem as well, heading to Grand Junction with Colin to trade in for a truck. They had partial success, pinching a less stylish, but more practical Mitsubishi with a much larger back seat. We still can't get onto some of the nastier tracks, but the baby jogger I've received from Karen and Jerry does fit inside. The tiny Mustang could barely fit us, much less the new addition to my desert arsenal.
We celebrated our new plan (which could not possibly fail), with dinner at Rib City, courtesy of Mom. Problems may drive us to distraction, but frankly, what fun would a trip of this length be without a little challenge now and again? Even the best laid plans end up with yolk on their face sometimes, but as they say you can't make a senseless homily, metaphor, or saying without breaking a few eggs.
12 miles/2992 total miles