I started off sluggishly, my attitude lousy. What can I say? Another ten hours of scorching heat seemed unappealing at the moment. Susan and Gail showed up and that frown did a one hundred and eighty degree reverse windmill jam right in my face. The two were out exploring the national parks of Utah in their RV when they spotted my downtrodden visage. They stopped and gave me a goodie bag with enough grub to feed Equatorial Guinea . B.J. strained under the load of vittles.
Later on I was paid a visit by Officer Friendly of the Utah State Highway Patrol. He checked my water supply to make certain I had enough, then drove away. An hour later he returned with two liters of ice cold Aquafina, a godsend for the fried traveler.
As an aside, sometimes I feel like the sun is on Iron Chef and I am the secret ingredient, to be cooked and prepared in a variety of different ways. I recommend the Alastair souffle with truffle oil on top.
The scenery began to improve as well about ten miles from my destination. Cylinders of rock stood lonely out to the west, looking like a messy bowling leave. It seems even God cannot hit a seven-ten split. The feature was known as Brigham Butte according to a posted sign. A dastardly hooligan had removed the "e" from Butte. I cannot abide this sort of immature tomfoolery. Clearly the "r" should have been removed as well.
The approach of Hanksville was signaled by the Dirty Devil River. The water was the color of chocolate milk poorly stirred by an impatient five year old. Powell's expedition rowed past the Devil's junction with the Colorado and were not impressed with the sight or smell and thus they applied the unflattering name, which has stuck. A fair assessment on their part I feel.
I was on the home stretch but their was still a surprise in store. With no warning a cloud of mosquitoes appeared around my legs and began a ferocious attack upon my blood supply. I was shocked to see my old Lowcountry* nemesis in such a dry place. Credit the pest with resilience if nothing else. I have not needed to carry bug spray all year, but that trend will come to an end tomorrow morning.
I reached Hanksville and enjoyed a relaxing evening thanks to Mom, who purchased me a room at the Whispering Sands. The A/C cooled me down and a shower washed off the layers of sand I had accumulated over the last two days in the desert. Having shed off my veneer I can really show off my tan. You might call it a terrible sunburn or the early stages of malignant melanoma, but either way I am looking good!
20 miles/3119 total miles
*A region of South Carolina near the ocean.