Call it the Year of the Thumb. I think nearly every trip I took involved some hitchhiking. Not on purpose, mind you. Perhaps I've just become more open to considering routes that involve hitchhiking. But hitching allowed me to see some pretty cool things this year.
For the first time, I actually did more trips with friends than I did solo this year. I didn't intend to do it that way, it just kind of happened. And they were great trips! Great friends and great scenery are an unbeatable combination.
On to the stats!
- Shelters acquired: 1
- Shelters used: 2
- Cameras purchased: 1
- Shoelaces broken: 4
- Overnight trips: 9
- Sleeping bag nights: 41
- Nights spent under the stars: 23
- States visited: 4
- National Parks Visited: 5
- Solo trips: 4
- Trips with friends: 5
- Slot canyons hiked: 6
- Highest point: crest of the Uintas, UT (12,600')
- Lowest point: Lees Ferry, AZ (3,400')
- Highest point (metaphorical): Cruising a ridgeline in the Bear River Range and glissading down a snowfield with friends
- Lowest point (metaphorical): Discovering that a bear had rendered all my food inedible in the middle of the wilderness
- Most days spent without seeing a human: 4 (Hayduke Section 7)
- Longest waterless stretch: 33 miles (Hayduke Section 7)
- Heaviest packweight: 33 pounds (Hayduke Section 7)
- Lightest packweight: 7 pounds (Hayduke Section 1)
- Longest Day: 24 miles (Trans-Zion Traverse)
- Shortest Day: 7 miles (Spring Canyon)
Number of Times:
- Picked up while hitchhiking: 11
- NOT picked up while hitchhiking: 1 (we finally caved and hired a cab)
- Car shuttling with friends: 2
- Packed a stove: 1
- Packed bear spray: 1
- Packed a gun: 0
- Stormed on: 3
- Drank from a polluted river: 1
- Got sick from a polluted river: 0
- Got a suspicious rash from a polluted river: 1
- Moose: 2
- Bear: 0 (but I heard one)
- Bison: Hundreds
- Sasquatch: 1
- Elk: Dozens
The hiking season got off to a slow start. I didn't take my first trip until March, a quick hitter to Spring Canyon in Capitol Reef National Park.
In April, I hiked the first section of the Hayduke Trail, making sure to camp just outside the boundaries of Arches National Park.
In May, I hiked the Trans-Zion Traverse with friends...
...and in June, hiked what I call the "White 'n Bossy Route" in the Bear River Range.
July brought a quick overnighter in Little Cottonwood Canyon...
...and a wonderful ridgewalk in the east-central Uintas.
In August, I spent the night at White Pine Lake in Little Cottonwoood...
...and embarked on a 12-day trip to the Absaroka Range in Wyoming.
September turned to October while I was hiking Sections 7-9 of the Hayduke Trail and the Paria River.