Day 6

October 25, 2011

Solo Exploration:  Lava, Chuar, and Carbon

I got up at 6:00 (still pretty dark).  I wanted to get an early start to avoid the afternoon heat (even 80 degrees is a little too warm for me).  At 7:00 I had just filled up my dromedary and was ready to start up the trail when I noticed water dripping from my pack.  Figuring I hadnít tightened the lid to the dromedary properly, I was upset when I found that somehow a quarter inch diameter hole had been worn into the dromedary.  Hard to figure out how that could have happened since I always carried the empty dromedary deep in my pack.  Damn!  Now what?  I needed that water carrying capacity to do a dry camp tonight.  So I got out my Thermarest repair kit and managed to patch the dromedary.  I wasnít sure it would hold, so I carefully placed the full dromedary in my pack with the hole in the up position.  I finally left camp at 7:35.  So far so good.

I hiked slowly but steadily up the Tanner towards my cache at the top of the Redwall.  The weather was perfect for hiking.  At the bottom of the Redwall I met a group that had started at the rim earlier today.  When I got back to my cache it was still late morning.  I rested a while, then ate lunch.  Just as I was leaving I met another group of  4 young men.  They too were confused by the sharp turn in the trial as it starts its steep descent thought the Redwall.  It was a little disheartening to see so many people who could not follow an easy trail, especially since this turn is clearly defined on the topo map.

Clouds began to build and I was a little worried about the weather.  So I decided to pick up my cache and continue on another mile or so to a large rock I had noticed on the way down that would provided some shelter.  The rock was a large, Supai block in the bay below the saddle separating Cardenas and Escalante Buttes.  I believe it is the sheltered rock that Wayne Tomasi mentions in his book, Grand Canyon Hiking Adventures.  The wind picked up too, and it was getting pretty chilly.  I set up my sleeping area out in the open rather than under the rock.  I figured if it began to rain, I could quickly move under the overhang.  My iPod battery was dead so no book tonight.

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