If you would like to bookmark this URL, you will be able to see my route in finer detail. This link will update when I add more points to the map. Each “balloon” corresponds to a GPS waypoint and a description such as “Turn left on X Rd.”
5/27 – 5/31
After having vehicular support to the Nevada/Utah border provided by my friend Brittani Stanga [who is currently thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia (www.brittani-stanga.blogspot.com)], I started solo trekking again and experienced some interesting things throughout Utah!
Not 20 minutes after my separation from Brittani, I realized that one of the straps on my backpack was almost completely separated, so I pulled out the ole’ needle and thread and gave a little more character to my pack. This is actually the 3rd spot on my pack that I have had to stitch and it has prompted me to name the monster that rides on my back. I have affectionately referred to it as Frankenstein from this day forward. (You might be thinking, Josh, you know Tom Hanks did something similar to this with a volleyball… and I would respond, “inanimate objects have feelings too, you know…”)
En route to Milford, UT, I came across a Gopher Snake (Pituophuscatenifer) and was able to pick it up and experience its docile behavior firsthand. These snakes are often mistaken for rattlesnakes, but it didn’t fool me!
I also found a deceased Chisel-toothed Kangaroo Rat (Dipodomysmicrops) right before I got to town and snapped a few photos. They are primarily nocturnal, so they are not seen as commonly as some other desert species.
5/31 – 6/5
I arrived in Milford, Utah and connected with Pastor Shane and Mountain View Baptist Church after a quick web search on my way into town!
Shane and his family were very kind to me by helping me run to the next town of Beaver,
allowing me to occupy space at their dining table for days, (yes, this is what I look like when I edit these videos together and the software doesn’t cooperate…)
and for welcoming me into their church body and giving me the opportunity to share about my experiences.
6/6 – 6/9
After several days of technical issues, I finally got the video done for Nevada and spent some time in Beaver, UT uploading the footage. I spent the afternoon at “Love the Art” and added a little flare to my hat…
I headed out of Beaver and found myself on several 4-wheeler trails. After getting sidetracked due to some insufficiencies in my directions, I ended up blazing a path over the top of a mountain and working my way down a stream to connect back in to a known location on my route. I doubt anyone on this planet could follow these directions to a T. I have done fairly well in my opinion, but it is always a challenge.
I came down into Circleville, UT and ate dinner at Butch Cassidy’s Hideout and laid waste to a Country Fried Steak. Before I got into town, I had met a couple who offered to let me shower off, so I called them up and went to their house to get cleaned up! After sharing a few of my videos, I spent the night camped out on their lawn and headed out the next morning.
After a miserable attempt to rouse an enormous amount of dairy cattle to a coup of the local “dairy tyrant”
I pushed over the mountains to a very small “town” called Antimony. The Antimony Mercantile was the only little store in town, but fortunately for me there was a Coke machine glowing like a beacon in the night and I was able to indulge in this carbonated euphoria before going to sleep.
(like a moth to a flame…)
6/10 – 6/11
While hiking along the Great Western Trail and other random connecting trails, I was able to witness a couple cinnamon black bears and snapped a couple poor photos on my phone and got a little video too.
6/12 – 6/13
I arrived to hwy 12 and was met by a local conservationist named Sue who brought me back to her home and gave me respite for a few days to try to catch up on my sleep and electronic burdens!
To my surprise, Sue and Grant live in a giant rock knoll where they have used dynamite to excavate the space and have subsequently “modernized” this rock with indoor plumbing, electricity and wifi. It was a unique experience and I thank them for their hospitality!
If you would like to see an older video when they were first excavating, you can view this “Rockumentary” about caveist culture. They were identified as “The Artist” in the film and I count myself lucky that I was welcomed by the more normal side of cave dwelling culture! Haha. There are some… interesting… people who have chosen to live in rocks.
6/14 – 6/17
I left Boulder, Utah and began to trek through Utah’s canyon country. A very beautiful and unique landscape.Also a very DRY landscape.
I came to an place called Sandy Ranch and summoned a bird from my beard to entertain myself and distract me from all of the biting flies that were destroying my legs.
I proceeded to walk over the Henry Mountains and through Bull Pass at 10,500 feet. This was a cool experience because these mountains are like an island of elevation in a sea of canyons. I was able to look at these few isolated mountains for about 3 days before I arrived at them and nearly 5 days after I left them.
After descending from the mountain, I underestimated my water consumption and began hoping that I would find water before I hit the Colorado River in 2 days. Fortunately for me, I was blessed by “the little stream that could” and managed to get water from a flowing puddle that was forced up by a large rock formation.
I also got to see a very cool, sand colored diamondback rattlesnake!
6/18 – 6/23
Well, I will admit, the LAST thing I expected to eat while on the trail in the middle of nowhere Utah, was Korean Barbeque. Haha, what a great treat! I came walking up to a random rest area (with pavilions) and met a group of 8 South Koreans who had been friends since high school! To my surprise, they break out a big grill, about a 5 pound chunk of meat and prepare a delicious meal for lunch! They were very kind and offered me some of the food.
After my delicious lunch, I kept walking and was met by my mom and Brittani along hwy 95 just before the Colorado River.
Over the course of the next few days, I was able to run 20 – 30 miles a day while Brittani and Mom hauled my backpack and the assorted goodies we had to eat for the week. It was SO nice having help, and especially having it in the section we were in. There was NO water and I would not have been able to do it without them. I got use to not having to use my brain too because they would kindly draw arrows in the road for me and I would blindly follow their lead!
One of the nights, we cooked brats. Well, one of the nights I sacrificed several brats over a dangerously huge fire while chanting and hailing a spear-like instrument above my head… but they were delicious!
At the end of our time together, we went into Monticello, UT and got more food supplies for my next section. We ate at The Peace Tree Juice Café and then swung by Newspaper Rock on the way back into the boonies to drop me off.
6/24 – 6/27
This next photo is of an area where I camped among some large rocks. You can see probably about 500 tumbleweeds that have accumulated and piled up to the right of the photo.
I’ve seen some pretty unique landforms and enjoyed walking through “The Needles” in Canyonlands National Park.
6/28 – 7/2
At last, I arrived in Moab, Utah and was received by some friends in conservation by the names of Kara and Brian. I took a few days in Moab to recuperate from a long consecutive stretch and managed to triumph over my electronic foe and get the recent video up. I also spent a few hours curled up in the fetal position trying to come to terms with the temperature outside and realized that my chances and fears of bursting into flame at any moment during the day were dangerously rational…
I ate at a place called “Milt’s” and felt welcome primarily because of the ironic cartoon that I sat near…
Lastly, after reading multiple threats in my guide resource like “There is no water for the next 90 miles” and “You will surely die,” In an effort to carry more water and preserve my life, I opted to upgrade my gear, appearance, and social status, and am happy to introduce the newest addition to my ridiculous ensemble… You’ve met Frankenstein, so now meet Frankenstein’s Ferrari.
Talk about ending this blog with class…