Day 14: Uphill to Mt Ellen

Thursday May 4, 11.5mi/18.5km

Hanksville / Highway 95 (190.5/4880ft) to Crescent Creek (201.4/8250ft) (UT) +0.6mi wandering aimlessly

What a varied day! I was up at 7am, and packed up my scattered gear, which took awhile. Then after breakfast I made a few phone calls (happy birthday Jeff!), and we departed the Airbnb at 10am.

First stop was the post office. I mailed out some items I wasn’t using (rainpants) and Shadow had received a new backpack to replace his older falling-apart one.

The post office took awhile, and by the time we left it was almost time for lunch. But first a stop at the quirky convenience store that is inside a rock!

And it’s a Sinclair store, so the dinosaur was just begging to be ridden, haha

I saw this building next door. Burritos, margaritas, AND free WiFi?!? Yes please.

We ordered food and while waiting we signed the board that all the adventurers sign. It was mostly Hayduke hikersz but also a bunch of bikepackers riding from Alaska to Patagonia. Wow.

As we left, a large group of motorcycles pulled into the parking lot. It was some sort of charity ride fundraiser for a politician…. in Georgia. Weird.

We walked out to the road and started hitching back to the trail. It only took 20 minutes to get picked up, a couple women from Eugene Oregon were here on vacation in their van, and gave us a ride. Back on trail, it was an afternoon of easy roadwalking uphill.

I could see Mount Ellen getting closer.

At one point we had to hike from one road to another across a gully, it was scrambling fun.

The road walk went on….

When I looked behind me, I could see everything I had hiked last week was far below me to the east.

We passed by some strange old mine, with a gate that really boggled our minds.

Just before we got to our planned camp spot, I started seeing snow. It was noticeably colder up here at 8,000 ft.

We got to a junction where the main hayduke route and an alternate route split off. We are taking the alternate which stays lower at 9,000 ft, and goes over Pennellen Pass. The main route would turn right and go over the summit of Mount Ellen at 11,500 feet… But there is still quite a bit of snow up there.

We camped right next to Crescent Creek, near the junction. It was definitely cold up here at 8,200 ft.

I’m camping in a forest, and NOT in sand. I love it!

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