We are out walking in the local hills and coast a fair bit most times, especially during the last two years of lockdown. But with the Hayduke in mind we have tried to do a few more miles over flatter ground during the winter. The coastline north of us from Fortrose to Rosemarkie to Cromarty offers pretty perfect terrain; sand, boulders, trail, cross country, minor roads and even some bushwacking – it also happens to be great fun!
We left the hot desert of southern Utah to return back to the Colorado Rockies visiting the Martin family in Montrose Colorado and doing some hikes into the Rocky mountains. It was nice to hear bubbling streams and to see lush forest and mountains again.
We revisited Lake City where we had resupplied in 2009 on the CDT and where our favourite cannibal in history, Alferd Packer, ate his victims and was later tried.
We were out yesterday on our local coast from Rosiemarkie to Cromarty on a 21 mile walk. This is a very sheltered area and tends to receive better weather than the mainland to the west.Lots to see including sea birds, geology of the great glen fault, fossils and footprints from the elusive otters around here. The terrain is varied too from sand, rock hopping, some cross-country, single track, single lane road and jeep track. We can’t train for the temperatures of the Hayduke though, we had a cool 3-6 C yesterday, we are expecting temps up to 35 C out in the Grand Canyon!
Here’s a quote from Edward Abbey, the Hayduke Trail is named after a character from his fictional book ‘the Monkey Wrench Gang’ – well worth a read!
“In the first place you can’t see anything from a car; you’ve got to get out of the
goddamned contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees, over the sandstone and through the thornbush and cactus. When traces of blood begin to mark your trail you’ll see something, maybe.”