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Leaving DC and Caching Water in Utah

A whirlwind return to DC for Stuart and I followed by a rear-end-numbing 4000 mile round-trip with our good friend Jon Rudolf to cache the water we will need for our walk through Utah. Our first glimpse of the scenery that awaits us in the West.

Back in DC with the Malouin. It felt like we never left.Rob came down from New York to see us off on our way again. It was a pleasure to see him.Catarina and Leila on the way back from our seeing-off party in DC. Many thanks to all who were there and apologies to those (ie. almost everyone) who I didnt get on camera. It appears I didnt take a single picture while we were there - too busy talking nonsense. Bad trip photographer.Cat and Per.During the late 70s Rob Valois was widely acknowledged to be Players fifth member, bringing his unique brand of timpani to their more epic numbers.Davids dog, Ellie.Sadly Ellie has developped cancer (here Stu and David are looking over the x-rays) so our last night in DC was probably the last time we will see her.Ellie, who almost always looks sad anyway with her long face and big brown eyes looked to us especially sad that night.Ellie taking advantage of Stus beddage to comfy down.After well over a thousand miles drive from Ohio, we cross the Rockies.
Stocking the truck with the gallon jugs we would cache in the desert as we headed West through Utah.Our first day dropping water along the Kokopelli trail and a sign reminding us that there is no water on the trail. It was dusty and hot.What every under-prepared coast-to-coast walking expedition needs: a 1987 Toyota 4Runner and a Jon Rudolf with a weeks holiday.We arrived at our first camp just after sunset but still had a great view down into the canyons through which we had driven that day.Cooking dinner on the first nights camp. Jon provided us with some gourmet camp food.After camping out cowboy style on the flatrock we woke to a beautiful sunrise.The Colorado River.Caching water in redrock country.In places the desert floor was full of colour such as these flowering cactus.Most of my pictures from this trip are of Stuart pointing to the trees and rocks where we buried are water.
Driving into Canyonlands.Sunset over Canyonlands. We were driving most days from first light until last.Early morning at our camp in the Canyonlands.Needles Outpost. Some of the most remote gas in the West.Elephant Hil 1; Walkingthestates 0.

Elephant Hill, Canyonlands. Some of the most challenging off-road driving in Utah. Steep inclines of slickrock. We came, we saw, we conked out, we turned around, we tried a different route.

Denied.Looking out over Canyonlands.Looking out over Canyonlands.Dont go into Bobbys Hole they said. We laugh in the face of Bobbys hole said walkingthestates.The map room, Hite, Utah.Only a few miles, but a few thousand feet up, from canyonlands we were up in the mountains surrounded by aspen, deer and elk.
Snow 1; Walkingthestates 0.

Denied for the second time.Aspens 1; Walkingthestates 0.

Aspens are heavier than you think.

Like Peter, denied a third time.While we wondered what to do next in the face of the impassable trail ahead, I tried to raise our spirits by taking some pictures of the aspen. They are really quite beautiful trees.After a hard day caching water, there is nothing I like to do more than kick back and relax at the fish cleaning station.The boot (trunk) of the truck. We ate, drank and breathed red dust for days.Relaxing with a fire after a long day.Jon Rudolf. The man of the moment.Walkingthestates claims its first casualty.Team Utah.From the location of one of our water drops on highway 21. Barren.
Highway 21 was brutal to drive. I dont even want to think about how it will be to walk in the heat of August.Highway 21.Heading back East across Utah on highway 50 there was very little traffic. One vehicle that did stand out was this one following Skip, about 50 ft ahead, at walking pace. Skip is walking from his home in Los Gatos, California to Boulder Colorado to raise money for his families medical expenses. Check out his site for more details.

Skip, his support driver, William, Stu.walkingthestates meets skipswalk.Waving goodbye to Skip. It was a surreal thought that he had 4 or 5 hours walking ahead of him still that day. It brought back the reality of what we would be looking forward to in just a few days.Sevier Lake, Utah. A dry lake white with salt deposits in a very desolate part of the state.Sevier Lake, Utah. A dry lake white with salt deposits in a very desolate part of the state.Fruita, Utah. Storm clouds approaching from the mountains. That night, as we drove to Grand Junction, Colorado we watched some awesome lightning.We covered over a thousand miles of Utah and often heard tell of the legend of Turbo.Larry Ball, fine host and uncredited inventor of subterranean radio communications. We hope to see Larry again in Grand Junction in a few months.
Driving back East.Returning to the more prosaic but equally worthy attractions of Kansas. Someday we will get to pet the baby pigs. Someday.Heading East.       

E-mail: stu@walkingthestates.com and dave@walkingthestates.com | Phone: (00 1) 301 538 0308