In the town of Kanab we were dropped off at the small outfitters/coffee shop/book store and not only were we able to get the additional gear that we needed, but we also ran into several other hiker trash. An AT hiker, Carry On, worked at the gear store and when we walked into the store she was helping two 2010 PCT hikers, Chocolate Bandito ad Happy Feet, whom I had met while doing trail magic at Sonora Pass the year that they hiked. Apparently our Hayduke hiker friends, Jen and Dan, had just left about thirty minutes ago. We knew by the good company that we were in the right place to re-gear and hang in this little Utah border town.
After a huge lunch, post office run and gear purchases we decided to get a campsite on the edge of town where we could also get showers and use the campground internet. We scrubbed ourselves as well as all of our dirty clothes in the showers until the shower water finally ran clear and then we stayed up late under our tarp enjoying the comforts of town. The following morning we packed up, ate one more town meal for lunch, picked up a few items fro the gas station and stuck our thumb out on the side of the road. The first car to exit the gas station pulled over and the driver Carter offered to give us a lift ten of the thirty miles we needed to go. As we got to chatting with Carter on the ride he soon offered to take us the entire distance and later pulled over on a dirt road near where we thought we needed to be to get back on trail. As we packed to leave we had to decline an offer to stay at Carter's home for the night but we continued to chat and found ourselves quickly engrossed in deep, meaningful conversation ending in hugs and knowledge that we would probably be talking again someday. He gifted me with his straw hat before he left and after he began to drive away he threw his car in reverse, leaned out the window and tossed something to me. I snagged it from the air initially thinking we had forgotten something and then realizing it was a necklace that Carter had made.
I put on the necklace and hat and we began to walk down the side of the road towards where we thought we had left our water jugs the day prior. The open desert terrain all looked the same from the highway and we thought we had gotten off close to our hitching location the previous day, but as we walked we began to realize we might be further from that spot than we thought. We continued to walk down the side of the road and when the sun dipped behind the cliffs we stopped to put our sunglasses away. It was at that time a state trooper turned around to question what we were doing. We explained where we were headed and while he may have thought our explanation was a bit out there he left us to our road walk. Five miles later we finally reached the location we had intended on when hitching out of town. Since it was after dark we found a flat spot on the hillside just a bit back from the road and set up for the night. We might not have made much trail progress for the day, but we had some great experiences and we had at least made it out of town and back to the trailhead.