The following two days we followed the Colorado River filled high with waters released from the recent annual flooding. Our route no longer followed much of a trail, other than the occasional game trail. We rock hopped, boulder scrambled and kicked in steps on the crumbling slopes as we balanced above the rushing waters below.
We visited the ruins of ancient granaries built high up on the cliff side. It was a place Goose had been looking forward to seeing for a long time and the stone structures and views from the rocks high above the river did not disappoint.
After a stretch of down river travel we reached a point where we needed to cross the Colorado River via a hitch from a passing by rafting group. It was a part of the Hayduke that I had been really excited about and I half joked that perhaps we could hitch with a raft further than just across the river. Goose was doubtful reading aloud from our guidebook, "Rafts can only take passengers who are listed on the permits so don't even think about asking for a ride further down." We had only seen two rafting groups in the past two days so we settled into our beach enjoying some forced down time.
When long distance hiking there is usually a daily pressure to make the miles. A small sense of nagging guilt when you sleep late, stop early, take detours or play around when you should be hiking. I try to avoid this guilty feeling with a typical hiking attitude that it is about the journey, not the destination, but I still get antsy when sitting too long.
However, a forced break when you can't be hiking even if you want to is an amazing feeling. We reveled in this feeling all afternoon, but as the sun dipped behind the tall canyon walls and we set up camp for the night we realized we might be enjoying a much longer beach break than we anticipated.