We woke to the silver skies of the morning before the sunrise and marveled at the red rocks, tall spires and striped mountains that had been hidden in the dark the night prior. After a cup of coffee we hit the road and headed to our first caching location. At the entrance to Canyonlands we decided to purchase an annual park pass and got into a brief conversation with the ranger about our hiking and caching plans. She must have called in to the other rangers as when we walked into the backcountry office we were greeted with "Are you the Haydukers?" We were surprised to find that we were expected! We spoke with two rangers about our hike and got permission to cache in the park as well as got into general conversation about the handful of other Hayduke hikers that they knew of this past year. We then went out into the sun to find a place to cache our food and water. Once we had secured our cache hidden well off the road we left the park on our way to our next stop.
Our second cache for the day was down a long series of dirt roads which we were unsure of our ability to even manage to drive without a high clearance 4x4. Our destination was a location called beef basin. After a couple of hours on the dirt road, with several stops along the way to scope the route in order to ensure we could clear some sketchy spots, we successfully reached our basin. We found a large rock overhang to tuck our buckets and water underneath and we covered the opening with stones to further camouflage our stash. After retracing our long drive on the dirt road to get out we managed to reach pavement and highway speeds again as we drove the two hours into Glen Canyon National Recreation Area to a location next to Lake Powell where we would leave our boxes at a small store called Hite Marina.
We arrived at our destination just after sun set and found a large flat area that used to be at the launch ramp. The area actually was past the launch ramp in a spot that used to be under water. The lake had long since receded however and we set our bed up on a slab of stone in our "camp under the lake" as I called it. The night air was still hot at 10pm so we shared a couple of beers, which were unfortunately also hot, watched the stars and enjoyed the occasional breeze that cooled our skin as it blew up from the lake in the distance. It felt good to relax outside and to have started our caches which would allow us to play outside in these areas for the following months.