MRT 2021 Day 3, April 7, Wednesday
• Start S1 mile 17
• End S1 mile 48.1
• Miles walked: 31.1
Winter Cabin Trail, brushy in places, takes me up out of Sycamore Canyon, and a few forest roads lead to Secret Mountain and Loy Canyon Trail, which descends steeply at first, and then provides an easier downhill grade that seems to go on for ages.
We are in the land of red sandstone.
At section mile 29.9 Red Rock camping restrictions are in effect, and the next place to camp is at mile 48.1, and I enter the restricted zone at 1PM. It is certainly too early to stop for the day, so the plan is to hike on for a thirty miler day with a night hike the last few miles.
Many grand rock formations are on proud display, which seems to inspire tourists to rent noisy ATVs.
The MRT goes down a wash to avoid the motorists, but there is no escaping the din of helicopter tours. The wash was hard to walk in because of overhanging cats-claw, but meandering parallel game trails were easier to follow. The route makes several cross-country segments to avoid dusty dirt roads, and later followed some mountain bike trails.
One dirt tank I hoped to get water from was dried up, and a residential area that might have had a duck pond was posted “No Trespassing”, so I did not risk it. Later, after dark as I continued hiking in cooler temperatures, I did find a rock pool of water in a dry creek bed, as documented as likely in my hiking guide, so all is right with the world. I reach Brins Mesa at 9PM, and cowboy camp, not bothering to put up a tent.
At midnight, and later at dawn, nearby coyotes call out, and echoes from sandstone cliffs make an eerie sustained reverb.