April 26, 2019
I didn't really sleep last night. I discovered that the laundromat door was unlocked at 0100, so I went in there out of the cold and started ticking things off my todo list so I could relax and enjoy the zero today. I would prefer to stay two nights here and take full advantage of the accommodation, but I'm cheap and would rather keep my money for things like flights and a new pack to replace this one that the Hayduke has chewed up.
Bruno told me the other day that some of the trails on the Bryce extension are closed, so I took some time today to research current conditions and look over the maps. Two trails along the extension are closed and obstruct the route. Fortunately, there are fairly straightforward workarounds. They'll be a little longer and include road walking, but I'm not above extra miles and a road walk. In fact, I find the mindlessness of the latter especially refreshing on this trip. On the other hand, I still have my spikes, so it crossed my mind that I could just sneak through the closures. Not really my style, but I'm told that no one likes a goody-goody. With such a quick and easy alternate for the alternate, it seems silly to expose myself to a possible fine. If the trails are still closed tomorrow, then I'll just do some road walking.
The other-other day, I got a voicemail from the top of the Cockscomb that led to an unexpected - and quite tempting - job offer. It'd be a year commitment, which means putting off some trips, so my knee-jerk reaction would've been no. But I didn't respond right then. Instead I've taken the last couple of days to think it over, and it's really an excellent fit. I could push my trips back a year, embrace stability, experience Salt Lake, save some money, and even add a few adventures to next summer's itin. Or, perhaps settle in. Build a life. I love Salt Lake and could happily put down roots there; raise a family.
Didn't feel much like a zero with my typical town chores and so much research to do. Then there was the waiting to get into my hotel room. They wouldn't allow me to check in before 1500, which I think is fairly common except that most places will let you check in much earlier if they have a room available. I checked into the Prospector at Escalante around like 1230 or something last week. I was annoyed today because I'm exhausted. I'd hoped to lay in bed and be lazy all day long, only leaving my comfortable haven for burgers, pizza, and milkshakes. Instead I spent much of the day at the local coffee shop fighting to keep my eyes open. It ain't easy bein' a cheap-o.
I was tempted to just camp near town for my zero, but I'd gone big yesterday and with nearly thirty miles planned for tomorrow, I'm grateful to be in a bed and to have a roof over my head tonight. Worth the investment, I think, or at least that's what I keep telling myself. No more towns between me and done. Just a week and a half to go now!