Start: Crazy Cook Monument
Stop: alluvial wash channel
18ish miles (miles in approximation because it’s hard to tell how far you’ve gone)
Hikers, backpacks and water are loaded into the off-roading mobiles that take us the three hour ride to the Crazy Cook/Southern Terminus Monument. Juan drives us across the far-reaching alluvial fans as we bounce around the Suburban like rag dolls. This shit is fun! Every adventure should start with some 4 wheel drive thrashing. Crazy Cook is simple. You piss of the cook, he kills you. Or so the legend goes. We arrive, do the photo thing and then march off into the desert unknown.
The miles are easy and beautiful. This is the real desert, not like the Pacific Crest Trail chaparral wannabe desert. After a couple hours I take a break and huddle under my umbrella while battling the incessant wind. I sit on my mat, umbrella lash around toe as I hunch over my snack. The scenery is stark and yet so full of life. You just have to be paying attention.
After entering a canyon and hiking up a wash, I find trail friends enjoying real shade and I join them. Two Weeks and Three Days (trail name) passes out candy as I let my feet air. We hike through the heat of the day to get to our first water cache at 13.7 miles.
Dinner and loading up with water is followed by almost two more hours of hiking. As darkness falls and the sky turns pink, Beads and I find a sweet alluvial wash with sand for a luxurious first night of cowboy camping.