Over the course of my lifetime I’ve probably driven past this lone sign at least twenty times, if not fifty. The sparse landscape between Kanab, Utah and Page, Arizona can lead one to many different types of outdoor adventures, many of which I have been fortunate enough to see and do. One that I had yet to explore though was the Toadstools trailhead.

But that changed on this particular day.

I rise at some god awful time in the morning, probably around 4 a.m. or so, and leave the Phoenix area to head up North. The desert is cold as a witches titty this January weekend. Some five or so hours later and I cross the border into Utah and soon after find the Toadstools trailhead.

A cloudless day awaits, temperatures in the mid fifties as I start hiking basically from the road. Soon though the asphalt disappears, replaced by the more unforgiving landscape of the Southwest. I take a deep drink from my camelback and push forward.

I find that the toadstools are only a mile or so away. The landscape is certainly alien enough, but to really appreciate this area one must go off trail. Be wary though that without a compass and a good sense of your bearing and location, one could easily become lost.

I mentally mark certain peaks and mountains as I weave in and out of different canyons, as well as the location of the sun above. I am determined not to be another news story of a hiker that becomes lost and dies only a mile or so from the main road to civilization.

Careful I am, slowly I go. Taking my time I appreciate this short trail and the wonders that toadstools hold. After an hour or two I find the main trail and head on out. All in a Saturday, just another day in the life.

Time to find a Navajo sheep ranch on the reservation for my nights accomodations.

Wench, bring my ale, what say you?

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