Take a Trek

Day 24: Rainbow Bridge

Little Bear Spring Camp to Rainbow Bridge
Miles 286–310 (24)

I’m taking a short break with The AhWe Tribe on an enormous rock formation that’s surrounded by prickly plants and sand. It’s nine o’clock and the sun is already breathing all over us. I manage to find a bit of cell service, call REI, and order a new headlamp to the next place that I can intercept a package, a land that my guidebook calls Hikertown. I’ll be there in 200 miles, which gives me plenty of time to think about the consequences of getting drunk and playing with my gear.

The trail continues to have an easy grade today. I cruise through a sandbox that seems to stretch on forever, trip over a 3-foot-long gopher snake, and eventually find myself waiting for my friends next to a small stream. When The AhWe Tribe arrives, snacks are had, then little bits of paper are passed around. This place, this thread of time that we live in is so peculiar. 

I’m infactuated with the trail, each and step is pregnant with possibility. The AhWe Tribe is somewhere behind me, never to be seen again. Shapes shift, colors blend, and an alien landscape of sandy mountains eventually leads me to a long canyon that babbles with steep waterfalls and swirling pools. I follow along for a few more hours, and pitch my shelter below an enormous metal bridge that’s arched towards the sky, a rainbow bridge. I’m comfortably exhausted. Where’s the AhWe Tribe?