I was awake listening for the alarm but decided to get up anyway. I packed. Ipmost of my gear. I jumped I the shower oh to be clean 1 more time.
I finished packing and went downstairs. I dropped my pack by reception and had breakfast. Large cup.of coffee.toassted bagels and orange juice.
Once down I hadn’t my keys/card over and left Murrys. It had been more money than I wanted to pay but I had enjoyed my stay.
As I walked down the street I decided I was cold.too late now
My pack also seemed ridiculously heavy. Why why is it so heavy. Or maybe its the break of not carrying it for 2 days
I struggled up the road until I saw a bench.
I dropped my pack onto it and removed each water bottle and promptly poured half of each bottle a way. Hope I won’t need that I thought.
I slung up my pack. That’s much better. Or my brain thought so..
There was a hiker in the distance so I kept him in sight. At last I was on walnut Street. This was the alternate route that I was taking. I set off along it pasing a school whee mothees were queuing to drop off their angels.
The further I walked out of town e nicer the hours got
This road walk was about 7 miles long*
And yes it was hilly grrr..
I plodded along in no hurry. I met a retired man he was very chatty and gave me lots if advice although most I knew.
This toad seemed to go on forever and it did. Luckily thee was a breeze but it was still 74 and climbing. The road passed over a cattle grid narrowed and nature took over. I came to my first xxxx I took a quick nosey and carried on . The road then turned to grit and then signs about the Gila national park. But I still had many more miles to go. Now the road became your typical forest road of dust. . Ithecroad climbed steet and so did I. On it went . Ibegan to wonder what the Cdtroute would have been like. After several more hours I arrived at the trail head.
Hurrah I found a shady spot and dropped my pack. Ate a plum and a Apple that I had carried out.
Several hikers appeared and went.most taking the Gila alternative. This was to be my choice also.
The lady hiker who I had breakfast with passed by. Maybe I’ll catch later ,,(no chance !)
I finished my break and set off down the Gila route. It started as a nice sandy trail but as it went on it climbed and climbed and climbed. Omg I thought this is steep it then leveled and dived straight back down again. The downs were so steep and gravely that I struggled to get down them. I was concerned about slipping and hurting my knees. I have to say I really hated this section. Several hrs later it began to level out. I herd a humming behind me it was the ranger on his gator. We both waved. A little further and I ran into a couple with 2 dogs
The guys is attempting to do sll trails in a year!!. Wow.we chatted for axehole and he gave me a Banana yummy. Him and his girlfriend and the hounds set off she was going to reach water turn around and come back.
I set off after them the trail foibg it’s usual roller coaster. But again so bloody steep both ups and downs. I have to say this section of trail was annoying me.
Eventually I came to the dry river bed although walk ip a nit and there is water. But I just wanted shade and a break.
A I sat under my shady tree I watched 2 hikers arrive and head up the river bed. . A third arrived he came over his name was Nanna. I told him 2 had gone up but none have come back yet.
We chatted a while. Then another hiker appeared the one from the car.
Yes guys plenty of water.nanna offered yo get water for me
Then the first two hikers appeared. One was behind me when I tried to book in to the hotel fiasco.
We laughed shout that.
Nanny returned with my water. I thanked him snd off they all headed. I began yo filter water when the ranger appeared deems that he foes a large loop of the forest. He handed me a bottle of water and I thanked him
Okay need to do some more miles. I headed off down the trail and to my amazement it was flat.
Okay a few climbs but nothing as mad as earlier. The afternoon was delightful. I tried to push on but to be fair I was exhausted. The physical and mental exhaustion from those stupid ups and downs earlier.
I did spy a few flat dpots but it was far too early to stop
I pushed on I will go to 6 I told myself far too early for this trail I know but I was done.
There what a great spot. There was a large area obviously Ben used many times before.
I dropped my pack cleared an area and soon had my tent up.
But whilst pegging it I was startled to see a cow just staring at me.
Once done I put my stove together . Made a brew then cooked tea. Bloody tasty. Okay bed