Day 15 leaving silver City

April 28th 2022

I was awake listening for the alarm but decided to get up anyway.  I packed up most of my gear before using the shower one oh to be clean 1 more time. 
I finished packing and went downstairs, dropping my pack by reception. I poured myself a large cup of coffee , toasted 2 bagels and grabbed a large orange juice.
Once done I handed my keys/card over and left  Murry’s. 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, but I didn’t want to stop.
My pack seemed ridiculously  heavy, why, why is it so heavy, maybe its the break, 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 away. Hope I won’t need that I thought. 
I slung up my pack, that’s much better well my brain thought so..
As I continued up the road I noticed another hiker in the distance , I kept him in sight as continued on, on walnut Street. This was an alternate route that I was taking.  I passed a school where mothers were queuing  to drop off their angels.
The further I walked out of town the nicer the houses became .
This road walk was about 7 miles long* and of course hilly..

I plodded along in no hurry. 
I met a retired man who was chatty, he gave me lots if advice although most I knew.
This road seemed to go on forever and it did, luckily there 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  drop toilet so took a quick look before carrying on .The road then turned to grit and then signs appeared about the Gila national park, but I still had many more miles to go. The the road then became your typical forest road of dust and began to climb steeply . On it went and I began to wonder what the other CDT route would have been like. After several more hours I arrived at the trailhead.  

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 finally levelled out but not for long as it soon dived straight back down again. The downs were so steep and gravel that I struggled to get down. I was concerned about slipping and hurting my knees and so hated this section. Several hours later it began to level out. I heard a humming behind me, it was a ranger on his gator. We both waved. 
A little further and I ran into a couple with 2 dogs, The guy is attempting to do all trails in a year!!. Wow, we chatted for a while and he gave me a banana yummy.

The couple and the hounds set off although she was going to reach water turn around and come back.
I set off after them, the trail began it’s usual roller coaster 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 up a bit and there is water. But I just wanted shade and a break. I sat under my shady tree and watched other 2 hikers arrive and head up the river bed.
One hiker 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 ,Yes guys plenty of water.
Nanna offered to get water for me .
Then the first two hikers appeared with their water . One of them was behind me when I tried to book in at the hotel and my card failed .We laughed about that.
Nanna returned with my water. I thanked him.

As they all headed off, I began to filter water when the ranger reappeared. Seems that he does a large loop of the forest. He handed me a bottle of water and I thanked him.
Okay , I need to do some more miles so 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 and so i pushed on but to be fair I was fairly exhausted. The physical and mental exhaustion from those stupid ups and downs earlier.
I did spy a few flat spots but it was far too early to stop so pushed on. I will go to 6 pm I told myself far too early for this trail I know but I was done.
There, what a great spot it was a large area obviously been used many times before.
I dropped my pack cleared an area and soon had my tent up. Whilst pegging it out 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

Milage ….16.5

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