DAY 17 The Gila

30th April 2022

My alarm went off at 4.45 I silenced it, waking up at 6.30. I striped down and was on trail by 7am I hope this late start will not bite me..
Okay snail just a mile to the river and water. 
But OMG the trail was crap.  So steep and covered in small rocks that want to throw you to the ground . Down and down I went cursing for most of the way. 
I am so glad I didn’t get up early and try to do this in the dark as I would be in hospital right now.
Down and down..at last I arrived at river but that decent  took me over a hour. Now I know I walk slow,. but the sign at the top of the hill said 2 miles and I camped at .9 
Oh well maybe it was measured as the crow flies!!!
Once at the river I filtered several bottles and topped up my bladder. Okay snail let’s go cross some rivers.

I made my way along the trail until I met the Gila, I was a bit nervous at my first crossing but once across safely i felt more relaxed. In several more yards and I crossed again did a little dance through the trees  and I crossed again then a long sandy walk and I crossed again. After that crossing I pushed on for about an hour until i came to a junction , I checked my app to confirm which way i needed to head !

NO NO FOR FUCK SAKE. 
I was miles off trail but had been following the cairns, but these cairns were for a different trail for fucksake !!! I was on a different trail and I had been off trail for a while. Fuck fuck. I turned around and went back the way I came uncrossing the numerous river crossings. 
At last I found the correct trail, over grown  but  just visible. 
So I began again, fuck wasted miles and time arrhh and a late start.
I have to say this trail is incredible, the views amazing and the trees alive with birds singing. 
But trying to follow the trail was a nightmare. I was on the right bank when I should have been on the left or visa versa. Once you found the trail it was great then other trails seemed to join it.
The problems appeared at water crossings as once across paths seemed to head off in all directions ,which was the right one.
I lost count with the river crossings as I crossed so many times. Sometimes the trail was a nice  trail to follow ,then it was a complete mystery.
The landscape was just incredible, It was simply WOW….. . I started late ,struggled down a hill took the wrong turn and trail hiked miles in the wrong direction so it was time for a break.. okay onwards I was just leaving when sputnik  came by he was heading out to trail the day I headed out from Lordsburg. God he must be fast and I am so slow 

I watched him speed off in the distance, this helped me see which way the trail goes. 
But it was annoying. I didn’t mind the water crossings  but finding the trail was a pain. After another hour I was knackered, maybe the mental thinking of finding the trail had taken its toll. I found a big tree with lots of shade and took a nap. 
I slept for about 30 minutes and I have to say I woke refreshed and was able to attack the trail again but it was so littered that I couldn’t get any pace and as soon as you  did it was a water crossing. I pushed on until I came to a large shallow stretch. It was 4 pm 10 more miles to Doc Cambels. I wanted to camp short and go in in the morning.
I took a break took off my shoes and socks  which were both filled with  gravel. I took them to the river washed out my socks then washed out my shoes. I put my shoes and socks on a log to dry while I filtered water. Another hiker appeared he is Irish but  lives in Stratford on Avon not far , we chatted for ages.
I decided to load up with water now, then walk until 6+/- and camp as I was tired ,the water crossings are fun but require  a lot of concentration and I was getting tired
So I told him 6pm will do me.
Yeah I’ll do the same he said.
We set off together but he was much faster than me and was soon out of sight.
But it was helpful as when I crossed a river I could see his wet foot marks making it  easier to follow.
I guess I must have crossed the river 40+ times today .
I was beginning to tire as I chugged up the next bank, then i noticed a tent.
More room here Snailtrainer. 
I didn’t require any more encouragement, I dropped my pack and threw  up my tent. 

We ate dinner together while discussing old trails then off to bed.

Mileage  14*

Mileage is iffy as being on the alternative trail Guthooks does not calculate properly.

My CDT videos can be found by searching Snailtrainers Adventures on YouTube.

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