DAY 16 Heading to the Gila

28th april

As I sat having  my dinner last night I did think it a little strange that no other hikers passed by considering I stoped early.

It was only when I went to calculate milage  did I raise I was 2 miles off trail.  Or rather I was on trail  but not the bloody right one. Fuck fuck fuck.so rather in the morning pushing forwards I need yo go back and find the trail. 

Good morning I slept really well.

The alarm went off at 4.45 and I reluctantly pulled the stopper  on my mattress  and slowly packed still annoyed  at my self  for last night. If I had checked  when I first sat down I would of very grudgingly  walked back last night.

Oh well what’s done is done.

It was still dark at 5.30 as I set off to look for the right trail

At last I found it  and in the morning light  there were many many arrows on thd grounds that were not there yesterday. 

I guesses  numerous hikers made the same mistake  but  didn’t keep going like me….aaarrhh.

But yes it was hard to miss.

It was a real trail then danced sound trees. I pushed on trying to claw back those missing miles

Then trail was very undulating but  nice to  after several hrs i spied a yellow nemo tent it was just 7am as I passed and no one was moving. That makes a change on this trail. I laughed to my self

I pushed on  a few steeps climbs  but  my legs could cope well. .the terrain  was constantly changing rock.sand gravel.  I emeged on to a rock outcrop with amaxing views of the villas and canyons.i osused for a few minutes before pushing on eventually ammazing 

Regertree. I paused  and signed the book but didn’t linger as the infamous hermit likes her and he will Rob you of several hours..

Next was a water sauce and i was desperate for a coffee in fact I had been promising myself one all morning. So I dropped my pack went and got water then fired up my stove.  

Mmmm coffee as I was taking my break numerous hikers  passed by. I chatted to a Belguim guy called Fuckit for a while.

After he left a young hiker called m,&,m arrived she’s from Montana.  So I asked her about the Grizzlies. She gave me her tips that made me feel a lot better

Okay onwards. After the water the trail then did a big climb before following the river bank.this part of the trail was awful overgrown and just a mess. At last I began yo climb out and instead of the usual   cairns  were pink flags.  But from then on the trail had been cut and well maintained.  THANK YOU X.. the trail was now superb.  I felt good and really happy THEN it was time to climb  a very steep snd  leg climb with plenty of false summits.God did I struggle up puffing and panting gues it took me over half  a hour maybe more. Once at the  top I dropped my pack and took  10.

Mishap pased me by saying that was brutal and I would have to agree..we spend most of the afternoon playing leapfrog.

Most of the afternoon the trail just climbed and then the big second climb appeared. Looking across the other  valley I could just make out the path heading to the moon.

FUCK NO….really. but this one was so bad  and I was son at the top okay I need a break  snd some shade. As I came around the next corner there it was and sat there was mishap.  

Do uou mind if i join you ?

Several minures later  her freind appeared Bd started telling  us of his visit the Hermits Lair. 

I quickly dropped my pack and  began yo chill . Taking off my shoes and socks. 

Interesting her break his own beer and it  5* very good..

It was about  8 to the river & next water. I packed up  and set off aftercthem but they were no dhrre to be seen.  The trail was white steep down and was a mess as a horse had been down thectrail when msybecwett so there were huge crators  every where

 So again my speed was crap. At last the trail became shallow.  So I could go faster.  I pushedxand pushed . Eventually I dmerged by a huge  water tank and off to the right a shinny new one. I walked overvyo be nosy. The tank was I’ve cold and byvthe bottom a tap with a hose. I turned the,ctap water came out. Great . I topped up both my bottles. That way if I can’t make the river ican  camp.

A little further the trail crosses several rosds.  Ibwas just checking my map even a truck pulling a huge horse box but open came by.  It did a huge circle and stopped. I said hi to the man hexwas a rancer snd in the back 4 dogs and two horses. Such a beautiful  colour. Are you out for  ride ? 

Yup rounding up stray cattle.

How do you get them back?

He pointed at the dogs.

Oh.

He then asked me where I lived etc. Then said I’ll keep a look out for a skeleton wear a red backpack lol.

I pushed on the trail now following the dried up river swapping sides now and then 

But ibwaa tiring early start  huge climbs  . It was approaching  4pm znd I was exhausted.  Far tooveaybto camp snail as I passed a great flat spot with my name on it

Thankfully the trail wa fairly flat .but when you got  no energy  it doesn’t  really matter.

But I summoned up the energy and  pushed okay Snail  6pm 

The trail ebetudly turned onto a dust Road snd I mangedcto find some pace.

Iwas then startled by another hiker. He was hoping to get to the river . Hmm its doable I said to my self. The trail then abruptly  stopped I was thinking I could cMe here but there was a white  pickup parked there.

Okay Snail to the river.

The trail dipped down but after a 100 yards it was just littered with break your neck pebbles and rocks Fuck fuck .I  made my way down constantly  looking at my feet . And swearing .I had aboutva mile left to go when I spied a  spot…. perfect. 

I threw my ten upi and was just pegging when a man & his dog appeared.  We chatted for a while  then thy were both gone.

Next to appear was  xxx

I quicky cooked tea  yummy and took a cup of hot chocolate to bed

Mileage  19.1 wow well  done Snail 

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