What a day! I’m EXHAUSTED. Walked for over 12 hours (not including breaks) and they were some of the toughest miles yet.
Bearclaw and I set off together up the Gila canyon, and while the trail was fairly easy to find the first few miles of the day due to heavy foot traffic, as soon as we passed some popular meadows, the flood make the going much more tedious. In and out of the water, bushwack in hopes of finding a trail…no trail? Walk in the sand or on the rocky shores. The going was uneven and very hard on the feet. Sand in the socks, wet feet, prickly things…all these challenges were washed away though when you looked up. The walls towered the whole day…cool caves, hoodoos that looked like people loomed, and it was hard not to keep a close look at your feet when you wanted to peer towards the sky.
However all of these things added up to a very challenging day. At one point I was grumbling about wanting to be done with the Gila section when a minute later I slipped on a rock in the river and fell part-way in. It felt like the Gilas way of saying “stay present!” Ok Gila…lesson learned.
We took the opportuity to climb out of the river canyon over 20 miles from camp this morning…an alternate to the alternate (isn’t the CDT grand??). Tonight we are camped up high and a chorus of coyotes and wild turkey are singing us a lullabye.