Day 12: Follow the Carins Karen!

Miles Hiked: 17.3

Total Milage: 176.45

Location: Gila River Alt Mile 26.9

This morning our group all woke up around 5:45am. I did some stretches, drank my breakfast shake, and packed up to go hiking. When Revolt was getting ready I could tell he didn’t feel good and he said that he felt like throwing up all morning.

All of us walked out of camp at the same time because we had a very confusing section of the trail ahead. It ended up being a lot of bushwacking and looking for Carins to follow. Revolt quickly fell behind on the climb until we could no longer see him. Free Fall was with him making sure he was okay. The climb up the ridge wasn’t bad at all and I was glad I was with two other people who helped look for Carins as well. We ended up off the trail of course but we kept trudging in the general direction until we found it again. At the end of our climb we all took a break on the saddle of the mountain before descending. While resting our feet I just happened to check and see if I had service. When I did, a message from Free Fall came in that he was with Revolt and that Revolt was getting a ride off trail at the next forest service road. Revolt was violently throwing up on the climb this morning and was severely dehydrated since he was unable to hold any water down. I really hope he’s okay. I love hiking with him and we would all be sad to lose a member of the group!

After the saddle we began a really long descent to the Gila River. I hiked with 12 pack and Heidi for the rest of the day. I was pretty slow going down the hill just because it was bothering my right knee and ankle again. I hope it starts to feel better before we get to the really big mountains. At one point we passed two hunters out looking for Turkeys.

When we finally got to the Gila River, Jenga, 12 Pack, Heidi and I all took a lunch break. I soaked my feet in the cold river for about 15 minutes to help them heal a little bit. We are supposed to be crossing the Gila River 57 times between the first crossing and a resupply point we will be at tomorrow night. That’s 57 times in 16.4 miles. This means I’ll give up on keeping my feet dry until we are off the Gila River alternate. I’m so excited for this section. It’s the part Ive been looking forward too the most. After walking through the wide open desert, the Gila River seems like something out of a fairy tale. The grass was so green it reminded me of the candy grass in the movie Willy Wonka.

Heidi and I followed 12 pack the rest of the day and I was very glad I did. The river was a lot higher and faster than I expected. It was up to my knees and sometimes the bottom of my shorts in some place. It was flowing at about 400 cubic feet per second. I can’t imagine how treacherous the river crossings have to be in a year without a drought. I had to be very careful to keep my balance and not fall in on every crossing. 12 pack loves to fly fish and he spends a ton of time on rivers. I learned a lot about fly fishing, fish, and rivers in general from him today. He also helped with navigation SO MUCH. Sometimes it’s nice to hike behind someone else on this trail and turn your brain off while they navigate for you. I would say I have had to navigate on this trail more than any other trip I’ve been on. Sometimes when we found a foot print we would consider it good enough evidence that we were close to the trail. We know that we have to head upstream on the Gila River and stay within the river coridoor. On both sides of the river there are very tall canyon walls/ Mountains that contain the river and it’s banks in a certain area.

Jenga set up camp about two miles before us. I was a little sad he fell behind but I will see him tomorrow. It’s the first night we haven’t camped together since the border. Free Fall ended up catching up to Heidi, 12 pack and I shortly after we set up camp. We had a perfect little spot tucked away from the wind behind a rock wall. I set up a cowboy camp and did all my camp chores including getting water and making dinner. I enjoyed hanging out with everyone in the evening before we all fell asleep. I hope I get to see some Gila Monsters tomorrow morning! That is one thing I really want to happen in this section.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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