Day 14: Oh my Gila!

Miles Hiked: 19

Total Milage: 206.45

Location: Glia Rive Alt mile 56.2

This morning I woke up at Doc Campbells around 6am. I packed up my things ate breakfast and hit the trail around 7am with everyone else. We started the day with a 5 mile round trip road walk that included a 1 mile side quest on a trail to see the Gila Cliff Dwellings. They were massive. Way bigger than I expected. The rangers said that the dwellings were about 80% original intact buildings. That’s very preserved compared to most places.

After seeing the Dwellings we hit part of the Gila high route and descended back to the river via little bear canyon. As we were walking to the river, canyon walls were slowly rising higher and higher above us. We took a small lunch break at the river and hiked 3 more miles to the hot spring. On my way I passed some ladies swimming in the river. I was so hot I almost joined them because it looked so refreshing but I knew my friends were ahead of me and I wanted to catch up.

When I got to the hot spring 12 pack was waiting for me on the trail to make sure I didn’t miss it. I would have walked straight by otherwise. The hot spring was perfectly warm and not too hot. The water was very clear and almost had a blue tint to it. The five of us hung out there for about two hours. We met a family from aalberquere who’s son did the AT. They offered to do trail magic for us at El Mapis, where we will be next week. Free fall got their contact information to update them on our progress when we get to the next wifi connection. I really hope it ends up working out because this upcoming section of trail doesn’t have much water and we really need it.

After the hot springs, we hiked 6 more miles to camp. I started to feel shin splints coming on this morning which makes me really nervous. I have been twisting my knees and ankles all day walking in the river bed. The Gila River has been cold enough to help numb the pain away. It feels refreshing every time I step in it. I was feeling pretty energetic until the last two miles in to camp. I hardly drank any water and only had about 1,000 calories to eat all day so far. When I got to camp I did all of my chores as fast as I could. I set up my tent and sleeping things, filtered water, soaked my feet and shins in the cold Gila River for 10 minutes, changed into pajamas and then finally sat down to drink as much water and eat as much as I could. The five of us had a really nice camp spot in the trees next to the river. We even had a tiny fire pit that we sat around to cook and chat after dinner.

I’ve been taking videos of the trail with my little Gimble camera since we started. Today I captured about 20 minutes worth of video. The tower walls of the Gila River canyon were so pretty that I was constantly taking pictures and videos all day. It’s the most I have filmed the entire trip. I honestly think that this is one of the coolest places I have back packed. I love how it’s so remote that it’s not as busy as some other places.

Happy Trails!

-Early Bird

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