Miles: 16.2 (4 for the cliff dwellings detour)
Camp: CDT mile 194.7
Gila River crossings: 16 (68 total)
Though it would have been divine to crawl into the warmth of the hot springs when we woke up, we opted to hike on at 7am. I didn’t necessarily want to, but the compelling argument that we get to go to Pie Town next swayed me. The concept of town food (one thing that is non existent here) is growing high on my priority list.
So we took on the 4 mile road walk to the Gila Cliff Dwellings which I was eager to see. It was 1 mile out of our way, but worth the trip. They were built by the Mogollan People about 700 years ago. No one knows much about them, their existence a bit of a mystery.
We explored the past for a while and then hiked a mile on the road to get back to trail. The road was giving my feet and back a hard time with 6.5 days worth of food in my pack. Sometimes resupply days are the hardest, even if you are rested. It’s maximum food capacity, and with hunger growing we all worry if we have enough food for the section.
The hike began with a steady climb up a canyon. It was rather non descript and decidedly hot and uphill, but after 3.5 miles it turned into a beautiful canyon.
The canyon opened up as it met the Gila River and a much grander canyon. It was stunning. We immediately sat and began to enjoy lunch.
It was only said to be 17 river crossings until a hot spring right on trail. It was our goal for the day to take it easy at the springs tonight before pounding out the 120+ miles to Pie Town.
The rest of the Gila to the hot spring was so indescribably gorgeous. There are no words or pictures to do it justice, though I tried. Everything just gets more amazing on this trail. I’m so deeply moved and utterly impressed with the beauty that surrounds us out here, in the people and in nature. I can’t even find the right words…just that I love this trail more every day. So so much.
We soaked for hours until our skin turned to raisins and we had to eat.
Dinner: cous cous with veggies, jerky, parmesan and coconut oil. Super good.