Miles: 20
Camp: CDT mile 91.7 (off trail by .5 mile)
Gila River crossings: 17

This morning was a whole new test of what we are capable of out here, as we all put frozen shoes on our already cold feet. The knowledge that our first river crossing was close didn’t help put any hustle into our day, but we went for it anyway. Turns out the water was slightly warmer than the air, so it wasn’t as bad as we had anticipated.

Getting out was a different story though. We wanted to push forward to warm our feet, but ended up having a real hard time finding the trail. We walked through all kinds of brush before realizing we were on the wrong side of the river. Just as I was about to make a break for the river bank, I was looking one way and walking another…so I tripped and fell straight forward. Fortunately it was a soft sand landing, and I was completely unscathed.

The trail then wound farther and farther out of the canyon as it opened into meadows. Eventually we climbed right out and onto a dam by Snow Lake, which was the official end of the Gila River.

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It was sad to leave the Gila, but I’m excited to see what else the CDT has in store for us. Magic keeps unfolding, and it makes every day something completely different.

The walk from the lake was dirt road that headed straight into golden hills that reminded me of California.

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We exited our Eden full of water and trees and we’re now back in the dry desert. We are around 8,000 ft though, so it isn’t as harsh as the bootheel.

The canyon we followed had a nice flowing stream and ended at a cow pond. We decided to eat lunch at the pond since there was no more water for 10 miles, and we were all beginning to feel the telltale signs of not being in the river. The cold water had kept our foot swelling down, and of course provided plentiful hydration; plus there were trees and shade everywhere…we sought sunshine for breaks. Now we hunkered under our umbrellas for shade as we ate our lunches, and we lamented our aching feet.

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Leaving lunch we were met with a climb into the hills and onto a road. We followed the road for the rest of the day before coming to a spring .5 miles off trail. We had to wrestle a pipe to get water (others have the photos as I was wrangling pipe) and then chose to camp near the water. Our next source is in 7 miles, so a pretty easy morning carry.

Now I must sleep. It sounds great.

Another great day on the CDT.

Dinner: Spanish rice.with chicken, coconut oil, tapatio and oregano.

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View from the loo
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