Backpacker getting ready to cross a river.
Well, my much anticipated hike along the Gila River was not at all what I’d hoped and dreamed. Not remotely close. I knew this alternate route meant you’d cross the river 200 times and have wet feet. No problem. Some people said it was hard to find your way, but most said it wasn’t bad as long as you paid attention, looked for cairns, etc. I had hiking friends who highly recommended this.

Ed and I were ready to hike a little before 8 a.m. We gave ourselves a little time to sleep in since yesterday was so long. Well, we got lost almost immediately. And, to make a long story short, the hike was miserable.

Losing Our Way Along the Gila River

This trail isn’t marked, and there almost never is a defined trail, at least not in this section. That’s not what my research showed. Ed and I had to constantly look at our phones to see which way River go. Sometimes we’d find a path, but then it just disappeared. Sometimes there were cairns marking the river crossings, but often there were not.

We were traveling about 1 mph (1.6 kph). It sucked. We never made it to Doc Campbell’s Post for our showers and laundry. And maybe a beer at the bar en route. We’re about 6 or 7 miles (9.7-11.3 km) shy, I believe. This is now throwing off my entire itinerary.

Plus, I certainly don’t want to do the rest of this alternate route by myself! The Mt. Taylor Alternate was just fine. This one is decidedly not.. Now I have to figure out what to do. Ed wants me Man by tent along go home with him, but my laptop and suitcase are in Grants. I’d love it if there was a way to skip this alternate, but I don’t think it’s possible without a lot of driving.

We’ll see. Sigh. I’m so upset about this turn of events. I can’t believe so many people say it’s great!


Today’s Miles: 12.4 (20 km)
CDT Miles to Date: 263.7 (424.4 km)
CDT Miles to Go: 2,836.3 (4,564.6 km)

©2018 Melanie McManus – All Rights Reserved

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