Day 10- Zero day number two! It was a perfect zero day too. We left the hotel to go to breakfast at The Drifter which is named the best breakfast place in the county. Hob and the Beast joined us as well. The hiker hunger has finally hit me. I devoured an Omelet, hash browns, toast, and a side of bacon. Hob and Paperweight ordered a second breakfast too… Maybe I don’t have hiker hunger just yet. Our next stop was the dollar store to grab snacks for the day and food for the next section. Then we lounged in the hotel watching junk tv and eating Dominos take out. My legs ached this morning and the rest did my body well. No hotels for a while now.
Paperweight, Hob, The Beast
Leaving Silver City was difficult, but we made it out after an early lunch at Taco Bell. We decided to take Little Walnut Road to connect to the Gila Alternative. Again, this trail gives you many options. We use Ley Maps and Guthook’s App. The maps are very important and show all our choices. We are all about continuous steps. All the cars waved as they drove by us and one asked if it is cheating to take a hitch. We said yes and no thank you. It was enjoyable checking out the homes outside of downtown. Again, I really like this state. We passed the first camping area to the second one a quarter of a mile up trail. Unfortunately, we had to go back to get water. We ended up taking a long break drinking water, charging our phones back to 100%, and hiding in the shade under the pavilion. We finally got moving along the gravel road. We took a turn and heading off the road onto a dirt path. Some climbing as we were able to walk side by side since the trail can be driven by cars. We came to a nice running stream happy to have natural water again as we got closer to the Gila River. We hiked a bit father and found a beautiful campsite off the trail. It was a warm relaxing evening. Everything is better once your back in the woods for a few days!
Today was full of variety from a steep uphill climb to a stunning ridge walk staring at clay rock all around to playing in the Gila River. It is nice to be back on a trail and surrounded by natural water. We took a long lunch break at a water tank. Chatting with Nightwatch, The Beast, and meeting Twigg. Lots of great people out here, but not many women. We took way too long of a break again, but we aren’t in a rush. We had some more uphill climbing before the trail dropped down to the river steep at times and other times on long switchbacks. We could see the water for about an hour before we got down to it. We tried not to get wet on the first crossing of Siphilo Creek flowing into the Gila, but it was no use. We crossed the Gila 5 times before calling it a night. The first crossing we tried to keep our feet dry, but it was no use so we just splashed right in. The cold water felt so good on my feet as we went from water to trail to water. As we were beginning to look for a good campsite, I saw something across the river drinking and did a double take. Before I realized what I was staring at, it turned and ran up towards the rocks. It was a light colored black bear that I called a cinnamon bear. It almost blended in perfectly and took me a bit by surprise. We have seen lots of bear scat, but I was in shock to see one. Paperweight didn’t see it and may not believe me, but I know what a bears ass looks like running away. It was a bear! Later I was told about 100 bears call the Gila home. We walked a little farther before choosing a campsite under the trees. We went to get water and found 7 baby ducks floating along. All of a sudden the mother duck flew out from the grass along the river and the family scurried down stream. These moments always remind me that we are just visitors in their habitat. It was another lovely day in New Mexico!
Crossed the Gila River 53 times making the total so far 58 fords. I always thought I wanted to be a marmot in the High Sierra, but now I want to be a bird living on the Gila River. We splashed in quickly cooling off and feeling refreshed. This is very different hiking. You are between two walls of red clay rocks wandering about. It is tiring and fun at the same time. As we got closer to the road, we saw an old mattress and other bits of trash. That’s how you know you are close to civilization. We walked a little over a mile on a paved road towards the store where we had boxes waiting for us. We made it to Doc Campbells with about 15 minutes to spare since they close at 4 not 5 like our book said so we were lucky. Two sodas, a Gatorade, and a container of homemade vanilla ice cream did the job. I actually made myself a root beer float. I also picked up my first mail drop full of goodies from mom! She’s going for her triple crown of support. We hung out with Twigg for a while at a picnic table even though the store was closed they have an outlet outside for us to charge our devices. Luckily, we were told the wrong wifi password so the world of Facebook, emails, and such did not take away from the moment. Twigg hiked a few miles up trail to a free campground as Paperweight and I decided to spend the night at Gila Hot Pools Campground. For $6 you get to camp, use their three heat controlled hot pools, picnic tables, vault toilet, water both cold and warm, and most importantly just a peaceful place. Nightwatch and the Beast joined us as well at the CDT campsite. I spent at least two hours in one of the pools in just my bra and panties surrounded by a bunch of dudes. Thru hiking has made me much more secure with myself as well. I’m comfortable in my body at whatever form it is in and I’m happy with my life! The water does magic for the body between the cuts and aches I felt healed. The views and company made it even better. Finally crawling out of the warm pool I enjoyed some tortellini with olive oil and shake herbed parmesan cheese. Paperweight is spoiling me by “cooking” for me using the hot water the campground supplies to warm up the pasta from his mail drop. Delicious and a nice change! It was a mellow evening full of happy relaxed hikers. After a day of wet feet and more river crossings then I have ever done in my life, it was a perfect ending!❤️Sass