Last night after I was in bed, Chance, Piper and Kevin showed up. They had taken a different route that was a bit longer, more canyons, but doesn’t go by the Cliff Dwellings (they hitched there today to see them). They wouldn’t have even stumbled on me except my site didn’t have a car, so they came in to check it out and recognized my tent. We caught up on happenings since Pie Town, and it seems they were rarely more than a mile or two behind me. One funny thing was that they knew where I sat at Snow Lake, because I left a huge pile of spiky weed bits all around me that I had picked out of my socks.
We tried to sleep in today, which meant I got up at 7:15, then we all hit the hot springs. Afterwards we went up to the store, planning to just hang out at their picnic tables until the store opened. As we were getting there, a lady stopped and asked us if we were hiking the CDT, and then offered to open the store for us to get boxes! She let us in and even let us buy other stuff (homemade ice cream!) and then closed the store again and took off. Probably saved me a couple of hours.
It took awhile to sort everything out (new shoes, socks, and food). Then Kevin and Piper headed up to the Cliff Dwellings and that was likely the last I’ll see of them. We took a nice photo to commemorate good miles hiked together. I hit the trail, which turned out to be another nice 15 miles of Gila River hiking and then up and over the canyon walls.
Today was my last day with the guidebook. From here on I only have maps, as the Wolf guide only says how to do the Columbus route to the east. I’ve found the book to be the best resource for staying found, whereas the maps have generally been more of a back up. I think I’ll just be checking my GPS more!
Date: Oct 21, 2011
Daily Distance:22.5 miles
Trip Distance: 2438.5 miles