Day 8 - assume nothing on the CDT
May 17, 2021
Well it started off like a normal trail day but turned bad by late afternoon.
Took about 30 minutes to get everything packed up and was off on trail by 6:30am where I continued on the forest road. It made for a quick morning.
Then as soon as I got to the bottom of the canyon I saw something I hadn’t seen yet, water from a natural source. Finally I could stop worrying about water, just for a little bit.
Soon I left the dirt road and on a trail. I followed it for a awhile as since I was in tree cover most of the day it felt pretty cool out especially when I would get a breeze.
Slow I climbed out of the canyon and out in the exposed rocked where I came across an trail register that was not expecting to see. I signed my name and was off.
With it being cool out I waited until 1pm to take my long break and only needed about 2 hours. I had a guy and his dog arrive just as I was leaving. He was doing a quick scouting hike of the area before doing a longer one, the dog was real friendly.
After the break I had 4.5 miles down to the Gila River. The guide book said it was a rough hike down but thought it wasn’t too bad. Once at the river I filled on a little and was off.
I knew I would be crossing the Gila around 59 times. I ended up crossing it right off the bat however I went the wrong direction. I should have stayed to the right rather than the left but the left side looked more defined trail, I never saw the right one. It was a good 45 minutes hiking in the wrong direction before I realized I was off trail. I only blame myself for not checking my map sooner but I was on such a define trail I never thought to double check. I’ve learned my lesson there and hopefully won’t do that again.
As I was heading back I ran into 2 people who had seen where I had crossed way back at the start of the river and took the wrong trail as well. I hiked with them until we got back on track.
I felt a lot better once I was on the right trail. I was starting to freak out when I realized how far off I was.
From there I was so mad at myself for letting myself get that far off and wasting about 3 miles of hiking. I knew I wasn’t going to get as far as I wanted. I ended up hiking all the way until it got dark and found a little spot to camp.
Other than taking the wrong trail the hike along the Gila River it pretty nice. Not sure how times I have crossed at this point but it’s in the double digits.