Hiked 21.7 miles, camped at Dipping Vat Campground 7359ft
Good morning world! Oof I don’t think I’ll ever get used to these cold mornings and cold wet feet. I think this is my last day of feet into wet shoes! Rejoice! My feet are really not happy with me and are all white and soggy, with weird new blisters in weird new places.
More crossings, more towering canyon, but the canyon seems not to be towering as high and is getting gradually less dramatic. There is a Gila high route that crosses the normal route, so I take a chance and hike up the steep steep hill to make my feet happier. I’m hoping for some cool new views from the top!
The top really is just a big open plain – it looks so sparse compared to the richness below! I immediately feel the heat without the shade and water around me and am glad I hauled a whole bunch of water to the top.
A turkey runs across my path with a gobble, and I see a bunch of bear scat around. My feet are feeling warmer and aren’t as sad!
I miss the Gila already, but I know my feet will be torn to shreds if they stayed wet much longer. Like my rain pants.
The trail exits onto a dirt road where there is a horse corral and a few horsey people camped. I pass them all and hike down the road when I become aware of a truck behind me so I get onto the side of the road right out of their way. They slow right down, which isn’t unusual – usually to say hi, or maybe even to enquire about the hike. There are two youngish dudes in the car and immediately I get uber creepy vibes. They stare at me out the window – “Hi. How’s it going?” I offer. They just look and drive slowly then take off in front of me. Holy creepy vibes batman. Blergh blergh blergh. I hike fast and hide in some trees when I need to add water to my dinner to cold soak it so it will be ready when I camp. I look at the map and I’ll easily rejoin the normal Gila trail, and I decide that once I do I will back track about .6 miles to an official campground instead of stealth camping somewhere along the road. Official campgrounds can be home to some super creepies too, but I decide I’d rather have a bunch of people around me then risk running into the creepy dudes in creepy black pickup again. There’s also the benefit of running water at the campsite.
The light is fading and I scare some poor deer away from a field as I am going cross country towards to campground- sorry guys. I feel like I’ve ruined their party. I find the flattest spot I can right next to a picnic table and set my stuff up. A family walks past with 2 uber evil looking dogs. I love dogs. These are something else. “Don’t talk to them… they don’t really like people” says the person on the end of one of the leashes. Awesome. I’d still rather deal with evil dogs than creepy dudes.
Creepy vibes have faded and I brace myself for a cold night – the wind has picked up, the moon is full and bright and it’s going to be a chilly one! Turkeys are gobble gobbling in the distance and I can’t help but giggle. Memories of my Mum making her ridiculous gobble gobble in response to our own pet turkeys flood my mind, I gobble gobble back at them across the lake as I fall asleep.