Daily Miles: 18
Total Miles: 1899
Last night was the perfect sleeping temperature. It was the first night in quite awhile that it didn’t feel really cold. SweetPea even slept with one less layer of clothes than normal…opting for just two pants and one jacket. We were both so tired after yesterday, and we had hoped for a good night of sleep, so we were thankful for the comfortable night.
This morning, we continued our climb to the top of the ridge. We encountered a group of folks car camping. There was a couple there who were planning to get married in the Gila River tomorrow which seemed pretty cool.
After we left them, we started walking through a pretty nice canyon. It got quite chilly there, so we had to stop and add back on another layer. We also decided to stop and have a hot chocolate morning break. It was nice, but we would realize later that we probably shouldn’t have used the time, since the trail got a lot harder and slower in the afternoon.
Before lunch, we walked through an area which looked like it had suffered a fire in the not to distant past. We ended up seeing signs later in the day, which stated that the burn had occurred this year.
After lunch, the trail started to disappear in the mess of the burn. We ended up just bushwhacking our way in the general direction of the trail, since we knew we needed to head down to a river canyon. Our clothes got dirtied up with ash from the burned bushes we were pushing our way through.
Once we got down to the dry riverbed, we just picked our way through the rocks for about a mile and a half until the trail finally left the riverbed.
We started to see cairns after that which allowed us to walk more consistently, instead of having search for a trail. The cairns led us to a “Regis-tree”, which is a trail register near the abode of a hermit who lives out in the woods. According to the register, no one had signed for the last five days.
After we signed the register, the trail was easy to follow as we went along an ATV track for the rest of the day. The track could be very rocky and steep at times, so we weren’t always walking the pace we wanted, but we ended up within a few miles of where we had hoped for the day.
Since we need to make sure we make it in time to the post office tomorrow, we are going to break our new rule of not hiking in the dark, and instead will head out at 6:00am, which will mean hiking almost an hour in the dark tomorrow. Today’s hiking has reminded us that sometimes the hiking can be very slow and difficult, so we want to give ourselves extra time to make it into town.