Day 13: Hills, Valleys And The Gila

We wake with the sunrise and a cold morning. Quickly breaking camp we head off walking to try and generate some body heat. After only an hour we climb a ridge and find an excelent camp site used by someone else previously that is being warmed by the morning sun. It is too good to pass up so we spread our quilt and tent out to dry and then pull out our food bag and make a hot cup of coffee. This is the first hot coffee we have made on this trip and it tastes delicious. 

Once warmed we head off up the trail. We are heading for an 8000ft ridge that we must pass over and the climb has started. 

We stopped at the bottom of the hill and picked up some water but when we started drinking it we found it had a very strong mud smell and a bad taste so as soon as we hit the next water stop we emptied our bottles and filtered again. 

Replacing Our Smelly Water

Trail Up The Ridge

View Back Over Sycamore Canyon

After cresting the ridge we descended into the canyon bottom to walk an easy trail in the shade of the trees. We found several water pools along the creek and stopped to fill up and have some lunch. 

The afternoon was spent walking through the trees and then descending a long hot series of switch backs on a western slope to the Sapillo Creek. 

The creek was a paradise after our time in the desert and being a real water baby,as Yeti calls me, I was soon standing in the cool water with my shirt off splashing around. I was just about to strip off completly and have a good wash when two hikers came out of the bush. Knees and Homework introduced themselves, gave us the brief bio that is the standard opening of all hiker conversation and then told us they were heading for a hot spring a few miles up the Gila for the night.

Yeti Washing Socks

After cooling and cleaning in the creek we headed around the corner to start the many crossings of the Gila that would ocuppy us for the next few days. We caught up to Knees and Homework as they stopped at the hot springs. It was a small muddy pond on the side of the river that did not look very inviting. We decided to continue on a bit further while Knees and Homework set up next to the hot springs. The next day we found out that Knees did get in the hot spring but said it was an underwhelming experience. 

Crossing the Gila