We take a lesuerly start waiting for the sun to hit the valley. We know that we will be in the water straight away and it is cold.
About 8:00 we hit the trail and hear Knees and Homework on the other side of the river. They soon overtake us and we spend the rest of the day leap frogging each other.
Hikers seem to fit into two speeds out here. One is fast 25 to 30 miles a day types. The other,which we fit into, could be called slow but I prefer the term steady. We can push out a 20 mile day if we have to but we would be limping and tired for several days afterwards. In each speed group you really don’t make much progress on other hikers while you are both moving. It is only when one of you stops that the other catches up.
Today we spent most of our time playing in the river. We would cross the river, look for a track and then spend a couple of minutes walking along the bank and then cross the river again to start the process again. It felt good to cool our feet in the river but after 30 or so crossings in the day and constant wet feet it did start to lose the shine.
Our initial plan for the day was to hike to Doc Campbell’s, pick up our resupply box and then stay the night and possible have a zero day. On the way Yeti started thinking it would be good just to hike on as there was no resturant at Docs so it would not be any different from our normal trail camps. So once again our plan changed and we got it fixed in our head that we would pick up our box and continue.
We arrived at Doc Campbels at 3:30. The old guy in the shop said you have 10 mins to get your stuff and then I am closing. We quickly grabbed some ice cream, our box and retired to the tables outside to repack. We spread our food on the table and I started to look at the next few days maps and discovered there was something wrong with my mileage figures. I had added a stop at Reserve into the spreadsheet we were using but I had typed in the wrong number of miles. I had put in 40 and I discovered it was actually 90. This took our hike from 3 days to 6 days. We had some spare food that we arrived with and we had packed some extra food for a zero at Docs and so without much consideration and in a bit of a panic we decided we needed to hike on.
We arrived at the Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitors Center around 5:30 and as they had some very inviting picnic table, restrooms and clean water we thought this was a good spot to stop and cook dinner.
All the river crossings had taken a toll on our shoes and both of mine had blown out at the side. Yeti had a problem with the sole on one of hers causing her foot to slide off the shoe. We decided that we needed to order some more so via the inreach satellite device we texted our daughter and she organised for REI to have new shoes shipped to us in Pie Town.
After a great dinner of pea and ham soup, did I mention our meals are turning out to be excellent, we found a spot to sleep near by.