Day 17: Cold start

We snuggle under our quilt waiting for the Suns rays to creep down the side of the mountain and hit our little patch. Our tent is wet from the night time rains so we spend some time letting everything dry and start hiking at 8. The last few day we have been waking to a wet sleeping bag even inside of our tent.  We have decided that it must be the condensation from our warm bodies contrasting with the cold air outside .

Yeti has sore hips this morning and it takes us a while to warm up and get into our normal hiking pace.  We laughingly say that we feel like a couple of rotisserie chickens over night. The effort of walking all day and the cool nights results in sore and cramping hips about 3AM each morning. This is a common hiker complaint  and one everyone on a long hike comes to expect. It’s part of the skin in the game that we pay to enjoy the experience. 

The first thing we hike through this morning is a massive pile of logs that had been washed down in the last flood. The size of these trees are impressive and it would have been quiet a sight to see them floating down the canyon.  The locals say that there was a massive flood about 3 years ago and its force is still impressive today. 

The valley has opened out and we are getting more trail between each creek crossing but we are still crossing and still getting wet feet. We think we want to be out of this water but then we remember the long dry desert stretches and think maybe water is not so bad.  It’s a feast or famine thing.  

We get to Snow lake and stop at the picnic area amenities block and shelter from the wind. Once again Bumerang catches us and we all sit against the wall warming in the sun. Bumerang tells us that he is heading for Pie Town while we are going to stop in Reserve. To make it to Pie Town Bumerang is going to have to start doing some longer days and this may be the last day we see him. We hope not and hope to meet his girlfriend later in the journey when she joins him in Colorado. 

At the top of the Gila the landscape changes completly again. We are now in wide open spaces with rolling hills covered in a golden dry grass and irredecent blue sky that seems to go on forever.  The wind is howling across the plains and we get a steady push with it at our backs. We spot a herd of elk in the distance but they are too far away to really see much.  Judging by the track and spore this area must be an elk heaven.  

Filling up with water for the long stretch. Bumerang generously uses his pump filter to fill our bottles as it is much faster than our Sawyer. We sto for some food and some messages with the Yetis girls as Bumerang heads out. 

The afternoon takes us across the rolling hills and back into the forest. We have long sections of forest road walking and once again the afternoon heat turns the hike into something that has to be gotten through. We run into Bumerang just packing up from one of his regular stops and hike together for a short time before it is time for our break. 

We aim for a place called Turkey creek for the night and end up just short camped next to the road.