Day 16: May 9, 2019
Destination: CDT Mile 355.6
Today’s Miles: 26.9
Start Location: Gila River Alternate Mile 80.8
Trip Miles: 279.9
Frozen socks, frozen tent, frozen everything! Last night’s storm turned my tent into a winter wonderland overnight, as the temperature dropped into the 20s while I was sleeping. It was a cold night and I slept in my jacket and thermal tights.
It took me forever to get going because it was so cold, and also because there was so much frozen condensation on the walls of my tent. I did my best to shake the ice off my tent, but I just had to strap it to my bag and get moving.
I walked fast to stay warm. Not a quarter mile from my campsite, I came upon a group of hikers at a pond. There was a lot of sun on the hill where they were, and as I walked up, Samson appeared and said, “welcome to the official thru-hiker gear-drying party!” I heard this group hike past my tent when I was still in it. I decided it was a good idea to go ahead and try to dry my tent and quilt.
I chatted with the other hikers while I did this. I met Penguin, Pincushion, Animal, and a couple of others whose names I can’t remember. Samson seemed good. When I last saw him at Doc Campbell’s, his ankle/foot area was hurting him.
I headed out after 20-30 minutes. My stuff wasn’t completely dry, but it was close enough. I started a long climb up to a plateau. I was glad I didn’t come this far last night because it was so exposed. A storm in this area would be tough. The trail emptied out onto a dirt forest road, which would begin the day of walking dirt roads. I could see quite far as the terrain leveled off. I passed some logging operations and some burn areas. Of all the days I should have listened to my podcasts, today was it. Alas, I buried my headphones deep in my bag. I was really pushing to do some bigger miles. I am short on food to get to Pie Town. I’ll have enough to make it, but I’ll be running in on fumes and need to get there Sunday.
I belted out the miles, hoping the rain would hold off. We are supposed to get some more inclement weather coming in. The rain here is cold!! Fortunately I made it to the water source, without getting soaked. I wanted to keep pushing to get more miles in, as well as to get back on the CDT official route. I hiked another few miles, and then called it quits for the night in one of the small mountain saddles.
I managed to get all of my camp together, eat, and as I lie here it hasn’t started raining yet. Maybe I will get lucky! I’m pretty tired so I’m going to cut this one short. Lots of nice views today, and the smell of pine trees followed me through the forest. Tomorrow will be another big day.