North end of the Gila River May 06, 2016

The rain wasn’t to shabby.  Just my rain fly and ground cloth was moist.  I said farewell to Michael and got on the trail before 6:30.  I had a nice half mile dry section to warm up before dipping in and out of the river about 80 times for the rest of the day.  Couple miles in I saw a half dozen elk.  Think they saw my orange shirts and booked it outa there.  I followed their tracks up the narrow canyon for a couple miles.  Just before Snow Lake, my last stream I crossed was exciting.  I was going thru a wind tunnel that blew me around like a ragdoll.  The steam had a decent current to it and was going in the opposite direction.  Felt like I was going to get body slammed, slowly but surely my tree trunk thighs got me thru it.  It took me to 2:30 in the afternoon to go 13 miles.  Between slippery river rocks, what felt like quick sand, and over correcting the direction of the trail, it took forever to reach Snow Lake.  Washed clothes in the spigot and cameled up on water.  Stretched and elevated my legs for ten minutes, has lunch and got back on trail after an hour.  Carried out two liters of water for 23.4 miles.  Climbed up a dry valley which turned into a burner of climb to see nothing but grassland with mountains far far off in the distance.  Kept hiking to make it into the trees for some windbreak.  Came upon what looked like to be the party place in the summer and posted up early.   My legs were tired and the more I hear about the snowy San Juan’s, the more excuses I seem to come up with.

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