Silver City to Doc Campbells on the Gila River April 27-30
Miles to date: 189 (6.7% complete).
Due to poor bandwidth here I cannot add photos this time. You can follow my progress on a map: https://share.delorme.com/RogerCarpenter
Leaving Silver City was hard. The people there welcomed us and the amenities such as restaurants, fresh food, good coffee at the Javalina Café and the Carter House hostel were joys to me. The group of hikers I am hanging with was named by Allgood as the “Portland Mafia”. After a long road walk out of town the trail meandered back up to high country and a mixed forest that included pine and juniper. But it was the rock formations that New Mexico is famous for.
The highest elevation was 7800 feet which provided cool air and sometimes strong wind. So far the weather has been excellent!
Another defining feature of this area is the Gila River which flows south from its source north of here and eventually into Arizona. This route is not the official CDT, but is the most commonly used trail by CDT thru-hikers. The river winds through a narrow canyon and hiking it requires over 100 fords through the relatively shallow and slow moving water.
The Gila has a unique beauty with the canyon walls as a background to the winding river and trees along the banks. It is easy hiking, but I had to endure one problem. I developed a minor stomach ailment which left me dehydrated and little energy. When I set up camp on April 28 I collapsed into my tent, skipped dinner and fell asleep. The next morning I was not fully recovered, but the hiking was easygoing with no significant climbing. Big John had arrived in my camp and we hiked the 12 miles together into Doc Campbells general store.
After picking up my supply parcel I walked to a nearby campground to join most of the Portland Mafia group. Two members were missing, however, because Mosley had it worse than me (food poisoning). Freefall kindly stayed with Mosley and they arrived in camp after I fell asleep. Buttercup also is not feeling well, so health is the main challenge for me and some of the others.
I decided to take an unscheduled zero day here to help my stomach bug work away. The rest of the Portland Mafia are doing the same. Remaining flexible is a good practice on the CDT. Many CDT veterans advised me of this. Thinking of this hike as a marathon and not a sprint is smart. And besides, the day off gives me more time to have a very nice and important talk with Cindy via Skype, catch up on email with friends and family, and make sure I am mentally and logically prepared for the 125 miles (and many more river fords) to the next stop, Pie Town, famous for the pies and the hiker hostel known as The Toaster House!
Day 10, April 27: 18 miles.
Day 11, April 28: 16 miles
Day 12, April 29: 12 miles to Doc Campbells.
Total miles: 189.
Total climbing: 18,900 feet.