CDT Day 15 From the Gila River to the Grasslands.

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2nd May

22.2 miles (35.7km)

Gila River Camp III (232.2) to (254.4)

It was cold overnight. Well below freezing. Crunchmaster and Spontaneous were slow to move again so I set off without them. The first river crossing was not fun. Cold water and the air temperature below zero gave me two lumps in my throat.

The subsequent crossings were not as unbearable. But route finding was not as easy. Recents floods have either destroyed the trail or covered it with loads of debris. Suffice to say it was slow going.

It was around 10am when I reached the end of our Gila River section of the CDT. It was 1.5 hours later when the others caught up. The 58 river crossings were 58 too many for them. They are both glad to see an end to the Gila River. I consider it a highlight of my hike in New Mexico so far.

A few rolling hills took us to a small small stream and pond where were settled in for an early dinner. We were not sure how far the next water source would be. Either 9 miles or 24 miles. To be safe we loaded up for a 24 mile water carry.

We started our evening hike at 5pm. The grasslands were like fields of gold as the sun slowly started to sink. New Mexico was putting in a show for us. The rather low mood that existed within our group lifted. The Gila River was but a distant memory for some.

We walked until just after sunset. Already the evening air had a nip to it. We passed the same hiking group that started on the same day as us. When there was barely enough light to see when we set up camp. I found a log and rolled it near my tent for some night photography, if I wake in the middle of the night.

some of the flood debris
herd of elk
looking out of the tent at the stars

Next – Day 16 – Roadwalking, from lost to found

Everything you need to know about hiking the CDT:
Complete Guide to Hiking the Continental Divide Trail
CDT Resupply Guide
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  1. How in the world do you keep track of the trail? Do you just know that you are supposed to follow the Gila River for X amount of miles? Is it posted along the river? How do you walk in wet shoes and socks all day? Do your shoes ever dry out? As always, love the pictures and the stories.

    1. I use a phone app that has the trail. It’s linked to the phones GPS. I’ve posted a couple of screen shot photos already. No posts at all along the river. The occasional side trail is marked. Dry shoes, what are they! It wasn’t that bad, just cold shoes and the first crossing in the morning wasn’t fun. And thanks for the kind words.

  2. Fields of gold – gorgeous! Zigzag says you all will be well ready for some New Zealand tramping after all that river crossing practise!

    1. Unlike New Zealand river crossings the water here was quite warm. Just the air temperature in the morning was cold. I’ll get back to New Zealand one day.

    1. Thank you, New Mexico is a scenic place. No AT&T around here. Currently eating Pie at Pie Town playing catch up on the blog.

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