Saturday, April 20, 2013

Day 11-On the Right Route

An outlet at the top of Signal Peak
After contemplating a zero day at the little RV Portrait and I packed up and hiked down Signal Peak. It was a little sad to say good-bye to the RV.

I don't know much about cows, but shouldn't one stay away from the ones with horns?
Then we hiked up Tadpole Ridge Trail. I really think they should rename the ridge something a little more intimidating. It was like hiking through the desert on the exposed ridge with a lot of steep ups and downs. I bet a tadpole has never been anywhere on that ridge.

Finally!  We've made it to the "Red Route" which is the route we will be following north (mostly)
It didn't really matter that it was a tough morning on the ridge. We were hiking west and getting closer to the red route (the route we had planned to start on from the border) with every climb. We finally made it there, with no fan fair or big brass band, and not even a lunch break, around noon. It was exciting. 

Extra cold water out of that little puddle--some of the first natural water we've seen
After hiking in a burned out canyon with some of the best water I've had on this trip and along another exposed ridge we descended down to the mighty Gila River. I flubbed the first rock hop river crossing--ended up with two wet feet. My pant legs hadn't even begun to dry by the next crossing. No rocks there. The was no choice but to wade across. With pants wet nearly up to my hips and a dozen crossing behind us we had gotten a fine introduction to the Gila.
The mighty Gila River in the late afternoon light

A cave dwelling along the banks of the river

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