Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Day 14- Slot Canyon

Towns are good, but not that good for sleeping some nights--this is especially true for camp grounds.
It is very hard to get out of a hot spring on a cold morning when the sun hasn't touched the area yet. It is hard still if you are getting out of the hot spring to pack up and hike.

Inside cave along an alternate route that cut off a few dozen crossings of the Gila River
Crossing the Gila got old by the morning of the second day so we searched the maps for a drier alternate. That alternate happened to be through a slot canyon with a tiny stream running through it and an awesome cave.  It was a nice breather from the Gila.
An ancient pictograph inside the cave

One of the only things that convinced us to leave the campground hot spring was knowing there was another hot spring further up trail. The Jared hot spring has beautiful blue water and a waterfall. And weekenders even though it was a Tuesday.

We may have skipped crossing the Gila dozens of times, but we had to step over this little stream every few feet.
The Gila is beautiful. Picture sculpted towering sandstone cliffs against a clear blue sky and dark smooth water flowing at their base. Then picture crossing that water roughly 150 times over the course of a few days and that is why I have nearly no pictures of this stretch. The risk to my cameras is too great. We also never seem to take a break near the stunning scenery.

There are gnats in the Gila just like the other two trails.  And they are just as annoying.

A larger cave in the canyon that we had to climb into
Hiking the CDT the word lost is redefined. We haven't been lost, but there have been times when we've stopped to wonder where the trail went. Usually all we have to do is ask where the trail is and one of us will spot it.  But we haven't been lost.

The end of the slot canyon alternate that we took
It is a fabulous thing to sleep under tree cover after two weeks of open sky (and two buildings).

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