Mile 6.9-37.6 somewhere on a long dusty road
Total trip miles: 318.3
A nice chilly morning, packed up and heading out onto the road. The road dipped down into a meadow and I was sure glad we camped where we did. G, Funk and Trooper were still in camp, completely covered in frost. A quick wave and I kept going, unlike usual I'd had to actually add layers it's was so cold. The trail turned and I started a nice solid climb. Something like 1700 ft I think. A nice quick detour on top brought me to the Mangas Mountain fire lookout. It was perfect timing as the very nice Mike was just opening up the look out and even tolerated all our questions as we climbed into the lookout and spent a solid hour enjoying the views.
Then it was time for a whole lot of downhill, close to 10 miles heading down the road. I'd love to say I was having nice deep thoughts the whole way but unfortunately not. Turns out I did not escape the Gila unscathed. This poor uninformed west coaster got some nasty poison ivy and between the self pity and itching I was pretty out of tune with everything around me.
I made it to the first (and of course only nice) water of the day where Bigfoot and Rafiki were waiting. It was this cool electrical tank where the owners had said it was okay for hikers to fill up. Flip on a switch and you have water, the note did ask to only leave the well on for 5 minutes so we waited for the other 3 to show up and then glorious water.
Lunch break over and I headed off down the road. I was 16.5 miles into the day and the Toaster House (free place for hikers to stay) in Pie Town was almost 17 miles further. While I could push for a 33 mile day I wasn't so sure I had it in me. I saw Bigfoot and Rafiki head off into the distance and set off down the road at my own slower pace. Constantly telling myself no scratching!
And then it was hours of road walk. My feet were starting to drag and the sun was beating down on just my one leg facing west and I was losing it. I finally decided I was done, getting to the toaster house would have been fun but dinner and my sleeping bag sounded way better. 27 miles is totally respectable and so tucked into some trees next to the lovely private property barbed wire fence and the road I huddled out of the wind. Town day tomorrow!!
So this is where today should have ended...
I looked up in disbelief at about 7:45. Was that a raindrop? You have got to be kidding me, hail??? Oh hell no. I threw my gear into my backpack, pulled up my cranky pants and totally ignoring my angry feet went charging down the road. Well thought out, mature responsible answer to the rain? Yeah not so much. As the adrenaline started to wear off I started thinking about how much my feet had been hurting and how ready for bed I had been just an hour earlier. Pie Town wasn't going anywhere and despite my temper tantrum it was dark and I was tired. So back to bed I went, again tucked under trees sheltering me from the wind. Bedtime take 2.