CDT Days 15 & 16: Middle Fork of the Gila Part 2

Day 15: Gila Alt mile 47.3 to mile 62.8, 15.5 miles

Day 16: Gila Alt mile 62.8 to Gail Tank, 18.9 miles

Total miles: 250.5

Surprise, it was chilly again this morning! I read that New Mexico could be cold, but it’s practically freezing overnight! Our feet became numb from crossing the Gila multiple times before the sun popped out above the cliffs to warm us up.

As we crisscrossed across the Gila, we didn’t see anyone else, except a tent with a dog. We assume the dog had some human companions in the tent! We only had each other and the echoing of the canyon wrens to keep us company. And a squirrel posed quite nicely for Garrett to photograph it.

There are hot springs in the area, and every once and awhile we’d feel a warm current of water mixing with the cool. We passed by Jordan Hot Springs, which has a deep pool for soaking, but I read pregnant women should avoid jacuzzis- I think because of the hot temperatures, so I didn’t want to take the risk. The hot springs are about 92 degrees F, so we probably would have been okay. I encouraged Garrett to go in, but he declined, and we kept meandering on.

After lunch I felt really tired, and we ended up stopping early again for the evening. For the most part I’ve been feeling okay, but sometimes all I want to do is take a nap. It’s hard to tell if it’s from the pregnancy or the hiking! I’m close to my second trimester, when my pregnancy app on my phone told me that I should expect “abundant energy and good moods.” Of that could just start now, I would really appreciate it! But at least it is something to look forward to. Garrett is a great partner, and is exceedingly patient as far as this hike goes. If I tell him I need to stop, we do.

The next day the crossings became milder, but we had a hard time following the trail in parts. It made for slower travel, but we eventually made it out of the Gila. It was bittersweet to leave, but we were ready for dry feet again! We followed forest roads a few miles, then followed a valley up to a cow pond where we camped for the night. We saw a killdeer feeding from the pond. We couldn’t get a good picture, but they look a little like a shore bird with long thin legs. We climbed in the tent just as the bats started to come out to feed, and we watched them zoom over the tent as we drifted off to sleep.