Continental Divide Trail – Day 10
May 11, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 22.0 / 202.7
It was pretty chilly this morning. It showed 35 on my thermometer when I got up. I knew the river crossings would low me down, so I started hiking as soon as it was light enough to see.
The trail started out be descending toward sycamore creek. The water was flowing and the trails l followed the creek upstream. This section of trail was somewhat overgrown and had some blowdowns to climb around, but I made pretty good time through that section.
The train then began a long climb toward sheep corral trailhead. As I ascended up the side of the mountain the views were fantastic. From the sheep corral trailhead the trail begins a long descent toward the Gila River.
On a narrow section along a creek I came across a small herd of cattle on the trail. They all climbed up the side of the canyon and I slipped by them.
I had crossed several small creeks this morning without getting my feet wet, but as I approached the Gila River I knew I wouldn’t be able to continue that streak. The Gila River flows through as fairly narrow canyon with rock cliffs on either side. The River meanders from wall to wall leaving exposed land on one side or the other. To hike up the river you have to constantly cross from side to side.
I crossed the river 10 times today with the depth varying from shin deep to waste deep. The cool water felt good in the hot sun and my clothes dried very quickly when they did get wet.
As evening approached I found a flat spot to set up my tent overlooking the Gila River. The sound of the running water will be my “white noise” for tonight. I went down to the river to clean up my shoes and socks ( filled with sand from the river crossings). I then went to another spot on the river to scoop water. I scooped the water and as I stepped back I heard a rattlesnake rattling. I turned and jumped. I had almost stepped back on it. After he had settled down and my heart quit racing, I was able to get a picture of it.
Back up where I had selected to camp, I set up my tent, moved my gear inside and cooked dinner from inside my tent. I didn’t cry want any more run-ins with rattlers tonight.