Twig Adventures

MRT (Bonus) Day 26: Gila Hot Springs

Wednesday May 4th, 2022, 0640-1000West Fork Gila to Gila Hot springs.11 miles. We had about 6 miles to go until the cliff dwellings, then another 5 miles of road walking to Doc Campbells and the hot springs in the morning. The trail went by fast, especially since I was running to keep warm. The relentless river crossings turned my feet into blocks of ice, so I had to do something to generate heat. We passed a camp where the occupants were dry, sitting in chairs, and sipping coffee. Ahhh, the regular backpacking life. We also passed our camp from the year before, where I spied toilet paper right where I’d cowboy camped…good thing I hadn’t counted on a repeat of[…]

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MRT (Bonus) Day 25: Gila River

Tuesday May 3rd, 2022, 0640-1920Iron Creek to West Fork Gila, GET Seg 21 mm 11.527.5 miles. I wasn’t looking forward to the challenge of the first half of the day. We were walking unfamiliar territory for about 14 miles, a lot of which was in burn areas. This alternate now had its own alternates to avoid miles of washed out creek travel. The first few miles were fine, on maintained trail. Then we turned up a drainage towards Turkeyfeather Pass, which was chaos from the get-go. I thought there might be some remnant parts of the trail left to follow but I was wrong. Massive erosion and flooding from the surrounding burned areas had turned the drainage into a jumble[…]

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MRT (Bonus) Day 24: Mogollon For the End

Monday May 2nd, 2022, 0630-1830Mineral Creek to Iron Creek Gila National Forest, EABO mm 520, GET Seg 20 ALT mm 11 27 miles. I didn’t sleep well, partly because I was too hot in my quilt and also because my mind was playing stupid tricks on me. I had to leave my feet out of the footbox for half the night, it was so warm. Crazy that I was freezing my butt off less than a week before. Then I dreamt that something was scraping at me inside my tent or that something kept walking by. The creek was so close and loud that it seemed to make noises that simulated other things. Perhaps it was also the sycamore whispering to[…]

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MRT Day 23: Mineral Creek Repeat

Sunday May 1st, 2022, 0540-1920Near Charlie Moore Mountain to Mineral Creek, EABO mm 493.5, GET Seg 20 mm 5.5 (6.5 miles to end Seg 7 plus 10 miles to Alma plus 5.5 miles to campsite)22 miles. My cowboy camp was fantastic. It wasn’t too cold, no bugs, no weird noises…just wonderful star gazing. It made packing up very easy as well. We left earlier than usual because we were loosing an hour by walking across the border into New Mexico (commence DST). The Alma cafe closed at 3 pm and we didn’t want to miss out on a hot meal (or 2). But we still had to walk 16 long miles to get there. The first 3 miles were pretty tough.[…]

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2021 GET Summary and Stats

I thru-hiked the Grand Enchantment Trail with my hiking buddy Stellar T, starting outside of Phoenix, Arizona on March 18th, 2021 and finishing atop Sandia Peak, perched above Albuquerque, New Mexico on April 29th, 2021. The route was pretty much what we expected it to be. There were days that involved some of the hardest/crappiest hiking I’ve ever done and some days that were the best ever for their scenery and remoteness. This is not a hike for winging-it. There are no signs or markers except for a few old Forest Service blazes here and there. GPS is extremely useful and I would argue, almost essential. Overall I found the navigation well within our abilities…that is to say it was[…]

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GET Day 40: The Finish on top the Sandias

Thursday Apr 29th, 2021, 1000-1600 I 40/Tijeras to Sandia Peak Tram, Segment 38, mm 757 15 miles I’d stuck this one out to the end and it was finally time to call it that…THE END. The past few weeks had certainly dragged on, first because of our illness and then so we could align our plans with good weather and our return ride. John, trail angel extraordinaire, was on his way from Phoenix to pick us up but wouldn’t be getting in until late afternoon. We had all day to walk the last 15 miles, which is a good thing since we had stayed up late with Blue and Twerk. We slept in a little, ate a small breakfast at[…]

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GET Day 39: Killing Time

Wednesday Apr 28th, 2021, 0730-1100 Manzanita Mountains to I 40, Tijeras, Segment 37, mm 742 7 miles I woke with another migraine but at least this time I took the right medicine. When my alarm went off, the pain was mostly gone. I also woke to something else, something that had been missing for too long…hunger. First thing I did was eat all my granola. It was a nice morning and we weren’t in a hurry, so I made coffee then tea while eating all the chocolate I had, along with other snacks. We continued down more bike trails but didn’t see anyone else. The day before we only encountered 2 bikers on the trails. There must be over 100[…]

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GET Day 38: Disjointed Wonderings

Tuesday Apr 27th, 2021, 0600-1900 Comanche Pass to Manzanita Mountains, Segment 37, mm 735 23.5 miles I woke around 4 am with a pretty severe migraine. They haven’t been too bad on this hike so I don’t know what triggered it. Perhaps too few calories and too much exertion. I took some of my medication but when my alarm went off, it felt like the migraine was worse. I realized that I must have taken a benadryl instead of the medicine I needed (both were mixed together in a small bag and oblong in shape, hard to differentiate in the dark). So not only was my head pounding, I felt groggy as well. I didn’t want to move but had[…]

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GET Day 37: Manzano Mountains

Monday Apr 26th, 2021, 0630-1800 Rattlesnake Spring to Comanche Pass, Segment 35, mm 690.5 23.5 miles It was another relatively warm and calm night. I heard some sort of nightjar calling but wasn’t sure what kind. While I was forcing my dinner down the night before, a single mosquito got a bite in before I could even recognize what it was. It’s maybe the 4th I’ve seen all trip. Flies and gnats have also been a non-issue. I guess our struggle to find water all the time comes with some benefits. To start the day, we walked some more ATV roads to a graded forest service road, then up 4 miles to a somewhat abused and neglected campground. It had[…]

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GET Day 36: UFO’s or weather balloons?

Sunday Apr 25th, 2021, 0630-1930 Grey Ridge cut to Rattlesnake Spring, Segment 34, mm 668 25 miles The wind settled down nicely overnight but once again, my stomach did not. I woke around 1 am feeling the need to throw up my dinner. I just couldn’t let that happen so I tried some herbal remedies that helped settle my stomach and put me back to sleep. I still woke with a knot in my stomach and could only manage to choke down a banana for breakfast. I’ve had no appetite whatsoever for days and my stomach is visibly distended, even though there’s nothing in there. I just feel bloated. I can’t imagine how much longer this could last. I should[…]

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