Twig Adventures

MRT (Bonus) Day 27: Rollin Down the River

Thursday May 5th, 2022, 1000-1800Gila Hot Springs to Sapillo Creek17.5 miles. I woke and packed early,  but not so I could hike. My only priority was getting another soak in the springs. It felt pretty warm in my tent, but I found my dress frozen stiff outside…it was only 30 degrees. I had to dunk it in the hot water just to be able to change into it. I decided that I needed to invent a hiking robe for such circumstances. None of the CDT hikers opted for a morning soak… probably because of the cold and also because they had thousands of miles left to hike. We had less than 50 miles and 4 days to get it done.[…]

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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 had cowboy camped…good thing I hadn’t counted on a repeat.[…]

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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 it’s 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 just a week before. Then I dreamt that something was scraping at me inside my tent and it 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. So much for white[…]

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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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MRT Day 22: A Signature Day

Saturday Apr 30th, 2022, 0610-2030Government Mesa/Horse Mountain Trail to near Charlie Moore Mountain, EABO mm 471.5, Segment 7 mm 5618.5 miles. I felt like this entire day was a reward for nearly finishing the MRT. I usually have at least one day or moment during a long trail that I recall as my most stunning experience, my Signature Day, and this day was definitely it for the MRT. It wasn’t the easiest hiking I guess (mostly entirely cross country down canyons), but so much fun that I barely noticed any effort all day. It began with another big descent, officially our final from the “Rim”. We left the ponderosa, rejoining the juniper prairie and big round lava rocks that are so[…]

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MRT Day 21: Blue Mountain Primitive Area

Friday Apr 29th, 2022, 0600-1920Grant Creek to Horse Mountain Trail, EABO mm 454, Segment 7 mm 3825.5 miles. It was another very tough day. The morning was at least pretty chill. We walked the rest of Grant Creek to the confluence of the Blue River (all creeks in this area flow into the Blue). Based on our previous crossing of the Blue a year prior (GET 2021), I expected a decent-sized river and to get wet feet. But the crossing was tiny and bridged with some logs. 20 or so miles to the north of our GET crossing, the Blue River here was a small creek. I suspect in other years it can be quite a bit more, but the drought[…]

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MRT Day 20: Back to the Land of the Cows

Thursday Apr 28th, 2022, 1400-1840Hannagan Meadow to Grant Creek, EABO mm 428, Segment 7 mm 12.512.5 miles. This being the last “town” stop before officially finishing the route, we took full advantage of it. We were granted late check out until noon, so I lounged in bed for a long time. Another shower was in order too. There was no laundry, so we had sink washed some items to dry overnight (we’d end up going from Show Low to Silver City without doing laundry in a machine). It was really cold outside again, so we cranked the heater in the room. It felt amazing to have the power to do simple things like that. The wilderness had been a lesson in[…]

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MRT Day 19: Bear Wallow is Where We Whack

Wednesday Apr 27th, 2022, 0600-1700CR 25 to Hannagan Meadow, EABO mm 415.6, End Segment 6 mm 7021.5 miles. I managed to get some sleep after the nighttime raid but was glad to wake early and get away from the road. I paused to inspect how far the tire tracks came into the forest…pretty far actually. They stopped about 50 yards from my tent, which was still a decent buffer. I noticed a crushed log that they’d driven over in their wrecklessness. Good, hope it did some damage to their vehicle. We resumed our remote hiking, going cross-country down a steep hill and then up a ridge that had mostly been burned. We followed a series of old logging roads, most that[…]

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MRT Day 18: Everyday is a Winding River

Tuesday Apr 26th, 2022, 0700-1800Fork Tank Drainage to CR 25, EABO mm 394, Segment 6 mm 48.521 miles. What a great day it was! For starters, I wasn’t too cold for the first time in 4 nights. My thermometer read 27 degrees when I woke, but it was more like 24 outside. I never thought such temps would feel comfortable! We still decided to wait until 7 am to start walking. This proved to be a lucky thing because while we lounging in our tents, we heard a wolf howl. A real wolf! It was unmistakable from the common coyotes that we hear nearly every day. The howl was deep and long and awe-inspiring. There are only around 100 Mexican gray[…]

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