The Last of the Gila River

Just before Gail Tank (G_816 R)
Day 18 – 5/8/17
Miles – 19.4
Total miles – 247.4
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It was a very quite night, with no wind through the trees. Soundly we slept thus we woke up a bit late. Not liking to be late for our days hiking, we packed quickly and headed out. Mama Raven said she is happy to announce that she is finally feeling improvements where she fell on her hiking pole in the chest. She can sleep more comfortably and her breathing does not hurt like it did. She said still don’t make her laugh or sneeze, other than that she will be fine. When we got out of the tents this morning, we were surprised to find cloudy skies. At first, we rolled up and down small ridges for several hours, through a sparse pine forest, until we came to a very picturesque Clear Creek. The we stopped to filter 4L of water. We needed enough to get to Snow Lake. After our break, we hiked down to the Gila River.
The Gila River High Route crosses the Gila and climbed back on top of the mesas. For no good reason, we decide to walk the river. We wanted one more day of slogging through the river. It was a bit easier than several days ago, because there were long straight sections that had good trail. We crossed the Gila 23 times today.
As we were taking a break at the turn off for Snow Lake, we heard thunder not too far off to the south. Quickly, we started hiking again toward the campground at the lake. However, before we could get there, the rain started. Mama Raven and I  put on our pack covers and took out our umbrellas. Bling and Joon were up ahead hiding under a tree. We reached them and everyone put on raincoats. A strong gust of wind hit us, ripping the umbrella from Mama Raven’s hand and blowing it into the lake. Bling, being so agile, quickly ran down the steep boulder lined edge of the lake to grab it before the umbrella sailed across the lake! The wind was blowing so hard we all had to close our umbrellas so they would not get hurt. We stayed under the protection of the tree until it let up. Eventually, after the wind let up a bit, we hiked to the shelter of the bathrooms in the campground. Sadly, the campground was not open yet for the season and thus the water was not turned on and we would be unable to get water. Nonetheless, all was not lost, they had  trash cans, and we could at least rid ourselves of trash. This simple little task is a big deal for thru-hikers.  Snow Lake’s water was an unappetizing brown, so we decided to hike to a lake five miles ahead and hope for a better water source.
As we write this in the warmth of our tent, it keeps sprinkling on us. We hope that this is all it does and that we wake to blue skies.

Mama Raven’s song of the day:
Curiosity by Ben Cocks
(My mind always wonders to Bling when I listen to this song)

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