This is ridiculous. Ridiculous that I'm taking my sweet, sweet time with the Gila Mountain posts. I guess really though, in the end, what's the hurry, right? Sure. So I did have a journal sort of thing for this trip but it's MIA because I've been throwing things together for the field season and it got relocated. Maybe it's hanging out with my missing sunglasses, earrings, hats, etc. Our World SkywatchI'll have to wing it. I know we almost stepped on a rattlesnake right after getting back on the trail this morning. I actually prefer to start my mornings that way, it's more exciting. Pretty eventful day actually. At some point the trail just ceased to exist, which ya know, when you're out in the middle of nowhere is sort of a red flag. The trails aren't maintained in the wilderness area to begin with and we had to really squint (or something) to follow them at times up to this point. But it really just totally ended. Poof-be-gone. We had a topo and a compass so we decided to go for it and wandered around to try to find where the trail was supposed to meet up with the next one. This didn't really work. We had the right idea though. We hit the open meadow area (where the trail was on the topo) right when a freaking monster storm was coming in. I've had severe (ahem, and legitimate) paranoia about lightening ever since the incident so maybe-just-maybe I had a temper tantrum about being totally exposed to the bolts.
So anyway, after our efforts proved futile, we found our way back to where the trail ended, which was a good 3 miles away at that point (so we added a handful extra miles on that day. ..I think we ended up doing around 15 or so?) We were planning on a really short day..huh.
After we found the trail and breathed some relief, we were forced to backtrack a bit. We hiked until dusk and finally found another completely sketchy puddle of 'water' to filter. No weird side effects though, so no complaints. While we were filtering and chugging water, there were some Red Crossbills (4 I think) waiting for us to leave so they could sip it up too. That was fun. Don't see Crossbills a whole lot in my world. Found another kickass spot for the tent, even though it was getting pretty dark. Made a fire and listened to wolves! That's right, WOLVES! Thumbs up.