And then there were three. Raven has joined our group. He is from San Diego and has hiked the PCT. not only is he a strong hiker, he is funny.
Steven from the Palace Hotel was gracious enough to give us a ride to the trailhead this morning. Super nice guy who is interested in helping the hikers that come through Silver City.
The Gila South alternative began as a nice two track trail and we cruised along telling stories and going up and down in the forested hills. About 10:45 we checked our Guthook app up and found we were a mile off the trail! That naturally means we hiked two useless miles. Then retracing our steps we almost missed the small cairn (pile of rocks) indicating the real trail. As this is an alternate to the CDT it is rarely marked.
Back on the trail the track turned rocky and rough. Than there was the uphill that took well over an hour to make it to the summit. Tadpole Ridge was straight up with no switchbacks. Brutal! The goal was 21 miles. We did not make it 14. Ouch! Talk about demoralizing. We were trying to make it to Doc Campbell’s store tomorrow afternoon. With 27 miles to go it is highly doubtful.
All of us were tuckered our so we found a nice flat area at 7232 ft. It is bound to be chilly tonight. The plan is to leave in the morning before six to get the first last light . We believe there will be a very steep descent first thing so it will be too dangerous to hike in the dark.
By the way, after Steven let us off at the trailhead I somehow lost my hat. It wasn’t noticed until later in the morning when I needed it. I must have just thought I strapped it to the pack. It was one of the few hats that truly fit. Bummer.
Too tired to write more. I hope the photos will entertain.