Day 16

Woke up to the most incredible bird songs as we were camped near the river. Last night a whippoorwill came to the camp to say good night. In the distance we could hear what sounded like a Chuck’s will willow. A cold but beautiful park along the Gila River this morning. 39° when we left camp and walked into the first of 10 crossings.

It is said that half the challenge of hiking a long trail is the mental aspect. That was true yesterday and I just could not get going. Some good rest, a night’s sleep and this morning found me ready to go in a much better state of mind. By 8 o’clock we had already done over 3 miles and are headed for Snow Lake which it is from our last camp a little over 8 miles. When we arrive there we’ll decide which route to take toward Pie Town..

We did not see the bear that went with these tracks

Choices, choices. There was a 60+ mile road walk into Pie Town with temperatures in the 90s when we emerged from the Gila National Forest. As it happened, there was a young couple, Natalie and Neil, who were just leaving after a weekend visit to the Gila and, bless them, took us the entire way into Pie Town. That saves us 2-3 days of walking. My feet were thankful! Unfortunately, there is no pie in Pie Town. All three pie establishments are closed. Drat this virus. Pie would have been great!

Natalie and Neil

The three of us are staying at the Toaster House. This place belongs to Nita who has lived here since 1980, raised five kids and began inviting hikers when ever she saw any. She no longer lives here but she leaves the house open for hikers. There are toasters decorating the fences, gates and other places. This is truly a unique stop along the way.

Toaster House porch – Hy-Gina, Foundation and crew.

Abandoned shoes

Toaster House

Inside Toaster House

Nita signing I-Love Pie

Nita took us on a brief tour of the area. Near is a huge Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) used to study black holes. Very interesting.

Very Long Baseline Array

Jack and I will walk out of here this afternoon after the heat of the day to knock off 10+ miles of the 80 miles to Grants. Raven’s knee is bothering him quite a bit so he is electing to stay overnight hoping his knee is better and to, perhaps, meet up with Harrison.

The forecast calls for temps in the 70s and 80s in the day and down to YIKES! 32 degrees at night. Jim is sending my puffy coat and rain gear to Grants. Most likely I will be wishing for the puffy before Grants.

Total miles 414.2

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