Hiking on the Continental Divide Trail in the Gila National Forest
Helen, Angie and I head out to explore the Gila Forest in the Little Walnut area. I had hiked up here several years ago and remember enjoying the pine forest trails. When I mention a trail behind the fire station, Helen knows of access to the CD Trail in the area that ties in to my trail, and once again, we’re off!
We walk down a dirt drive that has access to the trail, Helen points out a friend’s home, we see a nice homemade sign that says, “Forest Trail” that meanders down a hill and our hike begins lovely amongst the pines. We soon hit the CD Trail and choose to turn right onto it (the left trail will take us back towards the roads and we prefer not seeing civilization.). Onward we trek, up and down and around the hills of the Gila. As you can see from the photos, there are many striking vistas to enjoy.
As usual, as we hike, we talk about everything under the sun. It’s a warm, sunny day, with no wind – a pleasant surprise for this time of year. Eventually the conversation turns to Angie; she is taking this hike 10 days after having a mastectomy. I’m amazed that she’s not only up, but out for a hike. Angie, you totally impress me. It would be easy to be home and hiding under the covers. You choose to get out and do things. It’s no easy thing and it never fails to stun me when I hear about people’s challenges and how they overcome obstacles and how strong they are. You go woman!
All the up and down slopes are wearing me out and at the 2.5 mile mark, we turn back.
This is the time of year where there are changes needed in my gear. For one thing, it’s getting warm out and I’ll need more water; time to bring the backpack with the camel inside. Lighter clothing and layers of it too. I hate to admit this, but the chocolate may have to go. It’s making a melty, sticky mess of things.
We stop several times on the way back to rest and catch our breath. Angie is starting to tire. Towards the end, we reach the driveway/access point and Angie sits for a rest. Helen walks to the car and drives it back. We’re all tired, hot and thirsty. Luckily, my husband was working at the fire station and gave Helen cold water for us. As I sit here writing this, I’m feeling that ’empty’ feeling and know that I’ll eat good tonight – and then sleep even better!
4.76 miles / 4.0 hours
56 down / 44 to go