The struggle to appreciate beauty

Day 8 started with a 15-mile road walk into Silver City, New Mexico. This is a large town with a variety of places to get more food before heading back to trail. I stayed the night in a cheap motel that had a problem with the plumbing and a door that needed a swift kick to open.

The next day, I hit the road again on my way to the Gila River Canyon. Over the next week, I spent each day, from morning to evening, crossing the Gila River hundreds of times.

This was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen, yet I’ve never heard of it before hiking up it.

                    Watch your step

Midway through the trek up the gorge, I was spat out onto a long road walk, where I stopped at some natural hot pools to relax my aching feet. I also took a side trip to check out the Native American cliff dwellings, perched high in the canyon walls, leftover from the 13th century.

A cultural sidetrip to the Gila cliff dwellings

Throughout the journey upstream, the mornings were unreasonably cold. Sleeping next to a river always is. The water crossings at 6 am are almost torturous. The sun doesn’t rise over the tall canyon walls until mid-morning, meaning that I was in the shadow of the canyon for the first few excruciating hours of each day. The beauty of this place is worth the hardship, though. It really is a very special place. And, what is astounding is that a location like this can remain so untouched and relatively unknown.

It’s been a struggle when waist deep in frigid white water over fifty times a day, but the memories of this area will last a lifetime.

And this is why I’m here. To push myself to see things that are so often overlooked or inaccessible to most. The true, rugged, and untouched areas of this country. It’s places like this that make every step to get here worth it.

The rugged beauty of the Gila River Gorge

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Comments 1

  • Mikelikestohike : May 26th

    You’re crushing it Lookout! Keep at it, I love the way you describe the journey and show your perspective.

    Reply

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