Friday, September 11, 2015

The Grand Enchantment Trail ~ Part 5

From the Gila River we returned to the Arizona Trail and enjoyed the sunset noticing the ten or so Mountain bike tracks which had crossed our paths earlier in the day. 

Eighty degree temperatures subsided in favour of night skies, where it was once again time to count satellites before falling asleep.

A soaring hawk and a couple of ravens greeted us at sunrise as we made our way up the Gila River towards Kelvin through a Saguaro forest. Occasionally we could hear the shrieking of Gila woodpecker babies coming from the holes of these majestic cacti. 

A humongous Copper mine excavated our eyes explaining the presence of an active railroad corridor next to the silted Gila River. 

Carpets of flowers lined the trail. Poppies, lupines, phacelias, and so many more colors and textures amongst tiny green grasses gave us continued inspiration even though our bodies were sometimes tired from walking all day. We were not yet quite maximized in body shape. However, our muscles truly had a memory and remembered quickly what the goal was.

Having crossed the Gila River, we ascended up the mountain to the Big Hill. 

The Ocotillo's were fully leafed out and were re-quested to bloom.

Change was our constant companion.

The first water cache was fully stocked whereas the next spring on the trail going into a trough seemed out of order till Stacey unclogged it. 

The water Basin was filled with dead bees, a drowned bat, and multitudes of live critters. Good thing the pipe was flowing from the spring again.

Desert hare and antelope ground squirrels were the newest mammals to show their presence to us.

There were now less bikers, however instead, we were running into AZT hikers heading northbound. 

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