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DWTH Day 22: The Sufferfest After the Pink Porta Potty

DWTH Day 22: The Sufferfest After the Pink Porta Potty

Stats

👣 Miles: 17.86

📈 Elevation Gain: 1,043 ft

📉 Elevation Loss: 1,240 ft

Overall Weather: Cool, Rainy, Windy

Two Days in One

Today felt like two separate days. We got up and then started hiking as usual around 7:15 am. 

We followed a wash for a long way until we popped out on a two-track. 

The sun was out, but the temperatures were on the cooler side and I one we’d get rained on at some point in the middle of the day. 

The Gila Canal and River

Crossing the Gila River

We followed a queue from the water report that one of two bridges was out and someone else used a canal crossing at a different location. All we had was a GPS point, so we plugged it into Gaia GPS and navigated toward it. 

The water report was correct that those coordinates had a canal crossing. It was also correct that the suggested original bridge had been taken out. 

We got another chunk of canal walking before we crossed the seasonal flow of the Gila River on a car bridge. 

The seasonal flow was very much in season and we had a lot of fun watching the Snowy Egrets, Great Blue Herons, and even an Osprey!

After the bridge, we turned onto a dirt road that had a bright pink porta-potty. It even smelled good! 🤯 Karma left a deposit and noticed the maintenance record inside saying it was dropped off yesterday…score!

The Sufferfest

Looking out from under an umbrella hiking a dirt road in the rain.
The Sufferfest Beginning

While the bright pink porta potty was still in sight, the mountains began to get over by gray. Just gray. 

We knew we’d get rained on, but Open Snow suggested a sprinkle storm for 45 minutes or so, a pause, and then maybe an hour of a heavier storm. It predicted 0.16 inches of rain would fall. Ha!

Those two storms clearly merged and we hadn’t had a chance for a snack break yet. 🤦🏼‍♀️

We threw down our packs and tossed our rain gear on as quickly as possible. Thanks to Snapper, I had a fresh kitchen trash bag to cover my camera. 🙌

After about a mile, we turned off onto some state land that BT called “brushy at first.” 

We both had to collapse our umbrellas and try to figure out which game trails actually went through the brush in a reasonable direction while trying not to rip our rain gear. 

Eventually, we cleared the brush and followed a series of washes. In the rain. Which, of course, became sideways rain from the wind. 

There was no stopping, no hands-free umbrella abilities…just a shifting wind with gusts that threatened our umbrellas even hand-held with the other arm up bracing them. 

We weren’t super concerned about flash flooding, but we kept our ears open. 

After two and a half hours of sideways rain with large wind gusts walking in sandy washes, we were both yelling angrily at the wind. 

The Desert Ironwood Wind Block

Finally, we had both had enough and were quite hangry when we saw a large desert ironwood tree up out of the wash blocking the main wind direction. 

We quickly threw down our packs and set the tarp up over them. 

Diving under, we made ourselves comfortable and started soaking a dinner so we could have some hot food for lunch. 

We also had saved the last of Snapper’s vegan treat trail magic and that tasted soooo good while we shivered under the tarp. 

After a good dehydrated meal, Karma baited me into putting my feet under his butt to warm them. Then, he farted and it vibrated through my toes. 😬

Did we take a 2-hour break…yes we did!

The Sun Returns

At the end of our break, the sky showed blue on the horizon. 

We packed up and headed out into much nicer weather. 

Conveniently, the rain filled a glorious tinaja and we filled up some water there. It was much better than the yellow water we found later near the spring. 

During the late afternoon, we traversed washes and hiked cross-country. 

Camp

We found a good spot about 20 minutes before sunset and decided to take it. 

Sometimes, you’ve just gotta take a decent spot when you see one. There are so many rocks around that we didn’t know what we’d find later.