Day 18


The Meadows to
Moonshine Canyon
16 mi ::
203 mi ::
Sunny, warm to cloudy and humid

We’re up early for another day in the Middle Fork Gila Canyon. Today rock walls and spires are even more magnificent. I see caves high up in some of the cliffs.

There are endless crossings as before. We see a Great Blue Heron fly up the canyon, then down again. A beautiful spiny lizard poses for me. Surprising to us, we see more people up here. We get word again of the couple ahead of us. They’re apparently hiking only New Mexico, their last state to complete the CDT. Two guides with two Asian girls and a black guy ride by in our first encounter with equestrians. The guidees are too surprised and tired to even speak to us.

A man with one arm chats with us while hanging his food near the old Trotter cabin site.

We walk hard all day, breaking for meals of course. By the end we’ve exceeded our 15 mile goal, but my knee hurts and it takes us forever to choose a campsite. These miles feel so long, I’m wishing I had a pedometer so I could compare the number of steps I take on different stretches. Tonight we’re done in. The newly-waning moon will soon be out.

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