Co. Rd. 603
19 mi ::
295 mi ::
Sunny, cooler, windy
In the morning we continue down the road along the telephone lines. Soon we reach an old trail marker on a gated road road headed back towards the gate where we turned around last night. The road we’re on turns away west. We follow it, then stop to find it on our map. It looks like it will also get us to our next water, so we continue. In a couple of miles, though, it hits another gate with the threatening NO TRESPASSING sign. In frustration we walk half a mile west along the fence, but there’s no end in sight. We turn around and backtrack to the telephone lines again. This time we decide to stick to Ben’s advice and bushwhack underneath them. By now I’m realizing that I left before getting all the information I could have from Ben.
The going is not too hard, there’s an overgrown track there. We come to a gate with only old National Forest property markers and go through. A short time later we come a road and follow it to a fork. At the fork is a sign identifying our road as FS322 – the original road with the gate that stopped us. There is also one of the same NO TRESPASSING signs on a tree there. We’re not sure if we’ve trespassed, but we’re out of water and happy to be on our way again. We soon find good water at an electric pump and have a late breakfast.
Later an old guy in an old pickup with a wadded pack of chewing tobacco in his shirt pocket stops, and we tell him about the signs. “Oh,” he says, “I don’t think those are for people just walkin’ on the road.” That’s nice to know. We apply that interpretation to all the other signs we see by the road, and there are many. One offers a $500 reward for information leading to a conviction of a trespasser.
Our wanderings have put us back too far to reach Pie Town today, and it’s not clear where we’ll camp in all this hostile private property. Finally we come to a gated section with no signs, and we set up our camp there in some trees.