SWH – Stage 10 – Gila to Magdalena (GET)

Distance:  180 miles (290 km)

Start:  Gila Hot Springs, NM

Finish:  Magdalena, NM

Time:  6 days (April 19 to 24, 2012)

Daily Average: 30 miles (48.3 km)

Total Distance:  1,624 miles (2,613 km)

Highlights:

  • Lightfeather Hot Springs: Beautiful riverside pools just north of Gila Cliff Dwellings Visitors Centre. Perfect for an early morning or late afternoon soak.
  • Monticello Box: Not quite the Aravaipa or Gila, but nonetheless a pleasant segment.
  • Solar Windmills: Quality water sources are often few and far between in the southwest. Coming across one of these solar powered gems during a long shadeless stretch always felt a little like arriving at an oasis in the Sahara. The differences being that instead of date palms and bedouin tents, one’s immediate surroundings normally consisted of a concrete tank, a corral and piles of cow poo.

Lowlights:

  • Nothing major comes to mind. Quite a lot of blowdowns in the San Mateo mountains made for slow going at times.

Notes & Musings:

  • Audiobooks: After listening to War and Peace and Don Quixote back to back over the winter months, I was ready for some lighter fare on the SW Horseshoe. I decided to revisit a couple of old favourites in the form of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy. The narration for both series was excellent, Charlton Griffin and Rob Inglis respectively, and together they made those occasionally monotonous dirt road sections go by a lot quicker than they normally would have.

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