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Begins: Apr 22, 2017
Date: Tue, Oct 10th, 2017
Start: Silver City
End: Jack's Peak
Daily Distance: 20.5
Trip Distance: 2,631.5
Entry Visits: 26
Journal Visits: 90,722
Guestbook Views: 5,416
Guestbook Entrys: 17
Silver City to Jack's Peak, via hi 90, Tyrone Rd and Deadman Creek. 27.5-11.7 , 2.25, 2=20.05 miles.
We got up at 5:30 a.m. But didn't set out on the “trail” until about 8:30 a.m. In between, we went for a continental breakfast in the hotel where we were joined by two women from Colorado who were touring and then, by Mark, who works at REI (maybe in Seattle?) and was just ending a bike ride on part of the Great Divide Trail. It was fun talking to them. One of the women showed me the hotel’s beautiful wood-floored ballroom strung with rows of tiny lights.
We decided to go the old route, via Hudson Ave, to highway 90, a couple of blocks. I was a little concerned about taking this route, because it featured road walking at the beginning, but Kerry and Dennis determined that the new route had road walking as well, and was quite a bit longer. In a push I will find my way, but I generally defer to others who are so much better at it than me! We also wanted to try and recapture the day we lost on the Gila River (to be honest, this over-road any qualms I had). So that was decided. We walked briskly south on highway 90 for about 10 miles that turned out to be quite scenic. There was a nice wind blowing and we were quite comfortable.
At Tyrone Road, a dirt road, we turned off highway 90 and walked around a Phelps Dodge Mine. After a few miles on that road, we left it, heading south, cutting 3.25 miles off the road walking, through a lovely forested canyon. Leaving the road we met a man, Shiloh, born in Walnut Creek and currently living in Cottonwood, Arizona. He was alone, with his two dogs, Roscoe and Dixie and a raven he rescued from some guys who had already killed a couple of her siblings. He called her "Little Wing" (Jimmy Hendrix) aka Belle and she had completely bonded with him. She didn't like the dogs much or maybe it was vice versa, she would land on them and pluck their whiskers, much to their dismay. Shiloh is diabetic and he was out prospecting. Looking at the surrounding rocks that seemed to be granite, we thought maybe he was searching the dry creek bed. What an interesting man! Like our encounter with Doug the Hermit, it was an unexpected gift meeting him and made the alternate route worth it.
Climbing out of Deadman Creek, I couldn't help but wonder at a number of possibilities for how it come by its name: a flash flood in the Spring might kill someone; or the lack of water at this time of the year might do the same; or someone might have actually died here. It was a very pretty canyon and the route (sometimes trail) wasn't as difficult as some of the bushwacking we'd done in the last few days.
After we rejoined the main CDT trail we walked up Burro Peak and observed a lot of bear scat which continued all the way to Jack's Peak where we planned to stop today—the next available water after Silver City. When we arrived we found a cistern as promised, but there wasn't much water and what was there was very poor quality. Dennis, completely out of water complained that it tasted like cow dung. We camped inside the outline of low concrete walls that might have been the remains of a cabin, so the ground was relatively flat.
On top of the mountain, the wind was blowing and it was already 47 degrees. I put on an extra layer and hoped to sleep better than I had the last couple of nights. Happy for the end of the day, I felt at peace.
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