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Begins: Apr 5, 2016
Date: Sun, May 15th, 2016
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 445.8
Entry Visits: 1,185
Journal Visits: 9,110
Guestbook Views: 28
Guestbook Entrys: 2
Grand Enchantment Trail Map
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The Happy Hiker
Back home now in Mountainair for a month or better. Already putting on weight so fast my hiking pants are hard to button! Doesn't take long when one eats like he's hiking but sits on the couch instead.
I've had some time to reflect on my GET hike. With the 450 miles or so I have done, plus the 150 miles I had done in years previous, I only lack about a hundred more to have walked the entire route. I still need to do Winston to the San Mateos; then Magdalena to Highway 60. Eventually, I'd like to get those portions hiked. Monticello Box now seems to have a permit system in place, so that's promising. And I've always wanted to do the lower country through San Lorenzo, the Rio crossing, and the Quebradas country up to Hwy 60. We often hike the Quebradas in the winters here, but never that particular stretch.
I had my frustrations with the route, that's clear from my journaling. It's rugged, brutal and very lonely at times. Like many have commented, these difficulties are rewarded with exceptional beauty, a sense of self-reliance as one overcomes difficulties--or not!, and an escape from the over-loved trails and venues that define many of our most popular sites. There are many, many places I saw along Blisterfree's route that I simply must return and visit. Coming immediately to mind: Aravaipa Canyon (and Turkey Creek next to it); Blue River and much of the Gila.
The last six days on the trail in company of good ol' Bottom Feeder, my friend, were simply the most enjoyable of the entire hike. A combination of relatively good tread, exceptionally scenic areas (Diamond Creek is a must-see) and, yes, companionship. Doing this over, it'd be really nice to have a reliable hiking friend along. Yet, finding someone who is willing to come along on the demanding GET is a challenge in itself. The right fit.
I plan to go complete portion of the Colorado Trail left un-hiked from two years ago. There, having a companion is not such a need. There are enough folks along the way to satisfy my social fix. Too many folks around and I get nervous. No folks around for weeks and weeks and I get sad.
All in all, I know that I love hiking, backpacking and I need society in my life to one degree or another. Each must find their balance. I'm still looking.