Another Grand Hike
This excursion developed out of a need to clean the crud off the trailer from the trip back down here from Boise. A pressure washer was needed, so Silver City (SC) was the only option.
And my reasoning was: as long as we are going to drag the trailer clear down to SC, we might as well haul up the 35 miles or so to the Gila Cliff Dwelling area and do some hiking. Sounded great as a 'principle'
but lost some in the translation. The weather was iffy except for Thursday the day these pictures were taken, and we were woefully unprepared for this kind of hiking. The issue? Hiking any of these drainages
means that you will be going back and forth across the river any number of times. You need special kinds of footgear to do that, otherwise you will spend most of your hiking time putting your shoes and socks
back on. There were 2 river crossings before the hot springs below, so we quit at the third one and vowed to come back next time better prepared, as it is an area that is well worth seeing.

Another little glitch on the way back out is that during the time we were further up the river eating our lunch, the hot springs had developed a crowd. A crowd with an exceptionally aggressive dog. That was NOT under
direct control, or even any kind of control. Things quickly went to hell in a handbasket. The dog came after Maxie, I was yelling and came damn near smacking the living daylights out of him with my hikihng pole, as
he had made around 4 bluff charges and was also near to getting a snoot full of bear spray. Which undoubtedly would have caused this 'crowd' to get stupid, and who konws where it would have gone from there.
Fortunately, what I presume was his owner, came and dragged him off and we got down the trail and away from further heart accelerants.

Finally, that afternoon, we tried another trail, this one was one that was after where the 'forks' of the Gila got together to party. And it was clear that the 'party' was not one we wanted to join. So we opted for
another day. Friday dawned overcast and 41 degrees. So another soak in the hot springs and home we went. Gonna have to make it back here. We left too many trails un-hiked.

Leaving the TH

Heading into the river canyon

A relatively lazy section of the Gila. Not flowing real hard right now until you get to the point where the 'forks' merge

Looking south

Fascinated always by rocks and their various forms, I loved this vein of completely different strata

A section of the river above the hot spring below... pretty close to a great camp spot & where we turned back

A group of barrel cactus that picked a very precarious place to set up camp

A rapids! Such as they are this time of the year with very low flow rates

Lightfeather Hot Spring. A very nice hot spring, especially when deserted as it is right now. Won't be for long

The source. It flows out of here at a good rate, and about 130 degrees or so

On up the drainage. As usual, Maxie is leading the way

Most of the fallen rocks here are covered with lichens and other types of creatures

Do we really have to cross this again?

Carefully picking his steps... don't want to get the tummy wet, do we?

This tree chose an even more precarious place to plant itself than the barrel cactus above

Above here the river gets even more closed in by the canyond

A massive chunk of this hill fell off into the drainage

Down the Gila on the way back to the campground

Directly across from the CG. Never get tired of the varied NM topography

Contact: The Hiker... or the Goats!