Friday, November 26, 2021

Day 19: Doc Campbell's Post

May 9: The morning was cold. Too cold. Argh! I definitely didn't feel like getting out of my sleeping bag this morning, but a few cows woke Evenstar and myself up by around 6:00 in the morning or so and we eventually got hiking an hour later.

We immediately forded the Gila River--no surprise there--and five minutes out of camp, we discovered hot springs on the side of the river. Hot springs! If I had known about those the evening before, I would have easily walked the extra 5 minutes and soaked in some hot springs during the evening. They were located on the shore of the river, draining into the Gila.

Hot springs! That shallow trough of water on the right side of the river? Yep, that water is hot!

The one thing I could tell myself, at least, was that they were shallow, muddy hot springs which were less than ideal. But still, I was a little disappointed that I didn't have a chance to soak in them. And now, I didn't want to stop to soak in them. I had miles to do!

Throughout the day, we forded the Gila countless times. Literally countless. Neither Evenstar nor I tried to count the crossings, but one thru-hiker we met had been counting them and reported 47 crossing so far. The Guthook comment reported 57. Which was right? Both? Neither? We didn't know, but it was a lot. Our feet never dried the entire day.

The last mile or two of the day, the trail reached a road that we followed into town. Well, okay, not really a town. More like a convenience store known as Doc Campbell's Post. Evenstar and I made it shortly before the store was scheduled to close, so we picked up our maildrops which consisted mostly of food that would get us to our next resupply point.

I also splurged for some ice cream and a cold soda. Yum! Yum! =)

Doc Campbell's Post, our home away from home for the night.

Pez showed up a bit later, a little after the store had already closed, and it was good to see him again. His knee was still giving him trouble, but it didn't seem to be slowing him down at all and his spirits were still high.

We set up camp behind the store since they allowed us to camp there. There was a bit of confusion on our part if we were supposed to pay a small fee to camp. I thought there was one, but when I paid for my maildrop, ice cream and soda, I had told them that I planned to camp in the back but it seemed like they hadn't added any fee for that. On the other hand, another hiker said that they were charged five or ten bucks or something. I didn't lose any sleep over it, though. I did tell them I was planning to camp there, after all. Not like I was sneaking around trying to avoid a fee.

Later in the evening, a couple of more hikers arrived as well and the five of us set up camp in back chatting the rest of the night away.

One ford down, another 50 or so to go....

The last couple of miles of the day had us leaving the river valley and following this road to Doc Campbell's.

Pez shows off his tan lines.

Has this been a problem? Well, it was okay for us to loiter and camp behind the store, but not in the parking lot.

They do have an unusual clientele here!


GG said...

You must leave your backpack outside to be ravaged by aliens and rabid chipmunks?
But it's okay to bring in large, service goats (like service dogs but you can milk the females), and healthy chipmunks?

Michael said...

Wait. So when you are fording the river, you still are wearing your pants and shoes? I would have guessed you hike them up like Pez's picture at the end of the blog.