|Hike Name:||Gila River - West Fork - Gila Wilderness|
|Trip Date:||September 21, 2000|
|Duration:||2 days, 8 hours|
|Trip Weather:||Partly Cloudy|
|Trip Temperature:||High: 71-80, Low: 41-50 degrees Fahrenheit|
|Trip Report:||Day 1: Arrived late as usual, and just crashed on the ground by the car. Had to park a mile from the trailhead because of crowds, but all of them seem to be picknickers and dayhikers, so we have high hopes for solitude on the trail. Got up early to get a jump on trail traffic. Wolfed down some bacon and eggs, and headed out around 8:00. Saw a person at about 1 mile, sitting by the river, and had no idea it was the last person we would see. Ass went well, and we made good progress, getting in a little over 7 miles by lunch. Ate a quick lunch, pumped some water with the purifier and rolled. No problems in the afternoon either, and we set camp at 5:00, after making 12 miles for the day. Enjoyed a nice dinner and some Bailey's and coffee, and crashed.
Day 2: We only have until about 11:00 to hike, so we make some tracks. Arrive at Hell's Hole just past 9:30, and push on for the Flat. We actually hiked until about 11:30, then set a quick camp and had lunch. We took the time to blow up our inner tubes then while we waited for afternoon fishing to kick off. Started fishing about 4:00, but by then the sprinkles were starting, and we were being rained on for real by 5:30. The water immedaitley got muddy, so we called it a trip and sat under the tarp drinking. Crashed around 10:00
Day 3: Got up early because we had a long way to go. Made a rack from two tree branches and strapped our packs to it. Then we tied the ends of the rack to our tubes. Put the tubes in the river and voila! We had an instant high speed, low effort mode of transportation. The river flows over 6 miles an hour, so we jsut trolled our fishing lines over the backs of the tubes and let the river take us. We stopped on a sandy beach and made lunch, hoping to get a little fishing in, but the sprinkles started again so we headed out. It never did rain hard, so we had a nice calm float down the bottom stretch of the river. Time passed quickly, and we pulled up in front of the Cliff Dwellings late in the afternoon. From there is was only 10 minutes to the car, and we loaded up and headed out. No fish this time, but it was a great trip, and we will be back!