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Into Pietown 5/20

Received a call from Spork last evening. They arrived in Pietown before noon and retrieved their packages at the post office. Pietown puts them right at mile 415. Spork said it was likely they hiked and additional 50+ miles from getting lost and bushwhacking back to what they think is the trail. The trail is still unmarked for the most part. He seemed unaffected by the fact that they rarely go a day without getting off trail and having to GPS their location and make adjustments. He said it was all part of the challenge of the CDT.

He said he and everyone else is healthy, although a little beat up. They have been hiking at and above 7000 feet in very isolated wilderness for the past 9 day. Much of the Gila gorge was washed out and they have encountered a lot of blowdowns. Pietown offers little change as it is basically a wide spot in the road. It will be another 3-4 day until they actually reach anything that resembles civilization. Their plan is to push hard into Grants and take a few down days. He promised to catch up on his blog posts and get some more pictures and videos posted. A trail angel drove them 5 miles from town so that they could get a phone connection for this call and to send a few pictures.

Their hike through Gila over the past 9 days required over 80 river crossings and he said their feet were wet the entire week. Due to elevation they have a few night where the temperatures were well below freezing. Their shoes froze solid overnight on more than one occasion.

I’ve had more than a few calls from the trail over the past few years and 6000 miles. I can always read through the assurance that everything is well. I heard no attempt at false assurances. I feel good about their hike and state if mind. Hiking as a group is not easy. The fact that these 5 have held together for over 400 miles tells me that they re finding safety in numbers against the difficulties of this trail. I’m sure once they get further north and either get used to map hiking or actually find some semblance of a trail they will start spreading out. Time will tell. Right now, they are making good miles and there seems to be nothing other than blisters, shin splints, aching knees, and a few cactus thorns. None of these seems to slow them down a bit.

Spork promises a video of a heard of Antelope that crossed their paths when he sends some SD cards home from Grants. He is carrying a Go Pro and said he has several hours of video.

These are pictures in and around Gila.
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