Went for a week long backpacking trip in New Mexico’s Gila Mountain Wilderness back in August. Yup, ‘m a bit behind here, I know. The Gila’s are in the Southwest part of the state, and I highly recommend visiting. I’m a big fan of New Mexico but this was the first time I’d been to this area, and it was all sorts of goodness. Only saw one other person in a week, and that was on the last day. Love when the woods are ALL MINE! 🙂
The wilderness area (the first designated one, ever. Nice!) is part of Gila Mountain National Forest. It gets hit with wild fires pretty hard, pretty often, and this year was no exception. Luckily their were no flames by the time we got there, but certain parts were still closed off because of landslide and mudslide threats. Water was a little bit of an issue because there was so much sediment in the rivers and creeks from all the mudslides. That, and it was a crazy dry year so most of the creeks were totally dry. Never good when you’re backpacking for seven days.We had to do some backtracking to some some fairly sketchy water sources, but the filter got the job done and no one had any weird stuff happen.
Anyway, the first day we got hit by some pretty fierce storms. Ever since my near death experience with lightening in the Guadalupe Mountains, I tend to have legitimate freak-outs when it’s in my face, so I may or may not have flipped sh!t for a minute or hour or two.
Lots of charred trees on the first day’s hike, but vegetation was already starting to come back nicely. We ended up putting the tent up a few miles sooner than we would have liked, but because of my aforementioned lightening issues, there wasn’t much choice. Ended up being a pretty nice spot even though there was no water nearby…