Grand Enchantment: Finding the Balance (3/13)


Near Smith Spring – 3/13

The trail wound through canyons, up drainages, and over passes as it followed an old route built in 1874 to move goods and livestock from the water rich banks of the Gila River near Safford to the booming mining haven of Morenci. Now pavement, wheels, and motors have left the route a fading piece of history.

I flew over it, light and fast after streamlining my pack, feeling strong, feeling my legs retuning to form.

Then I pushed too far trying for one last pass and the water waiting on the other side. The sun set and rain came, splattering the rocks as I picked my way forward in the dark, my mind sinking into a misery that overwhelmed the beauty of the day.

I forgot about staring at Safford one last time with the Pinaleños rising behind it. I forgot about the narrow, white walled canyon leading to the lush green of Bonita Creek. I forgot about Midnight Canyon’s narrow slot and rainbow walls that went from red to purple.

I only thought of the rain and the rocks littering the ground and how miserable the night had turned.

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