Gila Wilderness Backpacking part 2

We day hiked up the valley further the second day. We found that the stream-restarted about a half mile up, so we totally could have continued backpacking. Oh well.
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They aren’t kidding around when they build cairns on this trail. Good thing too, the trail was washed out a few places, but the cairns remained.
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For all the geologists out there, we thought this was a pretty cool rock formation.
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On the way back to camp, we saw: A BEAR! We came over a little ridge, and it was down in the valley. It took one look at us and took off running. That’s how I like my bears. Running away from me. It paused at this tree to look at us for long enough for us to grab the camera before it took off up the ridge. There’s nothing there for scale, but that is a pretty huge Ponderosa it’s standing in front of – I could probably have put my arms around half the diameter.
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Day 3 we bushwacked to the top of the ridge above our camp for a view of the surrounding area. It was sorta hot and everything had been recently burnt on the top, so I don’t have any beautiful pictures. Mostly we wanted to get back down and stick our feet in the stream.

Day 4 we hiked out and found a beaver dam on the way out. Somehow we’d missed it on the way in – the trail washed away at some point in the past few years because there was a big fire upstream, so it was a bit hit and miss.
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It wasn’t the backpacking trip we were planning – it was way less epic. But we still had a good time, and we didn’t have to pack up camp every day, which I greatly appreciated. Plus we saw a BEAR. Awesome!

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