Thoughts outside the box is what makes me tick...So in a way when I'm faced with what seems like an impossible situation; it helps. This I can say in retrospect because during the moment I came close to a full on freak out. No pack, its down countless feet below me. No conventional way of getting down that I can see. No way to go forward and then backtrack, because that fire I guess is still coming my way. The eventual answer was looking right at me the whole time.
A tree, yep just a narrow tree that jetted up out of most of the canyon. Looking right at me the whole time. Two issues with this tree... One: Its going to take a leap that literally I have no clue if I can make it. Two: Trees have branches and this one is no exception. It did however possess another tree right next to it that had even fewer so I opted for that one. A quick second and third thought maybe even a fourth and off I went.
When I spiraled down and looked up I just yelled "That was awesome" then resumed my mode of getting out of there. I was in pain and scraped my leg, yet I know I had a smile on my face; because I realized something at that very moment... No matter how this ends up I'm going to know I gave myself every chance to get out of there. The "what ifs" don't matter because I'm doing everything I can to create distance and survivability.
We are about half way into the day now and really it was becoming like a normal hike for me. With the tiny exception of a fire somewhere behind me. I see white smoke but nothing else, I heard a helicopter once and while it sounded close it was not right on top of me; so that gave me some relief.
The water in the canyon was flowing more and more so I must now be on or near the Gila itself and heading out the right way. As this day went on I realized that sleeping would be a wake up every hour to check the direction I last would see smoke. That I should prepare myself for a night hike and find higher ground, perhaps even a cave. After all, rock does not burn.
There was beauty all around me but I couldn't really stop and take notice like I did in Jordan Canyon. I tried desperately not to think of family or friends. When I did it would just depress me and I didn't need that right now. Don't ask me why but I did think of things like arguments, sex and what turned me on. Yet even these trivial things bummed me out and I knew I was in for a rough afternoon and night...
Pt 3 Tomorrow