Mile 264, above the Gila River

Completed my journey down to the Gila today, which at 1700 feet is I believe the low point of my hike.

It was hot. And the water was terrible. Which means I drank a lot of warm terrible water, especially on the climbs.

The Superstitions came increasingly into view. Unlike the serene blue sky islands, the Supes are wracked with torment, ragged buttes and cliffs writhing under a relentless sun.

Approaching the Superstitions

But the main entertainment today was provided by birds and flowers. Both appear sporadically but then in great abundance at the favored locations where sun, soil and moisture are present in the right quantities. With little wind today, the desert was audibly abuzz with bees going about their work.

Although flowers are spread throughout the desert, water is not, and the bees and I tended to converge on the same green algae-filled cow troughs. I had read that Arizona bees have become Africanized, and so approached the troughs with some trepidation, seeing that the bees were not only abundant on their surfaces but joined by a number of evil-looking large yellow wasps.

The only water for many miles

I casually edged up to the trough, and smoothly yet quickly slid my water bottle under the surface, making the least disturbance possible. And then repeated twice more. The Law of the Water Hole prevailed, just like in the Planet Earth documentaries. Everyone got water and no one got stung.