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  • I was determined to see the river. I only had a few hours and signs assured me that it was impossible to hike all the way down to the river and back in one day. Exhaustion! High Risk! Death! they said. I relented to their advice and exchanged my desire to touch it for a glimpse thereby shaving off a few miles.

    Plus, I had every intention of reaching Tucson by nightfall.

    I set off early but still after sunrise with two water bottles and a couple Lära bars. Nearly running down the side of the canyon, succumbing but not entirely to gravity, I hardly saw anyone let alone the mules I had expected to see.

    By the time I reached Indian Gardens, that blush of greenery on the plateau, I had finished my first water bottle. The Tonto Trail led me off the main path to the edge where I rested in the sun and watched the river curl and bubble and boil beneath me. It was satisfying even from a distance.

    A low hum began in the west and gradually became louder and louder. I had a sudden urge to leave. All at once, a wall of wind whooshed over me. It didn't cease to be windy for the next three days.
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