[cdt-l] New Thru-hiker questions

Paul Magnanti pmags at yahoo.com
Wed Dec 20 11:19:05 CST 2006

>>How much blacktop roadwalking can a thru-hiker
>>(an approximate percentage per state?)?  I’m not

As Ginny mentioned, the most blacktop walking is from
Silver City on the CDTA route. There used to be all
blacktop from Separ to Antelope Wells. This past year,
new trail was constructed and flagged. I have heard
good reports about this new trail. As my friends were
picking me up at Antelope Wells , was hesitant to
finish where I could not give directions!  

Of course, Ma Nature can determine if you walk black
top or not. Fires, snow, plagues of locusts, etc. can
cause you to do a walk around a trail closure. 

>>--  What maps and guidebooks are thru-hikers
>>now (in the last one or two years)?  I want to be  

I used the CDTS guidebooks for most of my trip. Where
I opted to use the CDTA route, maps were fine for my

>>Considering buying an extended antenna for my
>>Garmin 60c GPS.necessary?

I did not use a GPS on the CDT, but find the standard
GPS setup works well for other  times (few) I've used
it out here in the West. No extended antenna needed.
The West (in general) is very wide open. Even the tree
cover is not nearly as thick as back East.

MAPS: The Ley Maps were great. I also suggest the
Delorme maps for a wider view. As I had already had
the  TI maps for the CDT in Colorado, found them to be
useful as well. The Glacier TI map was also helpful
for the alternate I took using the Flattop trail. 

If I had to do New Mexico again, would take BLM and
USFS maps as appropriate. All the dirt roads and make
navigation confusing. The BLM/USFS maps would have
been very helpful. The DeLorme was too large in scope
for places. The Ley maps are great, but does have the
large view that I tend to like.

>> As a southbounder, I’m planning to start with my
>>ice axe in late June

How late is late June? FWIW, I started on July 1st w/o
an ice axe. The snow conditions were normal. Did most
of the Highline Trail w/o an ice axe. I did detour
around the Ahern drift, however, via the Flat Top

Suspect if you started a bit earlier, you may want an
ice axe. Of course, snow pack levels vary and can make
your start different from other hikers' experiences.

Misc Other:

POCKETMAIL: Andrew, Pocket mail uses an acoustic modem
to transmit e-mail messages only. Weighs 8oz. Has a
tiny keyboard adequate for typing. This past year, I
was writing articles for a local newspaper, so needed
to get the articles to the editor in a timely manner.
A Pocketmail works without needing any WiFi or
ethernet jack (works with just about any land line
phone and cell phones in analog mode), worked well for
my needs. A friend of mine also copied and pasted
journal entries I emailed to her. 

The newspaper articles made some type of electronic
device necessary. A caveat about Pocketmail: From what
I understand, they are taking a huge financial hit.
The stability of the company is in question.  

MARCIA DeC: Thanks for the kind words. The e-mail
address you provided bounced back. You may want to
resend the e-mail again. Suggest e-mailing me
pmags AT yahoo.com  Thanks!

SLY: Would be great if you made it to the Ruck!

Also, thanks to everyone for the kind words people
sent me about the pictures. 

Happy Trails!

The true harvest of my life is intangible.... a little stardust 
caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched

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