[cdt-l] autumn trending southbound

Brett blisterfree at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 16 00:51:03 CDT 2006

And now for some good news.

The wildfire threat in the Southwest is likely to be a 
non-issue this fall, as anyone knows who's been following 
this summer's very active monsoon. Finding water to drink 
should be likewise. Allen Stibora (who's doing better these 
days, up and around) tells me he's never seen New Mexico so 
green, and I'm looking forward to seeing it for myself.

I'll be out on the Grand Enchantment Trail again this fall, 
heading west from ABQ toward Phoenix on a couple of 
large-ish section hikes. Like last year, this hike will be 
another "thru-lop" - basically a traditional l-d type of 
thing, but with loppers in the ice axe loop, ready to arrest 
any recalcitrant vegetation along the corridor. ("Yeah, 
would you do that, please?" says the shorthanded FS ranger. 
"And send us the bill," jokes the guy from BLM.)


The G.E.T. is starting to come together now - guidebook, 
maps, flagging, footprints, etc. On a personal level (and as 
much as possible without bias) I continue to find the route 
to be all wonder and adventure; it's scenic, remote, 
wild-feeling, challenging, never dull - probably the most 
rewarding mid-length walk I've done anywhere. The route 
doesn't feel like a random stab at the backcountry - as one 
might expect of a "paper trail" - but rather a cohesive 
experience from start to finish, a story that the land 
tells, and which, I think, is well worth hearing. And so I 

Chances are my hike won't include Gila country this time, 
though I'll miss it. Something tells me this autumn is 
harvest time for the tireless trailbuilders up on the 
Divide, down there in the Black Range of southwest New 
Mexico. The water is flowing now, and the CDT is brand new, 
miles and miles of well-groomed crest trail between Wahoo 
and Diamond Peak, high among the pioneering aspen in their 
golden quaking mantles. Fire damage may remain to the south, 
near Reeds Peak. But I wouldn't miss this experience for the 
world, especially so close to the end for the thru-hikers. 
(Yes, the Gila River is very nice too, but you can come back 
to see that in a drought year!)

(PS - The G.E.T. visits both!)

Happy autumn,


Simblissity Ultralight :: One-of-a-Kind Designs for the 
Great Outdoors

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