[cdt-l] Conditions in Southern New Mexico

Francis Tapon ftapon at yahoo.com
Wed May 2 16:33:03 CDT 2007

I sent this email two weeks ago, but I don't think it ever posted on the list. Sorry if it's a re-send:

Hello CDTers from Snowy Silver City!

Yup, Silver City has just gotten hammered by a mid-April snow storm. The locals are stunned. I'm not, I'm just cold! 

Here's some tips for the 2007 CDTers:
Take a picture with Tim at the Customs Station at Antelope Wells. He's a nice guy who likes backpackers. 
After 15 fun road walking miles on hwy 81, I cut over to the Crazy Cook Monument. I took the most direct route (straight east) and I believe I went over some private property. I believe there might be another way to do this on a road, but I couldn't find it. 
The route north of Cook is blazed well with about 100 handsome CDT signs over 25+ miles. 
A bit further north there are more official CDT signs for a while; makes you feel good. 
Ley's maps are accurate and the water reports are identical to the ones he lists. 
The cross country is easy going and easy navigating. I stayed on the purple route into Lordsburg. The vegetation is spread out enough that you can avoid thorns most of the time. 
Three of the 4 embedded maps in NM 39 are not marked with their 39a,b,c indicator (minor point, I know). The fourth is marked in correctly as NM38b. It really is NM39a. Jonathan, take note! 
Good news! On NM 39a, in the northern part of the map (where Ley notes that the routing is "screwy") there is a REAL BRAND NEW TRAIL! It's not a dirt road. It's an 18-inch wide trail! Fresh cut trees! Sweet! Marked and all with CDT logos. It's purple on Ley's map (as is most of the trail I've been on so far), but it's the official route. If you're a Nobo, aim for the mountain with a white top. If you run into Jimmy Stewart, who runs the ranch in the Gila Valley there, say hello. North of that you'll eventually head up Burro Mt and Jack's Peak via another well marked trail with CDT signs. There's water north of Burro Mt, as you follow a creek in Deadman's Canyon. 
Finally, the fun ends on a long, torturous road walk into Silver City. :(
In short, if you don't mind the trailblazing, I would recommend CDTers to consider these purple routes. I haven't been on the red route, but it's nice to occassionally feel "official" on such an unofficial trail. It's the closest to the Divide and I doubt the red trail has official logos along it. Warning: of the 180 miles I've done so far, probably only one THIRD has CDT blazes. The rest is cross country or roads (dirt or asphalt). Probably only 10% has true 18-inch wide trail. I'm guessing the red route that parallels this isn't much better.

If someone find an orange Photon light, it's mine! 

I'm heading into the snowy Black Range right now.

See you out there!

Happy trails,

Francis Tapon 

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