[cdt-l] Backpacker CDT Project
Ginny & Jim Owen
spiritbear2k at hotmail.com
Fri Sep 14 13:58:49 CDT 2007
It seems to me that most of the folks who volunteered for this project did
so because they thought it would be fun to hike a section of the CDT with a
small group of hikers and be part of the mapping of the trail -- not just
because they were hoping for goodies. That really is irrelevant to the
success of the project.
My one question about the project relates to the mapping: before we hiked
the trail we tried to get information on recent relocations from the land
management agencies and CDTA. Aside from the map of the new route from the
border that we got from CDTA, (thank you!) we received very little
assistance in getting information on the reroutes. Only one of the National
Forests (in Colorado) sent us maps of recent trail relocations. Everyone
else either ignored us or said, "We can't give you any information until the
trail is completed." When hiking the trail, we ran into sections that had
been relocated since the guidebooks were published. We followed the new
markers or pink ribbons and found that in several cases the trail deadended
in the middle of nowhere. Those were pretty much the only places we got
"lost" on the trail last year.
A couple of areas immediately come to mind - the new section north of
Lordsburg, the Gros Ventre section in Wyoming, the Carson NF, etc. I
thought it was a real shame that trail crews have spent a lot of time
building new trail that no one can use because it is impossible to get any
information on the new trail from those responsible. At one point we ran
into a trail crew in New Mexico that asked if we had walked their recently
completed new section of trail. We would have, had we known about it, but
we didn't so we couldn't.
So, for the teams that were out there this year, did they follow the old
outdated routes (which route, the Westcliffe route or Jim Wolf's?), did they
actually get some information from CDTA or the Forest Service on relocations
that have been done since the guidebooks came out, or did they just skip the
sections that were under construction?
I remember a few years ago when there was a similar project to assess the
state of the trail and one of the groups said they had been using a 20 year
old guidebook in southern Montana, without understanding that there had been
updates since the book was published that completely changed the route.
That group had a very hard time, but more important, their assessment was
pretty useless because it did not concern the actual trail, just a previous
incarnation of it.
So - was that the case this year? And if not, where can we get some
information on the relocations so next year's hikers can have the
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