[Cdt-l] the Columbus route

Jonathan Ley jonathan at phlumf.com
Fri Oct 30 14:42:12 CDT 2009


Good points... One thing I kept in mind in NM was that even if I was in 
the legal right-of-way, if I was confronted by some local with a gun and 
a strong opinion, it really didn't matter if I was legally right. It's 
too late for discussion after a trigger is pulled.

I would guess that most people in southern NM assume person walking down 
a road is either homeless, undocumented, or otherwise suspicious and 
possibly dangerous. The option of "walking across the country" probably 
doesn't compute. If an encounter did happen to spark some interest & 
positive passion about the CDT, that'd be wonderful, but people can be 
pretty fickle. Your dream might sound like a stupid waste of time, or 
even a bad lie to someone else. And sometimes, by the time they see you 
from a distance and drive up to talk to you, they may have already 
formed an opinion that you're "nothing but trouble", and that can be 
hard to overcome.

Seeing all the changes in the past few years, if I had to hike the trail 
again, I'd take the official route through Lordsburg to cRaZy CoOk... or 
maybe continue from there to antelope wells (just to make the logistics 
a little easier). Logistically, either of these is more difficult than 
Columbus, but people manage somehow. And just judging from the maps, it 
would seem that the Lordsburg route is a bit  more "wild". One big 
bummer on that route however is missing a swing by Keith & Mary in 
Deming... The Columbus "route" isn't supported by any official agency, 
and while that can mean more of an adventure... it can also lead to 
problems.

I added the Columbus route to my maps a couple years ago because I got 
the feedback, and people were going to hike it anyway... so, why not at 
least have a map? At least it hopefully gives some guidance to avoid 
certain areas (and I can update it as more feedback comes in).

-Jonathan


Ron Dobra wrote:
> Having finished the hike from Helena (skipping Wyoming) yesterday, I 
> have some comments on the Columbus route. On two occasions south of 
> Emory Pass I was confronted by angry land owners, though I was on a 
> "public" road. The first was at the end of the Barrenca (?) creek 
> descent, as I was about to climb over the big, locked gate with the 
> "no trespassing" sign on the south side..the guy owned the property 
> the McMullen(?) spring was on (sorry, I don't have the map/guide with 
> me). His partner was packing a holstered pistol and just glared at 
> me....the second was on a road in the "aim for the pointed peak SSW" 
> cross country section, as I was walking down a road...guy comes 
> roaring up in a jeep, says "May I ask just what you are doing here?" I 
> answer about finishing my thru hike. He says "You know your on private 
> land." I say "My map shows this to be a county road"
> His reply.."That's a mere technicality" OK...I'm state highway bound 
> from that point all the way to the border. My point: if the 14 (?!) 
> sobos alledgedly grouped up in Grants were to meet one of these guys 
> en masse, well..."obtaining permission" is not realistic in the field. 
> I realize this has not been a common, or perhaps even prior occurence, 
> but it happening twice in three days made me wonder how stress free 
> the guide book route might be....homeward bound.
> ron zen quake dobra
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