[Cdt-l] the Columbus route

Philip Hough nowhere_man97 at hotmail.com
Sat Oct 31 14:47:15 CDT 2009

We (walking carrot and I) walked the official route this year from Crazyy Cook to Lordsburg and then to Silver city. We saw no people at all (a possible advantage) until about 20 miles north/east of Lordsburg where the trail crosses a ranching allotment on BLM land - public land but still a rancher there has the grazing rights.  Late in the day he and his wife came zipping along on their ATVs.  I expected the worst, especially as the route is one of a series of jeep roads and poorly marked. But when we explained what we were doing he knew about the trail and told us if we kept going the way we were headed we'd actually see a trail marker a quarter mile up the road!  Of course, he was still confused by the idea that it was too late in the day to make the next road and that we would camp out there instead if having someone meet us. We assured him we were OK. He came back later after checking on his cows and water tanks and offered that if we needed water he could open up one of the locked tanks. We didn't, but we thanked him.  It would be nice if the BLM and CDTA could negotiate a regular access to water with him. YMMV

Phil Hough 
aka nowhere man

"Tell me and I'll forget; show me and I may remember; involve me and I'll understand"  - Chinese Proverb

> Message: 1
> Date: Fri, 30 Oct 2009 12:42:12 -0700
> From: Jonathan Ley <jonathan at phlumf.com>
> Subject: Re: [Cdt-l] the Columbus route
> To: Cdt-l at backcountry.net
> Message-ID: <4AEB4194.4070300 at phlumf.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
> 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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