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Re: [CDT-L] A little confused.



Chris - 
Good luck getting info. We tried numerous times with the BLM to get
specific route information. We were told that the information would be
sent, but it never was (still hasn't been). When we tried contacting the
local volunteer leader, he blew us off completely, saying "go back to the
BLM - they need to have a fire lit under them."   We didn't appreciate
being stonewalled just to feed someone else's political agenda.  

You might try contacting Pat Harris at the Egg Nest in Hachita. He had a
copy of the map with the route marked on it and the various water
sources.  

The "official" trail end is apparently somewhere in the desert about 12
miles east of Antelope Wells.  While there is a dirt track that goes
about 2 miles away, it is barely passable. Pat said he wouldn't shuttle
there, though he will shuttle to Antelope Wells.  

Basically I believe you're talking about a 12 mile walk along the border
from Antelope Wells to get to the "official" trail.  Then you can start
north through the Hatchets, but I don't think the trail goes into the Big
Hatchets because of private property issues.  The map we saw indicated
water sources along the trail, but you don't want to depend too heavily
on them.  That close to the border you'll be playing with both the
illegals and the Border Patrol.  And the Border Patrol and BLM aren't
above disabling wells to deny use by the illegals.  We ran into that
situation north of Columbus.  

One alternative is to do what most other northbounders have done and
simply road walk from Antelope Wells to Hachita.  You might want to cache
water on the way to Antelope Wells if you do that.  

Another point here - a lot of previous northbound thruhikers have gone
from Antelope Wells to Hachita to Separ to Silver City.  But the
"official" trail apparently bypasses both Hachita and Separ.  You don't
want our comments on that.  Silver City has everything a thruhiker would
need, but it's spread out over a couple miles.  

We went to Columbus because of the total lack of information about the
Antelope Wells route - except for the road walk.  And we saw no reason
whatever to do a 45 mile road walk to end (or start) the trail.  Also the
fact that there is nothing at Antelope Wells but a water faucet and it is
a very long hitch on a very lightly traveled road to anyplace with public
transportation. Columbus is just down the road from Deming, with a bus
station, trains, Interstate access and all hiker amenities.

The Columbus route has its own problems - again, water and road walks -
but it's a lot more accessible and there's a lot more information
available.  The BLM maps DO NOT generally tell you where the water is -
and when they do, they're very often wrong.  We found that to be true all
the way through NM.  The best maps we found with regard to water sources
in NM were the DeLorme map books - the old ones.  They've apparently
deleted the water sources in the new map books.  

In case it's not obvious, 'feeling one's way north' is not high on my
list of  "things to do with my life".  Especially with the available
maps.  

Good luck
Ginny & Jim



On Thu, 23 Mar 2000 15:51:39 -0800 "Hikertrash"
<hikertrash@earthlink.net> writes:
> Other than David Patterson's book and the one page from Jim Wolf's
> guidebook, has anyone actually described, in any detail, the route 
> south of
> Silver City for Big Hatchet border starters?  Am I correct to assume 
> from
> the lack of readily available beta that water can be found at decent
> intervals (say, once a day) and that one can simply "feel" one's way 
> north
> with the help of the 1:100,000 topos?
> 
> Thanks for the feedback.
> 
> Chris Bailey
> www.skydivenet.com/pcthike
> 
>
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