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<< But since I've got some time, I'll ramble a bit - and we
can run this stuff around for a while. :-)
Thanks for the ramblings, Jim. I appreciate the chance to discuss, and also
understand better the shortage of "easy answers."
<< The official
trail specifically, deliberately, and by design by-passes some of the most
interesting wonders - like the Gila Cliff Dwellings, La Ventana and Mt.
Taylor.... We went to those places anyway.
As you know, the PCT does that, too. So we hike the attractions that we
don't want to miss.
<< If you look at history, it really isn't surprising that the Indian
Reservations and Spanish Land Grants would not want even a right of way
across their land. It isn't that far from a temporary easement to a
permanent easement to condemnation. That's the progression that's been used
on the AT.
Sounds like the Tejon Ranch in the Tehachapi's. I would prefer to walk the
Crest rather than the LA aquaduct, but it's their land. So be it.
<< As for grazing, why "at worst"? Thruhikers share nearly all of the CDT
cattle. They were there first. Thruhikers are the intruders. After seeing
hundreds of cows run for their lives as we passed by, I can understand why
the ranchers would have problems with hikers crossing their lands. And the
constant awareness of fire hazards that comes from living in a dry land year
after year is not something that those from more water rich areas
Having sucked water out of hoofprints at thoroughly trashed springs in cattle
country along the PCT, I have to disagree that cattle are somehow "entitled".
On private property, yes, I am the intruder and as a guest of the property
owner, have no complaint. However, government land (particularly National
Forests) I consider to be my property. Allowing cattle to tear it up is
mismanagement as far as I am concerned. They were not there first.
Fire hazard is certainly a legitimate concern. Any business person minimizes
risk, and that is a good argument for closing private land to
trespassers/hikers who may be irresponsible. It may also save them the
trouble and expense of painting "cow" on the sides of their stock during
<< Have you asked those Native Americans what they think of the idea? The
"official" CDT route impinges on some of those Native American sites - and
they don't like it. Often with good reason.
I didn't express myself well on this. My point was that the Native Americans
might consider the trail as an opportunity to educate US further about THEIR
history and culture. If their choice is "no access", so be it. Same with
any private landowner.
<< Three dozen
people (or less) spread over 2400 to 2800 miles (and many of them not even
in New Mexico at any time during their hike) don't exactly make a big impact
on the local economy.
You're right about that! Of course, some will return to explore the country
further, get out of the California commute traffic, or retire. And bring
some money to spend. But that won't please all the natives, either! Reminds
me of the boss who was visiting the branch office in Texas. He was greeted,"
Welcome to Houston, sir! When are you going to leave?"
<< Fact is that the people of New Mexico do welcome hikers - far more than
be explained by the minor amounts of money that we spend.
That is amazingly true on all the trails. Hard to explain, but we are
forever thankful. Meeting and visiting with people along the way is
certainly one of the best parts of our hiking experience.
<< Benefit is a relative term. I think you'd find that many of those people
define it differently than you do.
Yes, indeed. Can't please everybody. Maybe the CDT should just end on top
of Mt. Taylor, like the AT does on Katahdin. No need to drag on clear to
Again, thanks for the insights.