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[cdt-l] CDT with horse ?


Good luck to you!  A few notes:

Much of the CDT route in NM is forested - Pinyon,
Juniper & Ponderosa.  South of Silver City though,
finding trees is a bit harder.  Then there' an area
between Cuba and Grants where trees are scarce. I
wouldn't worry about it too much, where there are no
trees, there's usually other stuff solidly attached to
the ground... then there are always hobbles.

As for cattle guards, there are indeed many.  But,
there are usually barbed-wire gates right next to the
guards.  The ranchers use the roads to drive their
cattle & need to get them through the fences.  It may
slow you down, but I doubt you'll find anything
impassable due to a cattle guard. (you may have to
follow a fence-line to find a gate in a few places)

You may want to keep an eye on the snowpack in the San
Juans this winter.  They may well be impassable to
equestrians till July.  But, you may be able to figure
out alternate routes that are still quite scenic. 
There are a LOT of trails in there.  You shouldn't
have a problem with a "snow free" trail until north of
Silverthorne to Grand Lake - there are some really
steep bits in there, barely passable to hikers! 
You'll need to figure out some alternates in there.

Your best bet on a list of contacts may be from the
CDTS - I believe all the contacts are listed in the
front of those guide books (I don't know if they (he)
has the NM book done yet).  
There are a lot of equestrian enthusiasts in NM and
Colorado, and I'm sure they'd be a great resource. 
You might try contacting or joining some of their
clubs/organizations.  I know there's a huge one in
Alberquerque called the NM horse-packers assn. or
something like that - try searching the www???

I wouldn't worry too much about mud either, most of
the mud in NM is rather sandy & should present no
problem to a horse.

It has been done before & knowing the little I know
about you, I doubt you'll have any problems you can't

go forth indeed!


--- Joanne Lennox <goforth@cio.net> wrote:
>       I have contacted a few people off list but
> had the cdt list
> address wrong and it never got to the list itself.
> I have decided to try to do the CDT with a single
> horse in New Mexico and
> Part of Colorado beganning in March and probably
> ending in June.  I do not
> know how much of this is possible, or what routes
> are feasible and what are
> not.  If things proceed well I will probably
> continue, especially if Oregon
> and Washington is under a lot of snow.  I finshed
> 1,700 miles of the PCT ,
> almost all of it in California, this year.  And want
> to do Oregon and
> Washington next year, probably starting in
> July(depends on snow).
> I generally walk as much as I ride.  I am carrying
> the same stuff that I
> thruhiked the PCT with in 1999 (15 pounds), plus
> about 10 pounds of
> equipment for horse.  Most of what I carry is horse
> feed.  
> I have been pouring over The guidebooks and Delorme
> maps.  And am getting
> overwhelmed by the thought of fences, locked gates,
> and most of all cattle
> guards(which seem to be everywhere, are unmarked on
> maps, and completely
> impassible), muddy roads, and the generally paucity
> of objects to tie a
> horse to in the desert.
> I badly need some names of reliable persons in the
> New Mexico BLM community
> and National Forest Rangers that can tell me what I
> am up against, before I
> spend a fortune on maps and before I load up the
> beast and drive off. 
> It might be noted that most people have told me that
> I could not do what I
> have already done, so this does not seem to  work
> very well.  Stony silence
> and editorializing on my experiences also appears to
> energize the
> situation.  Specific comments about particular
> pieces of the trail derived
> from actual experience means that the person
> actually has given it some
> thought, and is not simply dismissing me out of
> distaste for my hiking
> style.
> Joanne (Goforth)
> _______________________________________________
> CDT-L mailing list
> CDT-L@mailman.backcountry.net

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