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[cdt-l] Water ALERT



Speaking of problematic water sources, I should note one in particular that
caused me a bit of trouble in New Mexico this spring.

The CDTS guide describes a trough and stock pond a short distance south of
the Acoma-Zuni Trailhead along NM 117 in Section 2 of the El Malpais
Segment. Both were bone dry in early May. The troughs are fed by a hose,
apparently from a defunct windmill and/or electric-powered well across the
highway a short distance to the south. When I passed through, the hose was
lying on the ground near the troughs, and the troughs themselves had no sign
of algea or bathtub ring, indicating that they had been out of use for some
time. Nor was I able to make any headway over at the windmill/well complex.

Note, however, that if ever this source should happen to pan out, you can
access the troughs easily from the highway, without having to climb the
tightly-strung fence. Along the fence, in line with the troughs, is a small,
swinging gate just wide enough for a person to squeeze through.

Without this water source, trail life in this area becomes considerably more
problematic. The last reliable source is a windmill 10 miles south of the
Acoma-Zuni Trailhead, at the junction of NM 117 and BLM Road 2003. And the
next _possible_ source on the CDTS route to the north is a couple of miles
past the lava flow, which can be a very slow, hot walk. If willing to pack
the water, a strong hiker could make it from the windmill all the way
through the Malpais lava flow in one day, and then hope for water
thereafter. Otherwise, the person would either need to carry even more water
from the windmill in order to make a dry camp just before the lava, or else
forego the CDTS route and hike NM 117 into Grants.

In a genuine emergency, one might be able to obtain water from one of the
homes on the Acoma Reservation to the east of NM 117. These are visible to
the northeast from a location .25 to .5 mile south of the aforementioned
troughs.

Otherwise, the highway receives some traffic during the day, as does the
Acoma-Zuni trailhead.

Does anyone have an update on the water situation on the CDTS route north of
the Acoma-Zuni Trail? How about along NM 117 between the A-Z Trailhead and
Grants?

- blisterfree