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Ellen S - Continental Divide Trail Journal - 2017

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No Butt
State: AZ
Country: US
Begins: Apr 22, 2017
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Fri, May 26th, 2017
Daily Distance: 9
Trip Distance: 384.3

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 609
Journal Visits: 12,509
Guestbook Views: 94
Guestbook Entrys: 8

Continental Divide Trail Map

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Zuni Acoma Trail

Since we have the time, we decided to spend a day hiking part of the CDT that we hadn't planned to do. The Zuni Acoma Trail is within the boundary of El Malpais National Monument. It crosses lava fields that exist between the Zuni and Acoma Pueblos. It is an ancient trail, marked by cairns since a trail over lava cannot be built in the traditional sense. The Spaniards exploring the region avoided it (taking animals and wagons across the flows would be disastrous).

We hiked from Highway 117 westward. I'd heard that the trail was difficult to follow, but there were an abundance of cairns. It was slow going. The lava was uneven, broken, rough...the kind of terrain that requires attention to avoid a painful fall or injury. The most recent flow happened only 1000 years ago. In places, sand from nearby sandstone cliffs had filled crevices, so that a few trees, shrubs, and cacti could grow. The cacti were tiny: small oppuntia (prickly pear) or mammilaria (claret cups) that were well-hidden in the path.

It was a fun and fascinating hike, despite the rough and slow going. We saw fissures and holes and caves. About the mid-section, there was a circle of rocks, about 2-3 stones high, and quite large. Too big to be something a hiker/camper would make. Maybe some kind of ancient room? We stopped at the visitor center after the hike, but the ranger was not familiar with what we saw, although she said there were archeologic sites out there.

Entry 32 of 35
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Larry's And Ellen's CDT

No Butt and Yeah But

 

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