Heidenreich & Gass: CDT Thru-Hikers
Heidenreich & Gass:
Trail Dispatch: Week 4
May 17, 2000: Day 2390 miles north of Pie Town. Our planned route to Grants was sadly vetoed when we were informed about the lack of water. We opted for the dirt road with water security over the route further in the backcounty. It seems this dirt road route is considered the official trail as it is frequently but inconsistently marked with the CDT logo. This trail seemed only one of a few designated trails that goes to Grants. Along the Chain of Craters National Scenic Byway there was a marked trail heading south and meeting our dirt road to head north, but there had obviously been no foot traffic on it save those who had cleared it and built the cairns. Even along the road we went though some amazing country: malpais lava and the historic Zuni canyon.
A couple miles out of Pie Town we met two angels who filled up our water and gave us the pie we had been wanting in Pie Town. Wow, what a treat that was! One morning when Adrianne was on the pot, she discovered old pottery shards scattered on the ground. We spent that morning noses to the ground dusting off pieces and gasping with every new pattern we found painted on the clay.
In Grants we finally caught up with two women we had been hearing about since the border: Wondering Star and Lucky Star. We have had loads of fun exchanging stories and leaching advice from these trail veterans. After eating a delicious dinner we stayed up way past our bedtime talking into the night.
As we leave Grants, we look forward to Mount Taylor, the first mountain in our walk. We have been watching it loom on the horizon since Pie Town, its bare south face almost glowing in the distance.
The Gila Wilderness was the first officially designated wilderness in the United States, protected in 1924 by the Forest Service at the urging of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication