Finally I return to my adopted section of the Continental Divide Trail for a 2-day backpack, starting at the northern terminus near Surprise Tank. The surprise is that Google Maps knows where this is. Clearing rabbitbush and some grass from the tread makes the trail more visible on this lower section. Later I clean some drains and saw or drag several trees which have fallen across the trail.
Camp is about 5 miles in. The cattle trough past dry Erman Well is now turned off, so I was low on water and did not hike the entire 11 mile segment, but turned around at dry Rincon Well.
Four volunteers joined two staffers from the Continental Divide Trail Coalition to work on a trail reroute in the Black Range. We met Thursday afternoon across from a cabin near the base of Lookout Mountain, along dry Chloride Creek, after a challenging 4wd drive. Our camp was shaded by Ponderosa pine and tall Gambel oak, unlike the low shrub typical in the state. On Friday we did finishing touches, tread-work and lopping, on new CDT trail created by recent projects.
I went with Cairn to a section of CDT trail outside of Pie Town to see if this would be a good section to adopt. Cairn likes 4WD, and I like trails, so this seemed to be a good overlap.
From Mangas Road south, we took a series of two-tracks with high center, not really suitable for normal cars, and arrived at the northern terminus to “Segment 86”, where BLM land ends and USFS land begins. A trailhead sign was here, unexpectedly, since the road access seemed pretty challenging to me.
The trail here is single track, real constructed trail headed south over a rise of low mountains, among juniper and pinon. Water bars and a rolling dip show that someone is caring for the trail and trying to keep erosion in check.
Cairn stands next to a cairn near the trailhead that needs work.