So how do you follow a trail that has no official map?
That’s a question coming up a lot at the Map Office in
In fact, as odd as it sounds, there’s a debate on where the CDT begins on the
As the crow flies, the Big Hatchet trailhead is roughly 30 miles south of
Jackie Neckels, the wilderness and recreation planner for the BLM's Las Cruces office, made a quick note on a map of recent reroutes that speaks volumes for the process: "The reroutes and proposed trail segments should all be marked with orange flagging—unless the cows ate it, or the wind has blown it off!"
Our team will carry a detailed topo map with a rough outline of the trail, and a GPS unit preloaded with known points to assist them. Getting lost will be part of the job since there’s no official line or continuous blaze throughout the first 40 miles.
It’ll be dusty and hot, and water sources are scarce. That and the border patrol wants to know our team‘s whereabouts, and its satellite phone number. It’ll be dirty job full of adventure... maybe Mike Rowe of Discovery Channel's Dirty Jobs should join us.
Kris Wagner, Map Editor