CDT 5: Ancient Paths with New Footsteps

Pie Town to Grants:

Leaving Pie Town the weather graced us with sustained 50 mph winds with gusts up to 70 mph, a sand storm, hail, and then snow. It added the perfect amount of epicness and beauty to what otherwise might have been mostly just a really long road walk from Pie Town to Grants.

Now I know that some find these long road walk sections boring, but I’m loving what feels like a walk back through time. Many of the dirt roads that the CDT follows go by old log, adobe, and stone buildings of towns and ranches from long ago. I like to imagine what it was like when they were inhabited, what folks did there, and how they came to be unihabited.

That said, the highlights from this section were the 4 mile Narrows Rim Trail that overlooked the lava in El Malpais, which was much more extensive than I had expected, and the Zuni-Acoma Trail (ZAT) that traverses 8 miles of lava in the El Malpais National Monument. The ZAT is an ancient trail that connected the Zuni and Acoma pueblos. Many of the cairns along the trail and the bridges across crevasses in the lava were built by the Zuni and Acoma people long ago. Pottery that was found along the trail dates back as early as A.D. 850. With this ancient trail now part of the CDT my footsteps briefly walked through a past I can only imagine.



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