CONTINENTAL DIVIDE TRAIL
The Land of Enchantment covers 820 miles of desert and ancestral homeland as well as more than a few mountains.
Before hiking a CDT section, I visit Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta, Old Town, and to see old friends.
The start of the trail from desert is steep, but then levels off into ponderosa pine and aspen before beginning the ascent of 11,000-foot Mount Taylor.
After Mount Taylor, there’s a 24-mile dry stretch. I watch the eclipse from a mountain with an Hispanic rancher.
The trail continues on dusty road through wheatgrass and pinyon ending at a stunning canyon, golden in Autumn colors with a piped spring.
The trail winds through pinyon before a steep decent to desert, dotted with enormous volcanic vents and mesas.
This is one of the most interesting and varied sections with whimsical hoodoos, massive dry washes, views for miles from ridges and two good water sources.
The final twenty miles included climbing up on several mesas made of different types of rock and all with amazing views including the last night’s sunset show.