Silver City and The Catwalk

Toward the end of our 2004 Continental Divide hike, we met a bike tourist named Glenn. We had exchanged a couple of emails with him since and were able to arrange a meeting for coffee and breakfast at the Yankee Street coffeehouse in Glenn’s current home of Silver City. It really is good to reconnect with people we meet out in the wilds, I should make an effort to do it more often. Glenn introduces us to some cycling friends. He has a friend trying to convince him to make a trip to India, but he’s not sure he wants to “deal with a slum filled with 20 million suffering people”. The idea makes me shiver too! Glenn is a little crowd shy, like me.

We make our way north through some gorgeous country, with plains and mesas stretching interrupted by rough peaks and canyons. At the Aldo Leopold vista we make note of some large rocky spires above Big Dry Creek that may make a good hiking destination in the future. Today we visit the area’s main attraction, the Catwalk National Recreation Trail. In the tight volcanic canyon of Whitewater Creek miners built a gravity-fed pipeline in the 1890’s to power an ore mill. Now a catwalk follows the route of the pipeline up the canyon. From this vantage point we examine the canyon cliff walls, which seem like they would attract climbers, but we see no sign of climbing activity here.

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