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Build the CDT for National Public Lands Day

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day by giving back to your favorite public trails! 

Build the Continental Divide Trail! This is your chance to make history by choosing where this National Scenic trail will go. The Appalachian trail is set, so is the PCT. But not so for the CDT! :)

Meet at the Northwest New Mexico Visitor Center, (exit 85 in Grants) Please note that many GPS units have the center location incorrect. Take exit 85 and turn SOUTH, back across the highway. It looks like a dead end, but you will see the low stone sign to the left. Drive through the gates and down the lane to reach the Visitor Center. If you get lost, you can call the center directly at 876-2783. After this we will caravan out to a site along the CDT and start work. We will train volunteers on the use of tools and how to safely handle and move rocks for cairn building.  We have applied for grant money to buy work gloves, but we ask volunteers to bring their own. Hand tools will be provided.

There is/will be information about this event posted on the BLM El Malpais website as well as the BLM Facebook page. http://www.blm.gov/nm/st/en/prog/recreation/rio_puerco/el_malpais.html

https://www.facebook.com/BLMNewMexico

http://www.publiclandsday.org/

This is a unique opportunity to help chose the exact route and build virgin tread way for the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. El Malpais National Conservation Area incorporates over 30 miles of this proposed trail. Many areas have been worked, but there are still miles with very little markings! We will be building and rebuilding cairns, and cutting much needed tread way for a section of this scenic trail.

There will be 20th anniversary National Public Lands Day t-shirts for the first 25 people to attend. (Possible back packs and other swag are hoped for but are yet to be determined!)

You will see that there is a limit of 25 people attached to this MeetUp. That's not really true, there is just a limit on free t-shirts! So hurry and sign up today :) 

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  • Ranger J.

    I have been the special events coordinator for El Malpais for 4 years. It has historically been difficult to get folks to come out and attend/help with such events. Thanks to the MeetUp website and some great people, I feel that this was the best NPLD yet! And fitting that it was the 20th anniversary of the event. Thanks so much to all who attended for all the great conversation and hard work. El Malpais is now on the map! :) Oh, and I have left over apples and plums. I can make a pie with the apples, but what to do with the plums....

    1 · September 30, 2013

  • Daniel V.

    We built a lot of cairns. And I took 399 photos.

    2 · September 29, 2013

    • Ranger J.

      399! WOW! That will fill a whole CD ;)

      September 30, 2013

  • Rolf

    Thank you for organizing this event. I might would not explore this trail by myself and the new cairns will be a good help for future hikers.
    Great group!

    1 · September 29, 2013

  • cynthia b

    This was a great hike. I loved what it taught my grandson - he was fixing cairns all the way back! Thanks, Jenn, for planning this day.

    1 · September 29, 2013

  • john k.

    Wonderful hike, lots to see, good exercise, GREAT PEOPLE and best of all Ranger Jenn. .

    1 · September 29, 2013

  • Anna B.

    Great way to spent a Sunday!

    1 · September 29, 2013

  • Dorothy

    Beautiful day; great people; nice hike!

    1 · September 29, 2013

  • Leslie A.

    What a wonderful excursion onto paths less traveled! Thank you, Jenn, for inviting us to help you with cairn construction; it was fun!

    2 · September 29, 2013

  • Jan L.

    Hi folks...sorry I won't be able to go. I've got three pretty sick kitties...I need to watch them throughout the day tomorrow. Have much fun!

    September 28, 2013

    • Ranger J.

      Oh No! Take care of them. Hate to see anyone suffer. We will take photos and post them so you can be with us in spirit.

      September 29, 2013

  • john k.

    Good Morning People! Here it is, 5:45AM.


    Were Egypt's pyramid laborers as eager to greet the dawn and get to work when their alarm clocks went off? Bet they got great T-shirts. Going be a fun day!

    September 29, 2013

  • Duane M.

    Hello folks! FYI - there is construction in the median just west of the Tohajeelii Exit 131. I40 is down to one lane west and east bound. Watch for signage. Safe travels! Duane

    September 28, 2013

  • Duane M.

    Hi Ranger Jenn! Thanks for the fyi. I was wondering about how much rain has affected the trail. Bummer about the gloves. Building cairns on the ancestral trail will be fulfilling. My ancestors would be happy the trail is still in use! Camera ready! See you Sunday!

    September 25, 2013

  • Ranger J.

    Hey Gang NPLD is almost here! I went out and surveyed a few areas of the trail that need work and several of them are still under water. :( So... I have chosen an area off the Zuni Acoma Trail. We will be primarily building and rebuilding cairns. So please bring gloves. I had a big bag of work gloves that seem to have walked away. Sorry I can't provide more for you hearty volunteers, but the area where we will be working is stunning! Bring you camera. :) See ya Sunday!

    September 25, 2013

  • cynthia b

    I'd like to bring my 9 year old grandson but we could only stay until 1 or 2. I'd like him to have the experience of donating his time and building something lasting. Is it an issue if we leave early?

    September 17, 2013

    • Ranger J.

      Hi Cynthia! There is no problem at all about leaving early. We are just happy to have you attend. And like you said, teaching a child to give back is a very worthy reason to attend. I have put up that the work program will go until 5:00pm mostly because this site asked for an end time. However with volunteers, I am happy to get as much time as I can from them. See you and your grandson ( I have some small shirts) on Sunday the 29th! :)

      September 18, 2013

  • Duane M.

    Hey folks! Glad to be part of this Meetup. I attended 2 of the El Calderon trail works in August. Nice area to work in. Looking forward to meeting up!

    September 16, 2013

  • john k.

    I'd like to drive or ride with others...hate wasting vehicle and gas and opportunity to chat. A common Westside Meetup assembly area is in Taylor Ranch, as far as possible in front of Smiths in its parking lot. Anybody interested? Passengers (me or you) should chip in $5 for the driver. Will NPS feed us lunch or....?

    September 16, 2013

    • Ranger J.

      Hey John, Unfortunately I did not get the funding I requested to supply food for this event. However I did get the free t-shirts and there will be water on hand. I also have gloves and work tools for folks to borrow, but it's a bit slim in the pickins this year. I guess that's just all the more reason we need folks to come out and give back. Bring a sack lunch, sturdy boots, and your volunteer spirit! :)

      September 16, 2013

  • Jan L.

    This sounds wonderful...I've never done anything like help build trails ... I have often thought that the folks who build the trails I have hiked put in some very hard work and are dedicated to making the beauty of our mountains accessible to others. Do many folks with varying skill levels help on these projects? Or, are most folks pretty young and "buff"? I just want to be sure I am not slowing things down since I am neither young or "buff", but a fairly fit middle aged woman.

    September 16, 2013

    • Ranger J.

      Hey Jan,

      September 16, 2013

    • Ranger J.

      Oops, I hit enter. Anyway... Yes folks of all ages and skill level help build trails. The area where we will be working is relatively flat and covered with many old lava flows. The bulk of the work we will be doing is cairn building and a little tread cutting. We never set out to do very hard work, but rather get hard work done in a safe and easy manner. I too am no longer young or buff, so our limits are defined by our bodies, not our minds. Please come. I hope to get a good group of at least 20 people to make it just that much more fun. We will get as much done as we can. It's more about giving back and feeling good, than being a slave driver. Bring gloves if you have them, and I'll have a t-shirt waiting for ya! :)

      September 16, 2013

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