El Malpais







Walking on Hwy 117


designer bird cages that are truly beautiful.  Hugo is 70 and hopes to thru-hike the CDT next year, with Carol serving as support. Incredible! We hope for their success!  They also told us about all the amazing Native American history, artifacts and petroglyphs in the area….

In Grants goodness awaited – we reunited with Mike and his parents and feasted on grilled cheese with pineapple  at the “Wow” Dinner in town. We also got the meet the charming older couple, Hugo and Carol, who had done the Taylor Mountain water cache. They build

The people were definitely a plus in Grants….. the city itself was similar to Cuba – run down and depressing. Along the old Route 66 corridor few restaurants or shops were still open.  It seemed the only industry that was growing in Grants was the criminal justice arena….. there’s several prisons on the outskirts of town and the one we passed had a “now hiring” sign out front.  So sad.

L: Hwy 117 R: La Ventana

10/8 – 10/11 – There were several options of our route from Grants to Pie Town but all of them were dry and on roads. We opted to take highway 117 most of the way. That way we missed an arduous lava walk over El Malpais but still got views of it from atop a mesa.

A petroglyph from 1200AD

There were a few highlights:  Phil and Beth met us with ice cream and water on 10/9 and La Ventana natural arch was scenic. We also got to see 2 petroglyphs and an adobe house from 1200AD that had undergone various additions over the years.  We met some friendly elk hunters and the Thomases, who let CDT hikers get water from their ranch. But overall it was crazy boring, killer on our feet (all that road walking!), and not something I would want to do again.

I guess that’s why they call this area “El Malpais” – the bad lands.


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