Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Catwalk

The Gila Mountains in western New Mexico are wild and rugged.  There are a few trails, and even fewer roads, penetrating this wilderness.

One trail is called The Catwalk.  In the late 1800's, a pipeline carrying water was built to facilitate activities such as mining on the western side of the mountain range.  The 18" pipe penetrated a slot canyon for 1.1 miles.  Those servicing the line walked the top of the 18" pipe to get to the headwaters area.  Around the turn of the century, the water pipeline was abandoned.  In the 1930's the CCC used the structure to construct a hiking trail.  That trail, today, is known as The Catwalk.

It starts as a trail along a stream that cut a slot canyon.

Soon, the trail is suspended above the stream.  The rock walls are far too steep to allow a conventional trail.

Did you ever sing in the shower?  Imagine singing in this slot canyon!  As I was hiking out, there was a group of Scouts hiking in for an overnight.  I was enjoying the day, hiking downhill and feeling good, and I am sure they were wondering about the old codger they saw and heard singing on the trail.

All along the trail, there are small waterfalls that treat the eyes and the ears.