The Continental Divide


Breaking our trip into sizable way points is a means of managing the long haul. Our goal was the Continental Divide at roughly 8,000 ft in the middle of the Datil Mountain Range of New Mexico. Starting low at the Rio Grande we pushed upwards with shallow grades. We were well-equipped and well-spirited and saw only clear weather in the forecast.

It would seem this blurb of our trip would be rather bland if I held back the details on the turbulent scenery, high-altitude desert fauna, and hostile creatures; I will promise to tell all and not let the truth get in the way of this epic.

Coming up into a valley between two ranges we were greeted by a worn car, left to rot on the tarmac. Paul & I joked about the fate of the driver. Possibly he was driven delirious by the heat and wind to wander off, or was even pulled from his car by a pack of reintroduced Mexican Wolves, or maybe he was carried of by Pronghorn Antelope. We could not decide upon the proper scenario.

The next day was spent in the Plains of St. Augustin; These plains are the flattest at the highest elevation in the world. They are also home to the Very Large Array (VLA) where they visualize readouts from deep space transmissions. Visible progress when crossing these planes is nonexistent. We were anxious to arrive at the Datil Pass and stay at a peculiarly named town, Pie Town, NM.

Upon arriving at the Continental Divide and the town perched up there we soon realized the key to the town’s namesake. The best pies in the world!. We stopped for a meal and sought out a place to bunk. We were offered a stay at the Toaster House.

About Clint Valentine

Clint is currently enrolled in two undergraduate degrees in Biology & Environmental Science at Northeastern University. He enjoys pursuits of endurance and distance which have included summiting many peaks in New England during winter alpine ascents, sailing the Atlantic in a vintage gaff-rigged schooner, rock climbing in five states including Oregon, and cycling 5,000 miles across North America. He has goals of pushing the envelope of his limits and combining his many outdoors interests into one big trip. He has a passion for photography and hopes to one day produce a documentary for a round-the-world tour.
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