November 23

Stage 23 // Ponferrada – Villafranca [24,2km]

The way today is again long… kilometers weight more in our legs as days pass and this time we are not taking any break beyond some fast enjoyment in a couple of stops. Now, the road takes us across an agricultural landscape of periurban villages and neighbourhoods that depend from Ponferrada until we arrive to Villafranca del Bierzo (image) and start the properly mounty way. The village is small and cute, and a good place to rest well before we enter Galicia.

Troy Lovata

This project presents—though visual displays and a live, online discussion—research by interdisciplinary undergraduate students exploring archaeological approaches to trails and the recreational use of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT). The CDT is the longest, newest, least hiked, and roughest of the United States’ Triple Crown—along with the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail—of iconic, nationally sanctioned thru-hiking trails. The CDT runs some 3000 miles/4800 kilometers up the spine of the Rocky Mountains from America’s southern border with Mexico to it’s northern border with Canada. University of New Mexico undergraduate Honors students in the upper division, annual seminar “The Archaeology of Trails” study the material impact of the ephemeral act of walking by hiking and backpacking/trekking formal trails. They travel portions of the CDT that overlaps the Zuni-Acoma Trail, developed by prehistoric and historic Native Americans, and through the San Pedro Parks Wilderness Area, where the CDT traverses historic trails routes laid out by Hispanic herders and historic recreation. Students from a variety of degree majors—not just studying archaeology or anthropology—consider how archaeological approaches to walking and trails—which focus on finding meaning and centering culture in the act of traveling the landscape—apply to current day recreational hikers. They compare their own experiences on trail to archaeological study of trails and movement in other places and times and use archaeology as perspective to understand why people hike and how it defines them.

Display of student work is to go live online by November 23 at and Zoom-based online discussion of the CDT research will be held at 9:00 am US Mountain Standard Time (UTC/GMT -7 hours) that same day.

Join Troy at 16:00 GMT for the presentation and live discussion!

ZOOM access:
ID: 880 8540 5531
Passcode: 401219

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *