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Imagine my surprise when returning from out of town I find a brand new (huge) trail sign behind my neighborhood proclaiming The Satch Cowan Trail. And all this time I thought that Joe Devaney had built this trail, although it had almost disappeared after the Cerro Grande fire and Joe’s subsequent death. And then I thought that I had never seen Satch Cowan on this trail or on any other near the Quemazon trailhead in more than 30 years of hiking here.
And then I remembered the spectacular trail that Jim Billen built single-handedly in Pueblo Canyon, possibly the most scenic in the county — a great wide path 1.2 miles long cut into the Bandelier Tuff below the rim.
I even attended his trail completion party where he bought donuts and coffee for the hiking community.
And then I did a little asking and found out that trails are not named after living people in this community and I thought about the Mitchell and Knapp trails that bore the names of the young men who built them and the Devaney Trail in Los Alamos Canyon named after Joe while he was still alive.
What does it take to get the county to name the Jim Billen Trail after him while he is still alive? Why can’t credit be given where credit is due?
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