Top O'the World  LbNA # 46412

Placed DateApr 5 2009
LocationThoreau, NM
Found ByChildren of the Forest
Last UpdateMay 2 2015
Hike Distance?

Top O'the World

Top O’the World
Authors: Wronghat and Semicolon
Location: Continental Divide, NM (United States)
Hike Length: 0.3 miles
Elevation gain: 10 feet
Clue last updated: April 6, 2009
Status: Active
Directions: Exit 47 I-40, 105 miles east of Albuquerque; 32 miles west of Gallup

1. Clues: Bring your own inkpads. Child warning: hunting for this box involves negotiating a small, steep slope that young ‘uns and old may slip and fall on. There are some cacti around with sharp spines, and there’s always a possibility of running into a rattle snake or hanta virus- infected rodent. So watch out for ‘em parents. Locals will stare at you from their pick-up trucks but will wave back if you give them a big wave. Still, after finding the box, please walk some distance away to do the stamping and writing in journals so as not to attract too much unwanted attention to the cairn.
2. After exiting I-40 proceed to the north frontage road where the Indian curio shops are located. There is a historical marker for the Continental Divide on the south frontage road, but it is lower in elevation by 50 feet so don’t use it. Go east on frontage road until you come to the Continental Divide historical marker. A mile is 5280 feet so you’ll be over a mile here. As boy scouts we had a mystical ceremony involving mass deluging of the Divide with our precious bodily fluids so we could experience them parting on their long journeys to the great oceans thousands of miles distant but that may be too much information.
3. Go back west to the roadside attraction with the plywood tepee and the arch entrance. From the arch I took 60 steps to the east along the outside of the wire fence to the first evergreen tree that you can reach- maybe it’s a juniper. I’m over 6 feet tall so maybe more. To the north of the tree is a dilapidated hogan -the traditional octagonal dwelling used by the Navajo. At the base of this tree is a stone cairn in which you’ll find Top O’the World. One of the tourist traps here on old Route 66 used to have that name. I think it’s the one with the two tall poles on south side I-40.
4. The Continental Divide (also called the Great Divide) runs from northern Alaska down through Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central America, along the Andes Mountains down to the southern tip of South America. Here in New Mexico the water that goes west drains into the Colorado River while that which goes east ends up in the Rio Grande. For more information you may see
5. The yucca is the state flower of New Mexico. For more information you may see
6. Thoreau is pronounced Tha-rew in these parts and not Tha-row like them effete eastern types say. Some sources claim Henry David pronounced his name like the locals hereabouts.

Look around to make sure no one notices as you put everything back carefully.