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Benefit aiding Catwalk Trail

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FARMINGTON – A popular tourist destination damaged by severe storms received the “Burbridge bump” at a benefit on Saturday.

Severe storms in September damaged the Catwalk National Recreation Trail and Whitewater Picnic Area. Trails, rock stairs and metal grillwork were damaged, and a 30-foot section of a bridge that spanned Whitewater Creek was washed away.

The second-most popular destination in the Gila National Forest, the area features a hanging walkway that undulates through the narrow canyon area amid steep and dangerous drop-offs. It was originally built by workers to maintain a pipeline that provided water to the nearby mill town of Graham.

With the help of Uncle Bill’s Bar in nearby Reserve, visitors may be able to stroll the 1-mile stretch of the Catwalk Trail again soon. The bar is owned by Aztec Mayor Sally Burbridge, along with her cousin, Leisil Luera, and her aunt, Zoe Ann Jones.

“We hope this benefit will raise much needed monies and awareness of how important the Catwalk is to the surrounding businesses and residents of the county,” Luera said.

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