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We are currently on another long distance hike, and the third leg of our "triple crown", the Continental Divide Trail (the "CDT"). Come along with us if you can - if not in person then by following our grand adventure via our "posts from the trail".  Check out our Flickr Photos, which we'll update periodically, and see it through our eyes!

Our Credo...

"Success: To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!" ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Journal Aug 11 – Out of the Pintlers

We got an early start and had a cooler morning. It was the first time for bringing out the gloves and polypro bottoms to walk in. And it took a couple hours to warm up enough to take them off.

The trail followed the divide very closely, which is possible now because it has become more rounded. The ridge upon which we camped last night marks the end of the hgh peaks of the Pintlers and the start of the roller coaster of ridges that we will follow to Chief Joseph Pass. The transition is dramatic; as quickly as they soared into view, the Pintlers now fade into the distance.

Along with the change in terrain, the views change too. Instead of “in your face” towering peaks, passes, cliffs and ridges, we now see wide open spaces, distant mountain ranges. To the west we see the Bitteroots, to the south the Deerlodge mountains and to the southeast are the Pioneers, somewhere more distant are the Spanish Peaks and Centennials. Closer in is the broad bottomland known as the Big Hole. We have a front row seat to it all. This is the land of rugged mountains and of BIG SKY.

We walked for several miles through areas burned in 2000. Skeletons of trees charred black gradually losing their bark and exposing wood bleached white. Wildflowers are back, but not much new tree growth. The trail can be easily lost in burned areas, but we managed to stay on it.

We met two northbound backpackers, from Colorado, out for a week in the Anaconda Pintler Wilderness. Further down the trail we came across a 4 person volunteer trail crew – their work was helpful and we thanked them for it.

One of the day’s pleasures was coming across, in several wet meadows, the uncommon Yellow Monkshood. Smaller in size than the purple Monkshood and easily overlooked, it was at first both familiar and yet strange.

Late in the day, the sky became quite filled with wispy brownish layers of haze that are most always woodsmoke. Atop the ridge we could trace them all the way back to a large, distant plume of smoke billowing skyward from somewhere in the Bitteroots in Idaho. While the smoke makes the views far less clear, at least the fire source of the smoke is nowhere near us.

We were on a big push for miles today, starting to hike just after 8am, with very few breaks and getting into camp just before 9pm. But we were slowed down by a couple steep sections and some other areas with no trail tread and/or rocky footing. Not as many miles as we would have liked, so we’ll need another early start tomorrow to get into Chief Joseph Pass by late afternoon.

Miles 22.2

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Clicking on any of these photos will take you to that specific photo on our Flickr Stream, where you can view these and many, many more photos from our latest adventure....or use this shortcut to all photos.....we hope you enjoy them!

People Shots

CDT2010_TheTrailCDT20101_NMWCWMCDT2010_NMWC-1Cliff Dwelling SignCarrot PausesHiker TanCarrot Stream Crossing # 2,115Carrot takes a PhotoCarrot on the TrailCarrot Stream Crossing #5.875Carrot takes a Trail BathCarrot on the Trail still

Scenic Shots

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Flora & Fauna

CDT2010_treesCDT2010_yellowflowersCDT2010-purpleflowersFloraButterfly 2BeaverFloraFlora 3Angry MarmotButterfly