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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 14th – I Walk The Line

After packing and finishing up last minute chores and calls, we had a big breakfast. Carol and Irv took us back up to the trail, but first we drove over to the Big Hole National Monument, site of the battle of the big hole.

In August of 1877 a band of the Nez Perce tribe, who chose to flee rather than be rounded up and put onto a reservation, crossed the divide and made camp at the Big Hole. Colonel Gibbons and his men launched a surprise attack. The Nez Perce put up a valiant defense and casualties on both sides were quite heavy, including many Nez Perce women and children. The Nez Perce continued their flight from confinement, and managed to elude Col. Gibbons and General Howard for several more months and many hundred miles. Chief Joseph led his people on an odyssey that would follow the divide, crossing it several more times, dropping in and out of valleys, through Yellowstone and towards Canada. We will look down upon much of their route in the coming weeks. Visiting the Big Hole monument is a good orientation.

Carol and Irv joined us for a short bit as we walked south from Chief Joseph Pass. The pass is a triple divide – the water flowing to the east will find it’s way to the Missouri river. To the northwest lies the Clark Fork and Columbia watershed, to the southwest lies the Salmon river / Columbia river. The Idaho/Montana Border follows these divides and so it is here that the Continental Divide becomes the border between two states for the next 300+ miles. To appreciate this phenomena, consider that in the west state borders are generally straight lines following arbitrary lattitudes or longitudes. There are the couple places where a river defines a boundary. But the only state boundary which follows a mountain crest, a watershed divide, is the Idaho/Montana border. To truly appreciate this unique borderlands, walk the CDT. For the next several weeks we will walk the line.

The trail uses a jeep road which stays on top of the broad saddle forming the divide. On his return trip Captain Merriwether Lewis followed this same route for several miles. It’s an OLD jeep road for sure.

Eventually we pick up some actual trail tread. As we follow the divide the trail sometime just disappears in the grass; at other times it’s new and well defined. We walk in some ares burned in 2003, in other places the forest is green, or the crest breaks open into a meadow and offers views to the distant mountains of Montana or Idaho. Occasionally there are glimpses of the rugged ridgeline that lies ahead. But, in general, it’s a mellow ridge walk with a couple of surprisingly steep hills.

The new shoes I bought in town are comfortable and cause no new blisters. We drop off the crest and take a short side trail to broad flat ridge where there is a spring and camping opportunities. The wind whistles ans blows steady on the ridge, but we are sheltered nicely in the trees. We are into camp earlier than usual, so we make our first camp fire of the trip, as much for aesthetics as for warmth.

Miles 10.2

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People Shots

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Flora & Fauna

CDT2010_treesCDT2010_yellowflowersCDT2010-purpleflowersFloraButterfly 2BeaverFloraFlora 3Angry MarmotButterfly