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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 22 – Cock-a-doodle-moo

We awoke to one of nature’s own alarm clocks: the conspicous sound of cows “crowing”, sort of like a rooster’s “cock-a-doodle-do” only more grating. This was not your typical barnyard “moo”; this was the sound of free range, Alpine Bovine (latin name – “bovinus alpinus”) – it was a cock-a-doodle-moo, mmrroo…mmmrrrrooo..mroo

The winds of yesterday continued through the night and brought with them another cold front, leaving us clear and cold skies. They also brought the first real taste of fall, a hard frost.

We breakfasted on skillet fried potatoes, eggs and sausage, sorted our resupply box and packed to go. Unfortunately our map bag was missing. We will not have detailed maps for the next 90 miles. We have a page from the delorme atlas that covers maybe 40 miles of trail, but lacks any topo info and is at a scale that’s not very useful for figuring out trail junctions or other nuances. As we were leaving Bannock Pass we met a Forest Service person and were ale to get a Salmon NF Travel Map, at an even less detailed scale than the Delorme, but still of some use. Well, it could be worse, at least we do still have the guidebook description, and the route stays pretty close to the crest, so when in doubt “up” is always a good guess.

Sandy is joining us for the next “leg” of the hike, fron Bannock Pass to Monida Pass. We waived goodbye to Kerry and Ken and set out climbing an old jeep road along a fence line on the crest through grass and sagebrush country. With 8 days of food and an incessant climb back into the high country, our pace was very measured. After several hours and a half dozen miles we entered trees again and took lunch – ham and cream cheese on bagels.

We continued the steady climb in mostly open country, occasionally passing through thin groves of Whitebark pine, with good views of the trail ahead and behind us. The trail topped out near the summit of Elk Mountain, we dropped packs and climbed off trail the last couple hundred feet to the summit, 10,194 feet. This is the first time the southbound trail goes above 10,000 feet.

The panorama was stunning. We can see clearly almost the entire route we climbed today. In fact we could trace back most every twist and turn of the Continental Divide back through the Beaverhead Mountains, past Lemhi Pass, all the way to Goldstone Mountain where we ate lunch 3 days ago. Ahead of us we can see clearly our general route for the next several days as well as the Italian peaks and beyond. On the Idaho side, the Lemhi Range dominates the skyline to the south and west, the Lost River range rises behind as well as the Sawtooths and the Bitteroots. On the Montana side the Tendoy, Pioneer, and Tobacco Root mountains, as well as various other mountain ranges all come into view. This is the top of the world!

The day has been cool despite walking mostly in open country exposed to the sun. Now on the top of Elk mountain, the sun is sinking, a breeze is stirring and the day is cooling off quickly as we slide into evening. We head down the mountain at a brisk pace to keep warm and drop 1,500 feet in just 2.5 miles to a flat saddle with ample flat areas for camping.

Miles for the day 12.8

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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

CDT2010_yellowflowersCDT2010-valleyCliff Dwelling Carrot on the Trail 3ScenicPotty BreakScenicStream Distant HillsCactus & HillsPrickly PearJeep Road

Flora & Fauna

CDT2010_treesCDT2010_yellowflowersCDT2010-purpleflowersFloraButterfly 2BeaverFloraFlora 3Angry MarmotButterfly