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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 24 – Relief

Walked across a washboard of ridges along the base of Baldy Mountain. The change from big basin sage land to glaciated mountain face is sudden and dramatic. We walk in the crease of this transition.

A thick layer of smoke obscures the mountains in the distance. It seems to be from distant fires, so it’s not a worry, but it does change the mood from cheerful to more dreary.

A cold, clear spring emerges from under a tree at the base of a talus slope in the Tex creek valley. Cows are nearby and all over it, but the first few feet haven’t been fouled, so Sandy scoops out the mud and creates a better catchment. Refreshing. A cool relief on a hot day. It would be reasonably easy to build a fence to protect this water source from the invasion of the cow (water) snatchers and poopers.

We met a northbound thru-hiker, Jeesus. We chatted and exchanged info and were able to borrow his copies of the Jonathan Ley maps from Nicholia Creek to Monida, easing any lingering navigational concerns. A definite relief from relying only on the guidebook description, which is useful, but barely adequate on its own.

We climb and cross high, broad sweeping, plateaus fractured by gullys and punctuated by cliffs and rock out croppings. The views are sweeping, with mountain peaks and passes close in as well as more distant. There was no trail tread, only the very infrequent, lonely cairn or post, often out of site.

We stopped at a high point with an especially commanding view of the plateau environs and watched a half dozen Pronghorn Antelope, as they first stopped grazing to check us out and then ran off to a more distant ridge.

We met Cicely B, a northbound thru hiker. We had watched her emerge upon the distant horizon of the plateau and walk across a trackless outslope. Her appearance on the one slope gave us great clues as to which direction we should head. We stopped and exchanged the usual info and gossip.

Then we met two mountain bikers pushing their bikes up the pass at the headwaters of Meadow creek just northwest of Cottonwood mountain. They started in Lima and are headed to Chief Joseph pass. While we plead guilty to the label of being crazy enough to hike the CDT, the thought of mountain biking, even part of this trail, should label someone as certifiably insane.

While the main CDT route drops deep into a valley only to climb back out, we traversed around Cottonwood mountain on a well-used contouring trail. In fact this user-created trail was in better shape than much of the CDT we have seen.

Back on actual CDT trail tread we dropped to Rock Creek and on to a camp near a small spring fed pond frequented by elk. Unfortunately the springs must come from under the pond as the only water coming in is from a muddy, elk trodden seep. We giver the filter a good workout.

15.8 miles

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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