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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!

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"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 26 – Garfield Looms Large

Winds picked up overnight and blew the hazy smoke away, leaving behind bright stars and a dusky milky way. The morning was cold and the sun did not penetrate the narrow canyon holidng Deadman Lake until after we were gone. The trail left the lake and went up, straight up, the east side on a 20% grade, a grind first thing in the morning.

We were back on the divide and rolled on through open high country, dominated by sage. The temps remained cool all day and made for nice walking.

Shortly after leaving Bannack (that’s Bannack with two “a’s”, not to be confused with Bannock pass with an “a” and an “o”) we flushed a Sage Grouse. Bursting with energy and furiously flapping wings to achieve a cruising altitude of about 12 feet the bird then glided back to earth 150 yards away.

We walked along the top of limestone cliffs and found the Buffalo Bone cave. Back just a few feet from the edge of the cliffs. It’s really a vertical shaft and the bottom is lined with assorted bones, horns and antlers, probably from animals falling in through the snow. That’s one theory – the other is that it’s a garbage pit for the workers who quarried limestone from the cliffs nearby.

For the first time since coming into East Glacier 7+ weeks ago we could look out upon a view with no mountains in the distance. Past the limestone cliffs we could see into southeast Idaho and our view was of the Snake river plain.

We walked cross country, along the crest, with no trail markers, to get back to the trail after our diversion to see the buffalo bones. And we continued to walk towards Garfield as it dominated the landscape, nice to finally see it up close. We have been gazing at Garfield at a distance for almost two weeks, watching it get closer and closer. In the past few days it didn’t seem like we were making much progress, until now as it looms large.

We found a thru-hiker’s pack beside the trail where the sign incorrectly identifies a seep as Buffalo spring. We waited and looked around and eventually met a northbounder, Sharpshin. A mile or so later we met his hiking partner Strix. Our conversations were brief as it was getting late and we still had miles to make.

We just missed seeing the several moose spotted by the two northbound hikers, but we saw more elk including a distant herd and a bull grazing on a nearby slope.

We camped at a pass between Garfield and Red Conglomerate peaks. Massive Garfield seems to hover just above our camp. An elk walked nearby camp, snorting, as we finshed up dinner in the dark. We couldn’t see him, but the snorting was distinctive. Coyotes serenaded us with a chorus of howls during dessert.

Miles 15.4

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People Shots

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Flora & Fauna

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