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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 July 11 – A Day of Firsts

Dark clouds greeted us as we woke. Ominous, so much so that not even the birds were stirring. The early morning promise of a cold day was delivered. For the first time this trip I hiked in two layers of shirts.

We quickly came to Badger Guard Station, itself guarded by a herd of cows. (First cows on trail for this trip.) The jeep road went trough a barbed wire gate, designed to keep the cows on one side, with a sign clearly stating non-motorized users only. We were trading OHVs for cows; not sure if we we trading up or down. As it turned out, the OHV riders had been ignoring the sign, and judging by the ruts it was not just a few of them. So we had both – cows and OHV use of the trail.

We climbed the North Fork Badger Creek for several miles with ocassional views. Eventually we left the jeep road, crossed Badger Creek, picked up actual hiking trail tread, and left cows and OHV damage behind.

The trail climbed gradually until we crossed over Muskrat Pass, on the Divide and, for the first time this trip found ourselves on the west side of the divide, the pacific drainage.

Just before Beaver Lake the trail splits and a stock route circles above the lake while a more established trail drops needlessly below it. We followed the stock trail but it just died out before meeting up on the other side above Beaver Lake for the climb to a low, unamed pass on the divide. We followed an old unmaintained trail until it became a game trail and eventually just disappeared. Then we bushwhacked awhile through thickets and bogs and many fallen logs. For the first time this trip, I got out the compass and then the GPS. The topo maps on the GPS helped a good bit. We were close to the pass, but not quiet there – more bushwhacking and log jumping but with greater certainty. We found the well worn CDT trail at the top of the pass. There’s nothing like bushwacking for an hour to make you appreciate an established trail, even one with many ruts and difficult footing from years of stock use.

Back on the trail we came across Grizzly tracks in the mud – fortunately NOT soft and fresh, but dried and a bit older. BUT BIG – my whole foot was swallowed up by just the foot pad part of this track. First Grizz tracks of this trip.

We made camp just north of Badger Pass. The Carrot is fascinated by Badgers and hopes that the Pass’ namesake will show up.

For the first time this trip we saw NO other people all day.

Miles – longest day of the trip so far, 16.0 per guidebook, 17.2 per JL, same route. Felt more like 17+…first day of the trip over 17 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