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 12 – Across the Creek

Cold night last night, some of the puddles in the trail had ice on top this morning. Fortunately, the clouds were gone and the temps returned to someting expected in July – hot.

After a short jaunt across Badger Pass we followed Strawberry Creek on a long descent over well worn trails. The hooves of many horses had passed this way pounding an uneven surface.

Strawberry Creek was impassible just three weeks ago. A friend and fellow long distance hiker had got this far and turned back to Marias Pass rather than trying to cross it. A forest service trail crew said that the rivers had been running as high, or higher, than any locals could recall. They would not even attempt crossing Strawberry Creek, three weeks ago, on horseback. Although a lot of melt can, and usually does, happen in three weeks, crossing Strawberry Creek has been one big concern since the start. A concern made worse as we started seeing footsteps coming back up the trail this morning. But, today all three crossings were no more than knee deep.

We turned up Bowl Creek, the designated CDT, rather than pursuing the Clack Creek route recommended by both the guidebook and previous hikers. The alternate route required a ford of the South Fork Flathead River, which we were skeptical about, and didn’t want to hike a mile and half to only find out that we might have to hike back.

We camped at a crossing of Bowl Creek just below Sun Mountain Pass, but not before we incorrectly turned up the Bowl Creek Trail. The general direction and landscape seemed wrong, so we turned back after about a half mile. Part of the problem was that the signs had burned.

Most of the route along Strawberry Creek and all of the route along Bowl Creek was burned last year year – part of a very large fire which also had burned much of the trail south of Marias Pass for the first dozen miles. Re-growth of the understory has started. We came across an off-duty trail volunteer out picking Morels…..mmmmm……Morels. It’s a shame that the Carrot doesn’t like mushrooms, they would add nicely to our evening meals.

As we approached our intended campsite we came across the forest service trail crew, camped at Grizzly Park. They’re based out of Shaeffer Guard Station and deploy ten days at a time, out in the field. With the burn, there’s lot’s of work for them to do.

We hear that there are two other CDT hikers who are a day or two ahead of us, which would explain the pair of footprints we’ve been following since Marias Pass. We found matted down vegetation which would appear to be their campsite at Bowl Creek crossing.

Trail Miles for the day 15.1

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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

CDT20101_NMWCWMCDT2010_TheTrailCDT2010_NMWC-1Carrot After a Trail BathCarrot Stream Crossing #3,768Carrot on the Trail stillCarrot takes a Trail BathCarrot Stream Crossing #5.875Carrot on the TrailCliff Dwelling SignCarrot takes a PhotoCarrot Stream Crossing # 2,115

Scenic Shots

CDT2010-valleyCDT2010_yellowflowersCarrot on the Trail 3ScenicPotty BreakScenicCliff Dwelling Stream Vast DesertPrickly Pear 2Prickly PearPlateau at Sunset

Flora & Fauna

CDT2010_treesCDT2010_yellowflowersCDT2010-purpleflowersAngry MarmotFlora 3FloraBeaverButterfly 2FloraButterfly