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 17 – We Keep Bob, Bob, bobbin’ Along

This is our “going to town” day. We are headed to Augusta, MT, with gusto! So we’re tripping down the trail with cheeseburger dreams and we’re thinking milkshake madness…. mmmmm ….breakfast with bacon, and endless cups of coffee…..The Carrot’s trail appetite is kicking in, so town should be interesting.

But we are’t so distracted, or driven, by thoughts of food that we fail to notice the trail’s delights. Purple Lupine shimmering in the morning light appear fringed in silver. The Ahorn Fire from a year ago has left large swaths of Lupine and other wildlfowers, along with a strong understory of vibrant green grasses.

The trail, as we get closer to Benchmark, is more and more heavily used. A Forest Service Trails Crew is on their way out, after a 10-day work stint, as is a string of pack animals with their supplies. Outfitters are on their way in with a string of horses carrying hay for a remote base camp. Families come and go on horse and on foot. Fly fishermen are on course for their favorite hole. The trail gets so much use it’s wide enough to drive a car on, but you aren’t allowed, and fortunately no one has.

We make it to the road end at noon, but there’s not much right there, just a few cars at the trailhead parking. We walk a couple miles or so down the road, so we are beyond the 2 car campgrounds, various outfitter parking areas, forest service admin site, landing strip and Benchmark Wildernes Ranch. It sounds like there would be a lot of traffic, but there isn’t.

A couple in a Suburu with a canoe on top pass by and give the universal shrug for “no space”. Three forest service rigs go by. Two of them stop and apologetically explain that they’d like to give us a ride but would risk losing their jobs if they did. A half-dozen cars go by, but in the wrong direction – they are heading in. A Large SUV, loaded down with 6 adults stops and says they have no room (they don’t) but will deliver a message somewhere if we want. We thank them and say that we hope it doesn’t take us THAT long to get a ride. A couple in a Jeep Cherokee stop and say they are only going another mile to a small lake – we think they just feel bad about passing us up. Then just as they pull out, a pick up truck loaded with a dad, a young daughter and a couple of yapping dogs stops. No room in the cab, he says, but we can ride in the back. Great – we’ll take it – we’ve been waiting and hour and a half and this is the first vehicle which actually presents a possible ride, who knows how long before we would get another opportunity! (Note: in that 1.5 hours, no traffic came in or out of Benchmark Ranch.)

The bed of the pick up is in total dissarray and a tight squeeze, filled with two bags of cans, a cooler, several camp chairs, fishing gear, carpentry tools, including a large level and wood saw, various bars, poles and paint gear. Not one part of the truck bed’s floor is showing, so it’s uncomfortable to sit as we drive along bouncing up and down along the 30 mile gravel road to Augusta. In a mile we pass the Jeep Cheroke at a small lake, in 3 more miles we pass the Suburu at another lake. The sun is shining, the scenery is supurb, the dust swirls around the bed of the truck and in it’s “wake”, but they are mainly in the distance behind us, and, we are headed for cheeseburgers and beer – all is good!

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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