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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 2 – False Starts

Editor’s Note: Nowhere Man and Carrot finally made it to somewhere from which they were able to send their email updates – two weeks worth of them! So as to not overwhelm anyone’s email, I’ll post these in groups of two or three over the next couple of days.

We were supposed to be hiking today, but we started our trip with a “zero” day, no trail miles.

The CDT challanges those who cling to plans and predictability, or so we have heard from fellow hiker friends. One of the lesson it teaches is to be flexible, roll with the variety of challanges, whether from weather, terrain, navigational problems, unmarked trail, or no trail at all. We expect that our plans will not go as expected, that, at best, they will be but a roadmap…..We just didn’t expect to have to make major alterations day one.

We arrived in Glacier yesterday and stopped at the backcountry ranger’s office to get our permit. We had not made an advance reservation in part because I was reluctant to pay the $30 nuisance fee to make an advance reservation and in part because we were still hoping the snow might melt enought to hike the Highline Trail from Waterton Lake. We were prepared to start at Chief Joseph and hike up the Belly River, but we did not think we would be shut out of BOTH options. We were. Snow covered many camsites in the backcountry, so the park service was directing many backpackers to the relatively snowfree Belly River. And the one campground after Red Cloud Pass only had one snow-free tent site, greatly restricting the number of permits available. Our choice was to delay our start at least 3 days (and pay an advance reservation fee for this privilege to guarantee that we could do this) or to go to “Plan B” – delay one day and start at Many Glacier. OR to skip Glacier and do amaj!
or rearrangement of our hike plans. We opted for Plan B, leaving July 3rd. Although it’s a day later to the start of our hike, it’s 2 days EARLIER than we had planed to leave Many Glacier, the first stop on our original itinerary. Two days ahead beats 3 days behind. We consoled ourselves with the thought that we will save the best for last. Next September we can hike the 38 miles from Many Glacier to Waterton, after doing the southern half of the CDT for a more fitting end. And we are glad that the lesson of being flexible is so otherwise painless as spending an unplanned day in Glacier Park, avoiding a foul morning rain, eating, drinking, day hiking and resting up for tomorrow.

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Flora & Fauna

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