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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 21 – Two Divided Camps

We camped on the divide last night, in a saddle at about 6,900 foot. I got up to pee once towards the Atlantic and later in the night I got up to aim for the Pacific.

The day started out with a steep ascent up a ridge forming part of the divide. And so the day would go, as we walked along the crest; lots of ups and downs. One ascent climbed 900 feet in just over a mile.

At times the expansive views and the general feeling of being on top, was reminiscent of the Pacific Crest Trail. But also some of the steep ascents, with minimal switchbacks, were reminiscent of the Appalachian trail. We would follow the crest of the divide very closly most of the day.

Water was scarce – one of the downsides of a ridge walk. We dropped way down off the divide into a small basin that holds a seasonal pond for water and lunch. After lunch we loaoded up the water bags and bottles as this was the first, last, and only water on trail all day.

Frequently there are switchbacks that don’t show on any maps and can cause confusion, especially if there are unmarked junctions with other trails that have no record.

Approachng the crest of the divide again, the trail came to one of these problem areas. The actual trailtread (perhaps because it’s relatively new, or perhaps for other reasons) did not correspond to the guidebook description, or the Jonathan Ley map. The junction with another trail was a surprise and it took the two maps, guidebook, the GPS, a old fashioned compass and 15 minutes of pondering to guess the correct choice.

Walking the crest gives a good perspective on where we have come from, where we are going, and the general landscape dynamics. The break between the grand peaks of the Scapegoat Wilderness and the more gentle ridges which lie ahead is dramatic.

We push to make miles to set ourselves up for getting to Rogers Pass by mid-day and we push because we need to get to a point where we can get water to camp. By our last rest break the sun is sinking and the deer are coming out. A buck makes a striking silhouette as he curiously watches us.

We finally arrive at Lewis and Clark Pass shortly after 9pm. Deb sets up camp, as I head about a half mile and several hundred feet elevation loss down an old dirt road to fetch water for this evening and tomorrow. Again we are camped right on the divide, not far from where Capt Meriwheather Lewis crossed the divide in July 1806, on his return trip. He wrote about the plentiful game in this area. Were he here today, he might write about the cows grazing.

Trail miles 16.5, but it seemed like 18 or 19.

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Flora & Fauna

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