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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 3rd – Grouse Gone Wild

After a lavish breakfast at St Mary’s Lodge, Carol and Irv drove us to Many Glacier for a lovely send off, joining us for the first mile or so of the trail. A glorious day, sunny, warm and full of promise. Wildflowers in abundance. Stunning views of rugged peaks, deep valleys, glaciers, snowfields, and waterfalls cascading from such heights as to become vertical panoramas. It is hard to imagine that the trail could get any better than this – have we set ourselves up for a letdown by doing the best part first? Of course the trek is about more than scenery, it’s a journey into places inside ourselves as well.

We were on the trail for only a short while when we flushed a grouse. The grouse went wild, burst into a frenzy of flight, wings flapping wildly and went up into the brush, veered back and dive bombed The Carrot. The Park Service’s “shock” video warned about the dangers of bears, mountain lions and death by drowning, but never mentioned grouse. Nevertheless, The Carrot took her cues from the video, raised her arms to look big, spoke firmly to the beast and was about to drop to the fetal position and cover her neck when the grouse flew off laughing. We decided to take it as an omen of welcome and a warning to not underestimate the myriad of possibilities not mentioned by the Park Service, both possible dangers as well as possible delights.

Despite dire warnings from the rangers, the trail was in relatively good shape. True, it’s still early seaon hiking, with bridges not all in place yet, and some stream crossings are still on snow or in knee deep cold, swift water. And Piegan Pass was challenging, but very “do-able”. We we’re glad that we brought the ice axes, for the security they provided in crossing the steep snow fields. But, the soft snow made the traverses possible with slow, kick steps and steady nerves. And they kept the day hikers out.

Piegan Pass itself was clear of snow, but deep snow below timberline made the approach and descent tiring, and created some navigational challenges. Generally the snow in the trees was compacted enough to walk on with only very minimal post holing.

Unfortunately on one step I went deep into the snow, all the way to my waist with my foot wedged near a rock. We spent ten minutes or so digging my leg out…in all a good day for the first of the trip. Muscles are tired and sore and I’m wishing I had increased my training and weight loss regimen, but the leg strength is still good.

We made it into camp, at Reynold Creek, at 9:30, late, tired and surrounded by mosquitos, but with enough daylight left to make dinner. The only people we saw all day, after saying goodbye to Carol and Irv were a couple who were in camp, on a short overnight trip. The solitude is appealing.

Approx miles 14.2

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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