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 Sept 1 – First Taste of Winter

The alarm went off early, but the cold air outside kept us in a bit longer than we’d hoped. It had rained for a couple short spells overnight and the clouds still hung low on the ridge above us threatening more.

I found a nice sized moose antler while taking care of morning business. Too heavy, and bulky, to even consider carrying out.

We broke camp and hit the trail, bundled up against the cold with 3 layers. It was a good thing too. It started to snow. Not just a passing flurrry either, but a real first taste of winter with enough to color the ground white and leave wet cold clumps of slush on the leaves of the plants growing over the trail in many places. It seems like only yesterday we first noticed fall colors. Wait, it WAS only yesterday. Well, that was a quick season. It was also only a week ago that we were so hot our water bottles would warm up cold spring water with minutes. With a cold wind blowing, hiking conditions were basically miserable. We kept a good pace going to keep warm and made only short breaks.

The trail dropped to a low point of about 7,000, a trailhead access, and we thought about stopping for the day to wait out the storm. But, it had let up some and we were already behind schedule. We pressed on and back up to the divide. All day dark, thick storm clouds rolled in and out. Occassionally a few snow flurries would fall, but none lasted very long. The cloud ceiling was low, covering most all the mountain peaks, but we could see under the clouds, to Island reservoir on the Idaho side and to Red Rock reservoir on the Montana side. We stopped periodically to re-assess the situation, so our progress was not fast.

At the gap below Taylor Mountain, we looked up and decided that the conditions were not good to be starting a climb up to a long open traverse, where we might not find a sheltered campsite for 6 to 8 miles. The ridgeline was socked in, so not only might the snow, rain, and wind be miserable, but also the trail visibility might be poor. Hard enough finding trail when conditions are good. The wind gave the cold a bitter bite. Add to that the sound of distant thunder that we heard a couple times. It was obvious that we could not follow the Trail up the mountain safely today.

Camping at the pass, hoping the storm would be gone in the morning was possible, but not desirable since it would leave 31+ miles to do tomorrow. We had watched a road contouring the mountain as we dropped to the pass. The map showed it going about half way or more around the mountain at a contour. We decided to follow it and see how it could help us. We walked about 5 or 6 miles on the road until it started down into a dead end canyon. We camped at a bend on a ridge that we can use to go up the mountain tomorrow. We still have 26 plus miles. We may not be able to do that in one day, so we are starting to ration/save lunch, snack and dinner food to last an extra day. Short rations, but still enough.

We entered and spent much of the afternoon walking through the Sheep Experiment Station operated by the US Department of Agriculture’s Research Division. What kind of experiments they do here is not clear. But they must scare the sheep into hiding as we saw none.

With the sun going down and temps dropping we made and ate a quick dinner. How cold was it? It was so cold that the olive oil congealed despite being burried in the middle of, and insulated by, the pack. It poured thick like molasses.

Miles for the day 17.3

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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