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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 Sept 10 – Two Bear Day

With thick cloud cover, we slept warm night last nigtht – a nice change of pace. At first daylight we heard loud hooves outside the tent, probably moose or elk. Not wanting to “spook” them, we stayed inside and let them fade into the nearby willows.

The trail followed a different route than described in the guidebook, not too unusual. This time it was a nice walk up the upper Snake River valley, full of fall colors: red fireweed, yellow, orange and red of the various understory shrubs. It’s an interesting irony that the ’88 fires have left more color to landscape. With less evergreen canopy there are more broadleaf shrubs and much, much more can be seen.

We walked with wet feet all day, from fords and muddy trail. We are getting beyond both the distance and comfort level of most people who backpack into the park. The very upper reaches of the Snake river are seldom seen.

No people means that today we saw 2 bears, both big and healthy, both turned and ran. The second bear made a sound, before running, unlike any I have heard a bear make; one that can only be described as an un-bear like “squeal”.

And there were wolf tracks. Lot’s of them. As we leave Yellowstone, we are entering truly wild country, where the edge of the park meets the “Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.”

Throughout the day the elk continue to bugle, looking for love, or so we think. The storms roll back in and before lunch we are pummelled with rain, hail and sleet. The hail turms the terrain white. We find shelter at a closed, padlocked, backcountry ranger station and eat lunch in the shelter of the porch. Then we hike on.

The afternoon turns colder and intermittant rain falls, eventually turning to snow. Nothing to do but hike on and be thankful that we have thawed out shoes, unlike John Colter.

We leave the valley bottom and climb towards high plateaus as the afternoon turns to evening and the cold turns to colder. Snow falls; toes become numb and then number. Finally we figure we won’t be able to cross the plateau and make a camp, short of our goal, in a high basin at 9,400 foot.

Before doing anything else, before setting up the tent, or starting dinner, we gather firewood, build a pit and start a fire. For warmth, and for the feeling that we can control our situation, or at least think that we can. Nature somehow nods agreement to our efforts.

The late evening skies clear and stars come out. The air is still very damp and drying stuff by fire pulls moisture back out of air and into the fabric. But we feel good about the effort. We eat late, but hot food warms from the inside and we slide into the cocoon of the tent/sleeping bag feeling warm, cozy and much more comfortable than we ever thought we might just a couple hours before.

18.9 miles

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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