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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 7 – Geezers and Guysers

Occasional rain overnight was followed this morning by occasional clouds. The trail stayed on the relatively level plateau for several miles before it started to drop to the Firehole River Valley. We passed through some unburned older forest, but mostly walked through various stages of regeneration from the ’88 fires.

I remember visiting Yellowstone in 1989 and taking a day hike through areas that had burned a year earlier. The charred black trees and desolate gray soil left a lifeless landscape. Not only were the burned areas devoid of any green plants or large animals, even insects and birds were absent. The silence was deafening. It looked then like it might be decades before anything returned.

The thick stands of black charred trees have now become thinner as many have fallen. Those trees that remain standing are snags, bleached white skeletons. What we found amongst them in the last three days was an abundance of understory growth, varying stages of tree regeneration, plenty of birds and tracks and scat from a variey of animals including bear, wolf, coyote, moose, elk, and many smaller mammals. Twenty years has been sufficient for re-creation of a vibrant ecosystem.

The trail changes from backcountry to “frontcountry” when it enters Biscuit Basin. The basin has some interesting thermal features blowing warm steam across the boardwalk. Tourists are bundled up in cotton sweats and parkas of various kinds. A lone bison grazes near the parking lot oblivious to the cars and buses.

Across the main road we pick up the trail which follows the Firehole river to the Old Faithful complex of Lodges, Inns, parking lots and shops where tourists can part with their money while waiting for the next “performance.” The river walk is full of geezers and guysers. And a few elk so accustomed to people they look unconcerned at our passing by.

Since we are here the weekend after labor day, most family vacationers are gone, save for the stray toddler or two. But there are plenty of Europeans, Japanese and that peculiar breed of American tourists, the “now we are retired so let’s trade the house for an RV and set off to see america’s wonders” retiree. Nothing wrong with that, I could see myself doing it, as long as the RV was a VW. But they all seem to be in a big hurry to rush to the next guyser and wait.

Our room at the Inn isn’t ready so we get lunch and our shopping done, leaving the rest of the afternoon to enjoy some downtime relaxing in the lodge.

Miles 10.6

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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