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 14th Meadows and Forests Forever

We continued our walk along FS road 274, passing an old RV trailer with no one home but a horse and an underfed and overly friendly dog. Likely a shepherd’s camp. The dog, a puppy really, follows us for over a half mile wanting companionship or food or both, but we finally convince it to return to it’s vacant camp.

The road was a roller coaster walk keeping at the 9,500 to 10,000 foot level for the first 8 miles. One section was cross country cutting off a big, unnecessary loop in the road. It was rough with a lot of brush and downed trees as well as a small ravine. Although it was shorter than the road it didn’t save much time, but it was at least a nice diversion from road walking.

From the occassional view point, we could see more mountains in the distance. But for most of the day the views were limited to fields, nearby ridges and knolls and the abundance of wildflowers. Several elk and deer added a diversion to scene.

Back at mile 8, where the road ends, a new trail for 2009 eliminates a diffficult bushwhack. The new trail has reasonable tread but with a fair amount of up and downs and it’s longer than the map shows, by a couple of miles. A couple of miles may not sound like much, until you’re racing the setting sun to see if you can make it to a spring and flat spot to camp.

As the sun set, we walked into the evening up Rio Vallecito, or as close to the Rio as the barbed-wire private property fence would allow. Much rougher walking the fence line than the jeep road beside the stream.

We don’t make it to the spring we had set as our goal, missing it by a couple miles, so we settle for a “make do as we can” camp at Placer Creek where it meets Rio Vallecito. It was simply getting too dark to walk further up the tree lined canyon with more vertical than horizontal land in sight.

It’s a cold and damp evening by the creek. Both cold and damp are conditions that are unusual for this trip so far. The novelty wears off and discomfort sets in quickly. At least it’s cold enough to keep the swarm of mosquitos from staying out once it got dark.

Coyotes howling in the distance echo off the canyons as we settle in for the night.

18.5 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

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