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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 19 – High in the Colorado Rockies

In the morning cows were moving around the high altitude shallow basin in which we were camped. Is there anywhere they aren’t to be found? So far almost every day of this trip we have come across cows or their droppings. Even here, camped at 11,700 feet, high in the South San Juan wilderness, in country so wild and remote that some people believe a small remnant population of grizzlies might be surviving, we find bovinus alpinus.

Our walk continues across rolling plateaus, criss-crossing minor divides and climbing back on the continental divide. A few shallow basins are dotted with small ponds and lakes. The sparse trees are mostly some stunted subalpine fir, which grow larger as we dip into the occasional deeper basin or cross a high valley. A lush carpet of green speckled with various colors from the wildlflowers dominate the vast panoramas.

On occasional shaded slopes we cross the first on-trail snow fields we’ve seen this summer. Two large storm cells skirt by us with minor delays and some light rain falls on us while we watch other areas get heavy downfalls and get hammered by lighting.

The Mule deer and Elk we’ve become accustomed to seeing are joined in these higher elevations by picas and marmots.

As the day wore on into evening temps dropped and we dropped too, to blue lake, nestled in a high elevation basin and surrouned by forest. It’s an idyllic setting but we need to make some more miles and move on.

After climbing back to the main plateau we follow a ridge with steeper sides and a number of ups and downs as it rolls towards a line of tall peaks now forming the continental divide. We drop into a deep narrow valley separated by two side ridges and make camp on a slope by the creek draining “Gunsight pass.” The terrain is really too slanted for camping, but there is one spot level enough for one tent – it looks like it had been excavated for this purpose by someone. Since it’s almost dark, we take advantage of it.

The dramtic setting of the divide in Colorado also means the trails are more popular and we see other backpackers, with fishing gear, at Trail lake and Blue lake. The popularity also means that we spend more time (MUCH, more time) on actual “trail”. Overall it’s a delight to be here, high in the Colorado Rockies!

18 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