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 20 – Marmot Spirits

The day begins with a contour from the creek we had camped at to another high, headwater creek followed by a series of climbing and crossing ridges and dropping into other high headwater creeks.

We have breakfast on top of the first divide and hear coyotes howling, whooping and hollering as if they had just gained the top of a ridge as well.

There are three long climbs over ridges dividing the glacial valleys which spawn major headwater streams for the Conejos river. It’s a vertical morning and afternoon, with thigh burning climbs, standing in contrast to the rolling grasslands we crossed yesterday.

It was cloudy from the first today and the afternoon storms built early. We watch from deep in the valley as one large storm moved across the ridges above us. Seeng an opening we ascended the valley and measured, or timed, our assault on the highlands as other storm cells subsided or moved on.

After climbing out of the last headwater valley the trail follows the high rolling plateau of a wide divide crest, avoiding the major peaks but staying very close to the actual divide. The trail stays on the high slopes which fall away from the peaks on the divide. Back to higher shallow basins with no trees but plenty of lush green grass and summer wildflowers. Everywhere are carpets of wildlfowers, too many to name. Yellow is the predominant color but with splahes of red, violet, purlpe, orange and pink.

We see more mule deer and marmots and find a marmot skull in pretty poor condition but with the front teeth intact, until the Carrot extracted them as good luck charms; good luck for the Carrot, not the marmot.

In the evening, we cross a small ridge and each our highest point so far – 12,700 ft. The air is thin, and climbing each rise burns the thighs and brings short hard breathing. The “trick” to making progress is to find a steady pace, even if it’s slower, it’s faster than a pace with lots of breaks.

We camped at 12,000 feet, our highest camp so far.

With all the climbing we did not get quite as many miles in as we would have liked, leaving us a longer hike tomorrow to Wolf Creek pass than desirable, but we should still be able to get to the pass and to town, with an early start.

16.5 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