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 29 Finish line, For Now

The night’s sleep on our sloping perch was not sound. What had looked like a flat bench in the fading light last evening proved to be lumpy and still falling away from the ridgeline enough that a slow slide pushed us both to one side of the tent.

A cold night brought ice on the inside of the tarp, again. Morning brought more early clouds. We walked back up to the ridgeline trail and followed it along the rolling grasslands east towards the pass, our finish line for this year.

The rugged panoramic scenes of the San Juans were fading behind us. We stopped often to turn around and just take in some last, lingering views of this magnificent country and to marvel at the twisted topography through which we had just spent the last 7 days walking.

At Jarosa Mesa, the last high point before we would fade into the pass below, we turned around for one last look, and a final goodbye, to the trail we had followed for a week through the San Juans and for two months since the Mexican border.

We descended the mesa with mixed feelings. The twinges that I have felt developing in my right calf and left hip, the cold icy nights and rain soaked days all suggest that this might be the right time to return home. Yet the heart still yearns to follow the allure of the trail life. Relief and sadnesss mingled as we sat on the “lee” side of the final hill, out of the wind, eating our last trail lunch.

All morning the storm clouds grew, and around us we could see isolated cells raining. We had been fortunate to be followed by a “bubble” of sunlight. Now we sit at lunch and count 7 or 8 storm cells forming a rough circle around us, some distant while others more near. Inevitably one of them crept closer for final farewell rain shower which hastened the end of lunch and launched us down the hillside for a last leg of walking.

Although Spring Creek pass itself was out of sight, ahead we could see the final slope which would drop into the pass, and, just beyond it, the ridgeline and mesa which next year we would follow up and out of the pass and back to the divide. We could see our future. A future wich would have to wait until next year to follow.

For now, as we walked down the mesa we met our friends, William and Colleen from Buena Vista who had hiked in to join us in walking the last several miles of this summer’s hike. As we approached the pass, Molly and Steve, friends from Sandpoint, joined us also. Together we would make our way to Spring Creek pass, pause for a brief celebration of the moment and the journey, and with a vow to return next year, we began our two-day drive home. We would have time to slowly decrompress, process the memories and begin dreaming about next summer’s final leg of the CDT.

Miles 11.0

Leave a Reply






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