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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 June 14 Leaving Silver City

Mostly cloudy with scattered rain showers, having followed heavier rains last night – almost perfect hiking weather. We follow a county road out of town as it gradually climbs into the mountains north of Silver city. We take lunch at a forest service picnick ground after about 6 miles. We are finally back in a land of “real” trees, as the Carrot calls them. The hills are populated with Ponderosa pines. The campground is full of families out for a Sunday picnic, while the resident Tassle Eared Squirrels are at play. They look like eastern grey squirrels with silver fringed tails and big tufted ears.

I’m breaking in a new pair of shoes I bought in Silver City, or more acurately the shoes are breaking in my feet, a small blister is forming where the inside right heel needs to toughen up some. My first pair had broken apart, upper and lower parts separating, heel flattening on the inside, exagerating the inside roll of my ankle, laces pulling through the eyelets. They were a discount pair I bought in mid May – and they prove that you get what you pay for. In Silver City there are a couple of outfitter type stores, we went to the “Gila Hike and Bike” shop. In the “it’s a small world” department, the owner is friends with one of the owners of the Outdoor Experience in Sandpoint!

In and out of town we pass fields of violet-red Cholla cactus in full bloom with blossoms at the end of each of many arms and simulatanous with nearby plants; it must keep the birds and bees very busy.

After lunch we cross the “official” CDT. It does a long loop that stays high and dry, close to the divide, through the Black Mountains. Many hikers opt for an alternative route lying to the west which follows the Gila River. We opt for the river route for the scenery, water, hot springs, cliff dwellings and general experience.

But first, to get to the river, we have canyons and ridges to cross. So we continue on the forest service road as it climbs into the mountains and deteriorates into an old rocky mining road. We climb, dip, climb some more, contour and dived in and out of many small drainages en route to Black Creek Canyon. The creek is a intermittant string of puddles with a barely perceptible flow and large sections of dried creekbed. Still, it is the first natural water source we have been able to use and we made an early camp by its banks under a grove of Ponderosa Pines, whose needles were much more camp friendly than the cactus needles we had come to know. Along with the riparian habitat came wild turkeys, mule deer, coyotes howling up the canyon and the trip’s first mosquitos.

13.5 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

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