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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!

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"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 17 Doc Campbells Day

We pushed off from camp early enough that the first river crossing chilled the legs. The air hung hazy and heavy with an acrid smell and taste of woodsmoke. With their unique wind patterns that can funnell and trap air, and as evenly dispersed as this smoke was, we figured the source was some distance away, and later learned that be true. Nonetheless we kept a notice on where water and cobble banks were especially wide. Dark clouds rolled in trapping the heavy air, but eventualy moved on without more than a sprinkle.

We followed the tracks of “feral” cattle most of the morning. Cattle grazing has been prohibited for some number of years and the Forest Service took efforts to round up and remove the remaining cattle, but some were elusive and were not caught. They are the ones returning to the wild. We saw a cow calf combo yesterday and they were as “skittish” as a deer.

We encountered a father and son with backpacks and fishing gear, set out to explore the canyon bottoms.

As we travelled further up canyon, the trail improved, mostly from the additional use trails get as they near roads. Several day hikers and 24 river crossings later we came to the road, highway 15, and walked on to Doc Campbells where our resupply box awaited.

The box arrived intact but examining it’s contents would need to wait until we’d had sodas, microwaved hamburgers and homemade ice-cream. A three hour layover was enough to get fed, resupply items sorted, chores and calls done.

Leaving the very friendly Doc Campbells we walked the road towards the Gila Cliff Dwelling National Monument. Too late today to visit, we camped nearby in the “Lower Scorpion” semi-developed campground (water, picnic tables, a privy, but no trash service and no fees.) It’s small, with only a few other campers, but still seems unusual to have people nearby, as we set up camp and make dinner.

We are in the middle of the immense Gila Wilderness, the highway is a long “cherry stem” separating halves and the limited development and national monument are “inholdings”. The centerpiece are the canyons, which we walked through. All around though are wild, rugged canyons, mesas and mountains.

Aldo Leopold, one of the founders of The Wilderness Society and noted author of “A Sand County Almanac” was also a Forest Service Supervisor on the Gila Forest and in the 1920′s set aside these lands as the nation’s first “Primitive Area”, a category of management which he created to preserve these lands and which was a precursor to the National Wilderness System.

11.5 miles (6 in the Canyon) 24 river crossings, for a total of 63 crossings in 15 miles in the “lower” Gila River Canyon.

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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