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 20 Gilita Sidetrip

We continue up the canyon through wider bottom lands. Large areas above the actual river bottom are covered in meadows and Ponderosa. The trail is good and the wider sides mean less frequent crossings, so we make good time. We encounter a backpacker who is on a self-described “meander” of the upper canyon and some ridges in and out.

There are still a number of crossings of the Middle Fork Gila, so our feet stay wet and the willows and river cobble continue to turn many crossings into scouting expeditions to find the trail.

We arrive at one particularly willow-covered crossing to see faint trail on the other side, while on the near side a post and good trail tread turn back upstream without crossing. We follow the trail well travelled. In fact, recently maintained. After a while it seems like we should have arrived at the Snow Lake Dam, but the trail keeps on going, so we assume that the canyon has slowed our pace and we keep follwing the trail. Something just doesn’t feel right, the too new trail tread, the narrowing and twisting canyon walls, the too many river crossings, the fact that even with a slow pace we should have arrived by now. So we take a break, compare maps and GPS and discover we are about 3 miles up Gilita Creek, a wrong way sidetrip. Nothing to do but have a late lunch and turn around.

We find the junction marked by the post where we turned up the wrong canyon. We cross over and proceed up a dry vally to Snow Lake. We had been fooled in part by following the water on its major flow, not realizing that our destination was up a dry valley. I’d like to report we had some experience, wildlife encouner or other unusual happening that made the sidetrip special, but the truth is that, as nice as the Gilita Creek Canyon is, we’d have just as soon not spent the extra 3 hours and 6 miles walking. Oh well, not much to do but laugh.

We arrived at Snow lake, stopped at the campground for a break and water, and then went on.

Today will be our last day of wet feet for some time, as the trail ahead is dry. Water sources are uncertain so we pack up 2 gallons each at the campground.

20 miles (including 6 miles on a sidetrip up Gilita Creek), 24 crossings of middle fork Gila, 40 crossings of Gilita Creek

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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