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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 22 – Fire Escape

From where we had camped, we walked about another 4.5 miles climbing, steeply towards the end, up to the head of Cox Canyon. We had passed on getting water from Dutchman Tank. It wasn’t just that the brown water looked unappealing, it was the cows standing around it doing their usual bowel and bladder relief. We still had about 6 quarts of water each, so that even with very few and unreliable sources ahead, we had enough to get through the day, and if we were careful and willing to be thirsty, maybe the next morning.

At the head of the canyon, FS (forest service) road 94 crosses a ridge and meets up with FS 3070. To our delight someone had stashed several gallons of water. To our dismay, a CDT closure notice was posted at the road junction. We sat in the shade of a Ponderosa pine at this 9,000 foot intersection of roads, trail and journey to ponder our actions.

The CDT becomes trail again for the next five miles, but was posted as closed by order of the forest supervisor because of the Willow Fire, a wildland-use fire (they let it burn for restoration purposes). So, mostly the “fire” is laying low with limited flames, simply smoldering, low intensity burns on the ground. Good restoration, with lots of smoke.

But beyond any real fire danger, the fine for violating the closure is steep, $5,000 per person, and the physical challenges for hiking could be difficult if the fire had obliterated the trail and left unstable ground and snags. We hated to leave the trail, but there really was no other viable option. With no posted info on posible detours, we were glad to have the large scale “Benchmark Maps” showing forest service road options.

So we road walked FS 94 about 14 miles to highway 12. The walk was a steady drop in elevation and came with dramatic changes from the Ponderosa highlands to the Juniper, Oak and Sage lowlands. As FS 94 approached the highway we crossed a bridge with a birds eye view of a beaver lodge, dam and pond, along with the resident beaver, not shy but showing off.

A wait of 50 minutes and we got a ride into Reserve, from someone who had passed us by, turned around and came back to pick us up.

We had anticpated spending the night on the trail, but our road walk around the fire closure was a bit shorter, and faster, so it brought us into town tonight instead.

One motel was full, the other deserted with no response to the phone outside the office. Not sure where we might have to spend the night, we decided to eat while we still could and we barely made it in time to get dinner at the only restaurant open, walking in as the closed sign went up. At least we would be fed. During dinner, we found a phone number for the motel, called and got a room. Things were looking up from the uncertainty of an hour earlier. With the convenience store and grocery market closed we narrowly missed getting beer, but found a bar with package sales, so things were really looking up, as we put our feet up and took in the creature comforts of town.

18.5 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