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

Trip Report July 8th – Cuba NM – Chasing Rainbows of All Kinds

The 120 miles from Grants to Cuba has been the nicest section of the CDT in New Mexico, other than the Gila, that we’ve hiked so far.  Canyons, mesas, mountains, arroyos and finally more trail than roads! Stunning beauty, scenery featuring the banded rock formations which back up New Mexico’s claim to be the Land of Enchantment.

Mt Taylor was the high point, literally, at 11,301 feet. We arrived at the summit only after a long climb out of Grants up into and through the clouds which have been hovering above us for several weeks. On top, we actually had to wear our fleece jackets!

North and east of MT Taylor we dropped into a series of remote mesas. As we rolled along north, afternoon storms also continued to roll across the mesas, offering skies as dramatic as the landscape itself.

Tall cumulus clouds, bright white bulbous tops standing in stark contrast to the dark bottoms below, swirling and growing, dropping rain in sheets, shooting off bolts and sheets of lightning and spreading rainbows across the land. We would sometimes wait for them to pass, or hurry up to get ahead of their path; everyday chasing growing storms and emerging rainbows

Ironically, for all the “monsoon” weather the landscape was very dry. When we’d get to one of the few water sources we tank up and then stock up with 2 gallons each, the availability and quality of water ahead always being uncertain.

Approaching Cuba, the mesas become larger and more dramatic and the trail turns into walks along the base or the rim offering stunning views. We can see mountains ahead and know our route will soon return us to the high country.

In Cuba, we watch a parade of people who are passing through town as this summer’s gathering of the “Rainbow Family of Living Light” (which was held about an hour away up in the San Pedro Mountains) winds down. The gathering is a great counter-culture event, held in various places around the country every July and bringing in 10,000 to 15,000 people living alternative lifestyles. You will either already be in the know about the “Rainbow Gathering”, or you will need to “Google” it to find out more. We watch the tie-dye, camouflage-grunge and Rastafarian parade pass through Cuba. These aren’t your “father’s hippies” (well, SOME of them are); no, most of these members of the tribe did not come of age during the social revolution of the 60’s.  Most were born during the Reagan years and sport cell phones, day packs, aluminum drinking bottles and rendezvous their SUVs at McDonald’s.  Not a VW camper in site.  The town’s businesses welcome them and the town cop thanks them for coming rather than running them out of town….the times they are a changing.  With all the competition, we are only glad that we walked in and out of Cuba rather than needing to hitch a ride.

500 miles, 5 weeks, only 2 days behind original schedule

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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