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

August 10th

Last night we had ants in our pants, or more precisely in our sleeping bag. The very large black ones, who don’t bite but their crawl is creepy. So I did not sleep well, pulling them off my legs and tossing them out of the bag all night. A hot day, combined with the lack of sleep, zapped the energy from my legs. The Carrot was sluggish too. TW, Strut and Tigger caught up to us just before lunch and they were dragging too. Heat does that. We would end up taking more breaks than usual and for longer periods of time to try and rest from the heat stress.

We had one of our final views of Shasta, looking back to the south as we climbed up Mt Baldy. It was sort of a final farewell as we are pulling away from Shasta, moving directly north now. Although Shasta has been a constant companion for several weeks, it is time to part ways. Late in the day we turned our attention to Mt. McLoughlin as it draws closer with a couple of fine views. The trees are all about the same age and the same type, at least for the most part. The forest is so uniform in places that it feels almost sterile. We do see (and taste) our first ripe Huckleberries of this trip, the taste of home.

The PCT in Oregon stays close to the actual crest of the Cascades. In doing so it there is a lack of water. The volcanic soil doesn’t retain moisture and water sources such as springs, creeks and lakes are all below the crest in nearby basins. The PCT misses many opportunities to visit these lake basins. On the other hand, the old Oregon Skyline Trail alternates between following the crest and visiting various lake basins. Sometimes the OST offers an alternate routes superior to the PCT. Sometimes other trails or roads also offer alternatives to the official PCT. Frequently the guidebook and previous hikers strongly recommend some of these alternate routes. Our personal “aesthetic” is that we want to walk a continuous trail to Canada and follow mainly the PCT, but if a better option is available which makes more sense because of water, scenery or logistics we will consider taking advantage of it, as long as the distance is comparable.

Today we were tempted by the possibility of a refreshing swim, better views and maybe a cheeseburger at the resort to follow an alternate route which visits the Lake of the Woods. When we arrived at the junction we found a paved road and a fair amount of car traffic. Roadwalking, especially walking on asphalt in the hot sun, seemed very unappealing and the potential advantages were not enough to off set this fact.

We continued on to Brown shelter, one of very few shelters on the PCT, a rare treat. We were tempted to stay but it was only 4:30pm and we had only come about 16 miles, so by any measure it was too early to stop. We went on. The last ten miles were tough on the feet as we traversed the western flanks of Brown Mt and it various lava flows. Young, sharp rocks ruled the trail and we were struggling to get to Highway 140 before dark where level ground and water awaited. We had been seeing TW, Strut and Tigger at most of our breaks and they were also pushing to camp at Highway 140 with its promise of water. Cool rushing water, very soothing after a hot day. According to the radio it hit 104F in nearby Ashland and Medford today. The roar of the creek was enough to drown out the occasional car on the road.

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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