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 13th – Friday the 13th

The morning was devoted to showers, laundry, sorting through our box of supplies and resupplying food from the hiker pass along box and the store. Two people sent us cookies, my sister and the Carrot’s friend Lisa.

Cookies – the universal food. They are good for breakfast, snacks, lunch or diner desserts and, if I let the Carrot, she would make dinner of cookies. With all the cookies and brownies we received as a well as a few other goodies in our supply box and some items from the hiker pass along box, we were able to resupply with only very few purchases from the store.

We were back on the trail by 11am and it finally feels like the lead has left the legs, like I have a rhythm back in my stride. Shortly after Mazama the trail splits into a “stock” trail and a “hiker” option. The hiker option goes up the side of th extinct volcano to the rim so that it is possible to peer down into Crater lake. After a relentless and, at times, steep climb we arrived at the rim, took a good look at the lake as wel as a few photos then dodged the tourists, bicyclists, RVs and cars to cross the road and have lunch at the cafeteria.

We consumed overpriced cheeseburgers with Trainwreck, Tigger, Strut surrounded by a swarm of nameless, faceless tourists and their children running amok. Probably the most peolpe in one place that we have seen in months.

After lunch we took the hiker trail around the rim a it weaves between dramatic viewpoints and parking lots. The bright sunlight brings out the incredible blue of Crater Lakes, a blue unique to this place. I call it Crater Lake blue. It’s a shade not to be found on any artists palette, in any painting nor even truly in any photo. Its fleeting and its a feeling as much as a visual sense. It’s as hard to describe as it is to see and it fades away even in its memory. To experience it one must visit the lake.

An approaching storm brings wind, rain and a dramatic play of light and shadow. By far this is the most stunning scenery we have seen since the area around Sonora pass in the Sierras, some 800 miles back. In an hour or two I shoot as many photos as I have in the whole last week. We catch up to ZigZagger who has been walking slowly soaking it all up. Then we run into Sasquatch who hitched a ride up from Mazama. The clouds burst and rain falls, refreshing at first, turning to hail and making mud out of the trail. We are fortunate to have left the rim before the lightening starts striking. Later we will learn that a lightening strike from this storm cell ignites a forest fire in the park. But we are a few miles past it before that happens. In an all too familiar scene we wait out the hail in the shelter of a large pine tree. Several deer watched us as we dove for cover. Zigzagger joined us under the tree.

The storm front has also blown in a layer of wood smoke, probably from a large fire burning near Mt Shasta, now some distance away.

After the hail let up we hiked on following very old roadbeds overgrown with grass and trees almost past the point of recognition. Dropping back into the forest the trail entered an area devoid of features. A flat forested plain with no views, landmarks or significant landforms, no creeks, ponds or lakes, no slopes, rock outcroppings or hills. A monotone forest of Lodgepole pine all the same age. One wonders how the trail planners and builders knew which way to go to connect up the trail. Perhaps this explains a lot of the seemingly pointless wanderings the actual trail takes.

We catch up to Ruth as she makes dinner and join her for a break. Ruth claims her function is to get people to sit. It works on us. Although we don’t sit for long as we are hoping to make it to highway 138 with enough time before dark to be able to hitch into Diamond Lake for pizza. We make it by 8:30 right behind Zigzagger. There is a water cache and a note from Little John with directions to his Aunt’s cabin, but it is too far to walk and to remote to be an easy hitch. We decide try to get to the pizza place.

After about 15 minutes and a dozen cars we have no luck. With darkness setting in, we decide to use the last few dying rays of light to find a place to camp. There is a water cache, and we have enough food in the food bags that we are not desperate. It’s just that pizza on a Friday night would be good.

We started to move deadwood around to clear an area for tent when a car door slams shut and we heard footsteps. Jens, Little John’s dad, was back to pick up hikers, and we were unexpectedly whisked into the luxury of his family’s cabin on Diamond Lake, where hot showers, a warm bed, cold beer and tacos await.

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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