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 28th

After another late start due to lingering cold damp air and tired and sore muscles we finally got on the trail just before 9am. We followed a ridge up the flanks of Mt Hood. There were a great number of day hikers, even on the viewless lower stretches, since we crossed over a highway at Barlow Pass. North of the pass the going got steeper and on one or two very brief occasion we were rewarded with views of Mt Hood filtered through trees.

At a morning breakfast break we heard what sounded very much like the buggling of a male elk. We pressed on toward Mt Hood and Timberline lodge, pausing occasionally to pick a few ripe huckleberries. As we reached timberline (not the lodge, but the place where the trees give way to alpine meadows) Mt Hood stood tall and proud in all its glory. Multi-colored jagged peaks studded with glaciers and snowfields and draped with a shroud of misty clouds. The clouds moved away and the full breadth of the mountain came into view. A regal monarch. An icing of fresh snow and ice decorated the crown and pinnacles. It was a warm day, with blue skies and only a few clouds lingering on the distant horizons. Although the sun was warm, a “nip” in the air suggests fall is coming soon.

We stopped at Timberline, the lodge, for lunch. The restaurants in the actual lodge were all a bit pricey, but the cafeteria in the day use building was more casual and less expensive. We lingered longer than expected enjoying the facilities, such as chairs, tables and flush toilets. And back on the trail, with clear skies and a bright sun, we lingered longer in the first few miles snapping lots of photos.

The snowfields seem to be fewer and smaller than I remember. I don’t know if its global warming, a normal climatic cycle, an abnormal year of reduced snow or intense heat, but less snow means less run off which means many small creeks are dry. Ravines and gullies, which supported a profusion of wildflowers ten years ago, are now barren and brown, a vision shattered.

We passed may day hikers and a number of weekend backpackers as well. A popular trail, the weekend and probably some “pent up” demand, after a week of rain, for some outdoor activities. Lots of people.

We took the alternate route to Paradise Park. The extra .3 of a mile as well as several hundred feet in elevation change made it a hard choice but the incredible vistas of Mt Hood made it all worthwhile. This alternative trail traverses alpine meadows just above timberline with absolutely stunning views of the mountain. Ahead we have our first glimpse at level topped Mt St Helen. We gave some passing thought to camping on one of the spur ridges but did not find a good site near water but away from the throngs of weekend warriors.

Rejoining the PCT we descended to the Big Sandy River and made camp. A churning stream, it is fordable, but it would be easier in the morning. Since its 7:45 and getting dark, we won’t get much farther anyway, so we made camp. We will wait until the morning when the overnight cool air lessons the snowmelt and the runoff,

It’s a damp camp, set back in the trees, on a mossy ground. Probably not as nice as Paradise Park, but we are 4 miles closer to Cascade Locks.

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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