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 2nd

The three gals camped last night a couple miles back. Trainwreck comes by early and stops at the spring for water as we are packing up to leave. We hike for a little while with her, but are slightly ahead at a junction on the crest.

At this moment, we are abducted by aliens. Wait, no, that’s not quite right. We are abducted by Sasquatch. Yeah, Bigfoot got us. Yep, that’s it; that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. How else would you explain it?? How else could we have walked 4.5 miles down the wrong trail with a sign for the PCT pointing obviously in another direction? By the time we realized our error….. ahhh, I mean, by the time we escaped Bigfoot’s grasp…….and walked the same 4.5 miles back to the junction we have made a 9 mile, most unnecessary, detour. The fact we were rewarded with some rarely seen and stunning views of Marble Mountain, and its escarpment of white marble, is of little solace to our weary feets and hearts.

As we arrive back to the PCT, a black cloud overhead lets loose some thunder and ligtening. We scurry down the PCT, which fortunately leaves the crest at this point to tour a glacial basin. In a few hundred yards we stop in the shelter of a large tree to take a much needed break. Then the familiar pitter patter “kersplat” of hail starts. Its like the Sierras all over, and we pull out the Tyvek.

Almost an hour passes before the clouds part and the hail lets up. We hike on and finally reach the ranger station located in the basin only 2.5 miles from last night’s camp. Its now 2pm and we have not made much “forward progress” on the PCT. We pull the rain jackets off and set off at a determined pace, intent on making miles. We regained the crest, which offered many panoramic views and an interesting play of light and shadows as the clouds moved in and out all afternoon. Occasional rain had us putting on and puling off the ran gear several times. My “Frogg Toggs” still seem to be a good balance between rain protection and breathability. For the rest of the day we would see no other people. Perhaps, Bigfoot got them too?

Close to the end of our hiking day we passed on getting water at Buckhorn Springs, a puddle of stagnant water with no obvious flow. We hoped for better water from late season springs about a mile ahead. Both were dry. With only about a quart of water each we did not have enough to cook and camp overnight, so with darkness descending we pushed on. We knew that in the worst case scenario, a year round creek was another 6 miles ahead. And, of course, there is always the possibility of water sources not mentioned in the guidebook; although there have only been few of these lately since the trail has been so true to the crest.

Finally the sky cleared off around 8pm and we start the long descent into Seiad. Off in the distance a plume of smoke rises from somewhere near Seiad, possibly a lightening strike fire. The moon is coming up later, and the forest canopy is nearly completely covering everything overhead. Darkness descends quickly and completely. About 9:15pm we donned headlamps. Descending from the ridge on a steep and forested slope the darkness was complete and we could not see what lay beyond the edge of our path, just an eerie emptiness. The trail fell away in front of us, hard to see but dropping at a constant amount, feet falling into the dust with faith that they would find a solid landing. Finally, around 10pm, we found a spring, but it was not until we were deep into the canyon. There was no flat ground to be found anywhere. We kept going. We walked on for another mile until we came to an old road and a creek, where we were able to camp.

We had carried water the last mile for no reason as it turned out, but were “home” at long last. Its 10:20pm and we are tired and hungry. Even though it’s late, we make dinner. This had been our first 30-mile day of this trip, and the longest day ever for the Carrot. Too bad it only moved us 21 miles along the PCT; we are much further away from Seiad Valley than we had hoped for. The feet held up well to the extra strain, but the lower back’s raw spot is very sore tonight.

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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