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 3rd

We awoke to a very heavy dew. Everything left out was very wet, including the top of the sleeping bag. Fortunately the shell fabric that Western Mountaineering uses does a good job of repealing moisture while still being breathable. We packed away the wet food bags, and the damp sleeping bag, heavier than normal from the dew.

Although we were up well past 11pm last night, today we are on the trail at 7am. We have 14 miles to go and want to get to Seiad before the restaurant closes at 2pm. About an hour later we cross Girder Creek and Trainwreck is breaking camp. Strut and Tigger are waiting for her. Evidently they had made camp about 100 yards away from us last night. The dense trees and roar of the creek left all of us unaware that anyone was near by.

The trail follows Girder Creek most of the way into town, the first time since somewhere around Yosemite, about 600 miles back, that we have walked along rushing water which we could actually see and walk down to running water for such a distance. The river canyon has a “new” more northwestrn feel about it too. Ferns, berries, shade and humidity – a moister habitat. We even found a 4″ slug slowly making its way across the trail. The last 6 miles are a “roadwalk” into town following a quiet dirt road lined with blackberry bushes onto a quiet paved road that comes out on the very remote and quiet state highway that is Seiad Valley’s “main street”.

The locals still voice dismay over their taxes supporting bridges and BART while state roads in their valley fall into disrepair. This is the forgotten corner of California, the heart of the mythical state of “Jefferson”. A movement of identity and independance encompassing northwest California and Southern Oregon. Its roots go back decades if not longer but its fervor has been resurrected in the last ten years. While not as violent as the Basques or other separatists, these people are just as passionate about their would be sovereignty. We are grateful to be in Seiad in time to bear witness to Strut’s attempt to take on the “Pancake Challange”. For as long as we have seen her on the trail it has been a topic of much speculation for Strut. And now after 1657 miles she is here to face a stack of five plate filling one-pound pancakes. Created 18 years ago by a previous owner of the Cafe, Rick, the challenge has been tried many times but only successfully completed on 7 occasions. Rick, who now runs the general store adjacent to the cafe is still called to the griddle to whip up his special batch of pancakes. The challenge is for one hiker to consume all five pounds of pancakes in 2 hours or less. The reward is a photo on the wall of infamy and a spot in hiker lore. And then the pancakes are free. Civilians (non hikers) can try but few feel the call or have the appetite. Many hikers think they have the hunger it takes, but most are humbled after 2 or 3 pancakes. As Tigger noted, the last 2 pancakes are not about appetite; they are about pride. Strut, today, makes a half-hearted attempt but has neither the appetite nor the pride to truly be competitive in the challenge. She probably would have skipped it but after talking about this for 3 months would have received too much grief. The Carrot and I settle for burgers, a milkshake and a ringside seat.

Seiad is small. One building houses the cafe, the store and the Post Office. Next door is an RV park with shade trees, showers and laundry. We take advantage of all the amenities.

With temps in the 90s and a 4,500-foot, 10-mile climb out of the valley, it is too hot to hike on. We decide to stay the night and tackle the climb in the cool of the morning. We settled in for an afternoon of town chores and hanging out in the shade. A small wildfire near the trail up ahead means that it makes even more sense to spend the afternoon and evening in to town, to wait and see how winds, weather and suppression efforts will effect it overnight. A helicopter with water buckets and a crew are busy battling the blaze. Oh well, time well spent drinking and eating. Northern California has, in some ways, become as much about town stops as it has been about the trail.

Strut, Tigger and Trainwreck headed out in the evening intent on getting a mile or so down the trail. We stayed at the RV park with Ruth and Toek enjoying a feast of hot dogs, doritos and beer.

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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