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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

July 11th

For a few minutes after leaving camp this morning we walked along a ridge with views of the high plateaus around us as well as the Sierra Buttes, which lie ahead. The buttes are like a small sailing ship whose mast and sails rise ever so slightly yet prominently above the horizon of the ocean. The surrounding mountains are like the seas whose surface is rippled with waves, but which overall gives way to the horizon as a relatively even surface.

Then we start dropping toward a reservoir. Soon we are in the trees and we never really leave them as we continue a gradual descent for about 15 miles into Sierra City. One of the hardest things about hiking the trail for the second time is trying to NOT just re-live the same experiences that I recall from before, but to rather let them unfold fresh and new, unburdened by the expectations from old memories which are selective at best.

Still it is hard to know what lies ahead and not feel a let down now that we have moved out of the High Sierra. Having hiked the trail before the mystery of the unknown is gone. This helps avoid some hardships; but, of course, it also removes the imagination, the wonderment of discovery and some of the motivation of trying to find what unique joys might be possessed by these less scenic sections.

Of course, there are lots of wonderful places coming up and I try to imagine that they will be nicer than I remember, that somehow these memories were overshadowed by Sierra memories and that now I will be thrilled by places overlooked or long forgotten. At least that is what I’m hoping to find. Still, I am “steeling” myself for the many less spectacular miles ahead, miles which I know we will need to pound out at a faster pace and put down behind us to stay on schedule.

We come across a welcome cache of water and Gatorade near Jackson Meadow reservoir. The day has turned HOT, the first time in over a month that we would complain about heat. And even at this hour of the morning the cache is a pleasant and delightful surprise.

We are within a couple miles of the highway into Sierra City when we cross Minter Creek and the Buttes appear on the far side of a clearing. We are so much closer now that they rise almost straight up above us. Now they appear more like a high-rise building reaching to scrape against the sky. The open hillside shows off the trail of our future which switchbacks towards the top of the Buttes. Tomorrow we we tackle that challenge.

Today we will head into Sierra City. Just as we reach the road, a car pulls up with Tigger, Strut and Trainwreck. Their host, Nancy, is returning them to the trail. None of them are too eager to start hiking in this heat, so we all sit around awhile getting caught up on trail and town news.

We catch a ride into Sierra City with Nancy. First stop is the store for cold drinks. Toeck, a thru hiker from the Netherlands and Ruth a hiker who has just started from Echo Lake are already there.

We settle into a two bedroom cabin with Ruth, shower and take in a passable rendition of an “ayce” Mexican buffet at the bar. Peach Cobbler dessert at the restaurant does a better job of satisfying the Carrot’s craving for food.

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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

CDT2010_TheTrailCDT20101_NMWCWMCDT2010_NMWC-1Cliff Dwelling SignCarrot PausesHiker TanCarrot Stream Crossing # 2,115Carrot takes a PhotoCarrot on the TrailCarrot Stream Crossing #5.875Carrot takes a Trail BathCarrot on the Trail still

Scenic Shots

CDT2010_yellowflowersCDT2010-valleyCliff Dwelling Carrot on the Trail 3ScenicPotty BreakScenicStream Distant HillsCactus & HillsPrickly PearJeep Road

Flora & Fauna

CDT2010_treesCDT2010_yellowflowersCDT2010-purpleflowersFloraButterfly 2BeaverFloraFlora 3Angry MarmotButterfly