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 13th

To get to Beldon in 4 days we need to increase our mileage and have “big” hiking days today and tomorrow. So, we hiked for an hour and half before a breakfast of granola and protein powder.

We are finishing mid morning break at a spring near the “A” tree when Phoenix and Peaches arrive. We chat a few minutes but the need to make miles calls us onward.

The higher mileage is possible because of several factors: we are hiking at a lower elevation, on well graded trails and very little time is needed for photos or for turning around and looking back at the views behind. The woods look pretty much the same in either direction, mostly secondary growth grown up around the stumps of large old trees. What a tale they could tell.

Occasionally there are some old growth trees that time and loggers somehow have forgotten, but they are isolated and seldom have enough neighbors to actually constitute an old growth forest. There are more roads than ten years ago. And existing roads have been “improved” (paved) for the benefit of motorized travel, not an improvement for hiking solitude.

We are surprised to see several section hikers and weekend backpackers. Ease of access is about all that recommends this area for such activity. Considering all of the really remarkable places in the Sierra for a 2 or 3 day trip, it’s hard to imagine anyone choosing this part of the trail as their first choice to go backpacking. These are the miles that through hikers do in order to connect the other parts of the trail that are more scenic, that appear in everyone’s slide shows.

With fewer views we make good miles. We do cross an occasional crest and get our very first looks at far off Lassen Peak, holding the promise of more interesting mountains ahead.

We catch up with Ruth at a creek and join her for lunch. No trouble finding shade on this section.

As afternoon shifts into evening the warm air rises through slanting sunlight and we watch a layer of smog, its shade of brown unmistakable, rise above the mountains. Probably it originated in Sacramento and San Francisco. The mountains are no longer high enough to block its progress from the central valley, and it rolls in creating an eerie layer before sunset

Water on the crest is still scarce and we make dinner with Ruth at a junction where a spring lies a quarter mile away. After filling ourselves with mashed potatoes and country gravy we hike on another 4 miles until darkness descends. An overgrowth of chaparral obscures the small peak where we had hoped to camp and we hike on to a saddle where we set up a make shift camp after 28.8 miles, our longest day yet on this trip. We slide into the bag tired and glad to get horizontal.

Perhaps because everything is so quiet in this lightly visited area, the “earth’s hum” is especially prominent tonight; even the Carrot can hear it, which is unusual.

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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