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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 15th – The Two Faces of the PCT

After hiking for a couple of hours we find ourselves on a long, protracted climb and cross over a nicely flowing creek, in the middle of what the guidebook describes as a waterless section. Since we didn’t know about this water source we are already carrying 3 liters each and don’t need to stop. At a second crossing of the “unknown oasis” creek our illusion of solitude is shattered by a group of about 20 teenage girls out on a day hike. We hear them for a half mile before, and after, we see them. We put off breakfast until we are closer to the top of the ridge and can put some distance between us and this noisy distraction. It will be another day of walking along wooded ridges.

From the continious rolling terrain along the crest, the mountains in this part of the Sierra seem very benign. The trail follows a rolling, gentle crestline. The occasional views look off at more waves of green hills with only an occasional peak rising above the general plane. The scene is tranquil and lulls us into a sense that hiking in this area is a gentle experience. It LOOKS like a place where one dad might bring his daughter and 19 of her friends for a morning stroll. But this is only one face of the forest.

Just as yesterday’s descent into the south fork of the Feather River revealed a rugged canyon, so too did today’s descent into Beldon. And these ridges surely must hide more such rugged canyons. These are harsh hillsides. A cross-country ramble could quickly turn into a a walk with grim consequences. Steep and rocky, overgrown with brush and with hidden gullies so numerous all come together to create a navigational nightmare. From the canyon bottoms the surrounding hillsides seem impossibly rugged, barriers to overland travel.

Occasional views north mark our progress as Mt Lassen, still distant, is now more distinct and seems to be getting closer. We push the final descent in order to finish 23 miles by 5pm and get in at a reasonable hour, in time to find “Little Haven”, a hostel offered complimentary to hikers by Laurie and Brenda Braatten. And in time for dinner before the nearby Caribou Crossing cafe/store closes at 7pm. The food at the cafe is good, but the store is very limited. However we manage to find enough items to be able to get us through the 2 days it will take to get the 46 miles to the next town, Chester.

Back at the hostel there are seven other hikers. We walked the whole day without seeing any of them, being either a couple hours ahead or a couple hours behind, in our own little bubble. Town stops are always where we see the most thru hikers and have a chance to get caught up on “who is where” as well as other trail gossip.

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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

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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