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 17th

We awoke to a 4am rain shower on our sleeping bag. The clarity of the stars as we fell asleep last night not giving hint of any approaching storm so we felt secure in not setting up the tent. As the first few drops fell, we didn’t react, thinking that it would have to be a light and passing shower. But as the size of the drops and their tempo increase we needed immediate shelter. No time to set up a tent. We pulled out the tyvek groundsheet from below the bags and pulled it over us.

Unfortunately we had camped in a very dusty ground so evreything now received a good layer of grime. The rain continued coming down at a steady pace for what seemed like a long time but was probably only 10 minutes. As it let up we took a good look and saw a thick layer of clouds all around, so decided to set up the tent, in case the clouds burst into rain again. This took awhile as we had to search for the Carrot’s headlamp, which after about 5 minutes of frantic looking around was found to be on her head….. Of course, once we were sheltered safely inside the tent the rains never returned.

All this nocturnal activity left us tired after day broke and we slept in later than expected, which meant we had to push a bit harder to hike the 24 miles to get to the highway in time to get to Chester.

Most of the days walk continued to be through old secondary growth, all very crowded and uniform in appearance and with such a dense canopy that there was no understory of plants, just a lot of very dry built up fuel wood. A fire disaster in the making. In several places though the trail would cross rock outcroppings on ridges, which offered excellent views of Mt Lassen, drawing ever closer. The most significant section was a 9 mile walk about 3/4 of the way around the rim of an ancient volcano, long ago shattered by its own explosive power, leaving chaparral like formations of twisted rock.

As we continue to be on the crest of volcanic rock, we continue to be without easy access to water. The only water along 23 miles of this stretch is a half-mile hike down off the crest. We stop there for lunch and join Tigger, Strut and Trainwreck who are enjoying a leisurely break. We wrap up lunch and push hard for the 14 miles to the highway.

The longer miles and the large number of days spent making an extra effort to get into towns early or to get in miles after leaving towns late are taking their toll.

Its time for an “Inventory of Injuries and Irritations”: Soreness has returned to the left ankle leaving it very tender and weak. Despite attempts not to favor it, its hard not to step more gingerly on it, which in turn transfers some soreness to the Achilles tendon, the calf and the knee. This favoring has also resurrected an old blister on the left heel. The volcanic dust seeps into the shoes leaving raw spots on the sides of each foot and the backs of both heels. Two of the little toes on the left foot are slightly numb and have some skin rubbed off leaving raw spots. But none of its so serious that the hike needs to be halted, so we go on.

Originally we were not planning on stopping in Chester, but the very limited selection of food at the store in Beldon made it necessary to stop in Chester for a proper resupply. Highway 36 into Chester is at PCT mile 1329, exactly the halfway point of the “official” length of the trail. The re-route around Glacier Peak should actually push this a few miles further along, but it is close enough for us to celebrate.

The “Hiker to Town” bandanna works and we get a ride from a local who sees it and recognizes us as PCT hikers. We get a room at the Senneca Motel and a great steak at the Timber Lodge.

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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