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 19th

We had breakfast at the grocery store of coffee, juice, donuts, yogurt and fresh fruit. Before leaving town we stopped at the community center to get on the internet, such opportunities are becoming more scarce. Meadow Mary was already there and we got caught up on trail news from all the hikers around Billy Goat who is just a few days ahead. Meadow Mary gave us a ride back to the trail and we were finally under way shortly after noon, later than we had wanted which means that again we will be pushing hard and pushing dark to get in the miles we need to be able to get into Old Station on Tues, not Wed.

Highway 36, or somewhere just north of it is the halfway mark, depending on how you count the miles with this years re-routes. It’s a psychologically significant event, as can now start counting down less miles to go than the miles we have done. The Carrot prefers to see this as if we have halfway left to GO, to experience, where as I am quite satisfied that we are halfway DONE and accomplished.

The trail and terrain continues their rolling, relatively viewless ways. We stop for a late lunch at the Feather River, a nice place for a swim but we refrain. The day is not as hot as it has been, only low 80s and with cloud cover and a breeze our shaded lunch spot is really quite cool already. Two Western Tanagers flit through the nearby trees. Clouds continue to roll in and threaten to form into thunderheads but they never quite do.

In the late afternoon we enter Lassen Park and pass by a dilapidated trail register box. So far I don’t think we have seen a single trail register on Federal land that has been maintained. They all appear to have fallen into disuse, probably victims of budget cuts. This makes it hard to know who is ahead, who passed through on or day off in Chester. We see no other northbound hikers although we know they are out there. We know because we do run into a southbound section hiker “Just Mel” who tells us of all the hikers he has seen, the usual suspects for the most part.

From the sulfurous smell we know that Lassen is still an area of geothermal activity. We stop and admire the grey clay/mud bubbling up in Boiling Lake. Near Drakesbad Guest Ranch the trail takes an official detour. A bridge ahead is out and so our route swings around and passes right through the guest ranch. Curious to see more and hoping for hospitality we stop and ask to fill water bottles. We stay for dinner, a lovely three course affair: tomato basil bisque, roast pork loin with a mushroom demi glaze, mashed potatoes, portabella mushroom crusted with parmesan cheese a shortcake covered with fruit medley and coffee along with some great crusty bread and a couple of beers, all a nicely discounted price. The managers Billie and Ed are helpful to thru hikers and fix us a bag of bread and fruit to go and then invite us to shower and soak in the outdoor hot springs pool. Even though it getting late and this will limit our miles, its an offer we can’t refuse. The hot spring pool felt relaxing and comfortable. As thorough as the shower had been I can’t help but think that the residual trail dust on my legs must be adding to the mineral content of the water.

The scale at the bathhouse says I’ve lost 20 pound since starting the trail in April, but this is after the big dinner and after a full day off in Chester where eating was our main goal. My guess is that 2 days ago it would have been more like 25 pounds.

So we soak and sigh until almost dark and then waddle down the road to crash at the nearby campground.

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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