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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 25th

For almost the entire day we traversed the steep walls of a canyon complex high, and dry, above the main streams. Never breaking out onto the ridge and never opening up to any views. A green tunnel.

Again a hot and humid day, hiking in temps hovering near 100F. Bearable only because of the almost constant shade of thick forest canopy. Too thick. Lack of fire has increased the intrusive growth of Douglas Firs and other species. Unnatural but welcome relief for us on this day. The steep terrain has limited the intrusiveness of logging. Occasional very old Ponderosa Pines are mixed in with all the younger trees. Dry woods, deadfall branches cracking beneath our steps. Dry kindling. The whole scene is a massive fire waiting to ignite. The fire is already built in the fireplace and just waiting for a match.

With long stretches between running water, no views and a mind numbing series of ins and outs from one gully to the next, the hike is a test of mental endurance. In many place the under brush has grown thick and there was a lot of whacking at small overhanging branches in order to be able to hike through. The best thing that can be said of today’s walk is that it mostly was in the shade, helping to keep the most oppressive heat at bay.

With no views and very mindless walking my thoughts kept turning toward town tomorrow, and to food. The things we miss the most – pizza, cold sodas, ice cream and a big breakfast with eggs and pancakes.

At a morning break a young doe grazing nearby followed the trail to within 15 feet of where we were sitting. Her nervousness, curiosity and hunger all remained in balance for about ten minutes as she continued eating her meal while we ate ours. An accidental and very slight move of my foot, no more than an inch, tipped her comfort balance and she bolted off for higher ground.

On the trail we are seeing lots of bear scat. We have seen no bears, but more scat than “normal.” We are not sure if it means there are more bears here and that they only come out at night because of the heat. OR if the bears limit themselves to the easily used trails rather than the difficult cross country slopes.

We saw one other hiker, “D”, who passes us in the morning as he was trying to put in big miles to catch up to hiking companions of his that are a week ahead. Beyond that we saw no one else, remaining in our bubble between hikers for now.

We had lunch in the cool confines of a side canyon with running water, splashing cool water over the body, rinsing clothes, relaxing and then moving on.

Clouds rolled in late in the afternoon dropping the temps but raising the humidity. We took dinner by Squaw Creek so that we would not have to carry water up the 2,000-foot climb out of the canyon. Finally after 22 miles we pulled up and out of the canyon, crested a wooded ridge and had our first views of the day, a fine look at Shasta filtered through some trees.

With dark approaching we followed the trail and the ridge another mile to a low saddle and made camp in a rare flat spot.

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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