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 27th

We need to get on the trail at a reasonable hour in order to do the next section (of 100 miles) in only 4 days. No lingering in town today. With an uncertain hitch we hire a taxi, the Mt Shasta Shuttle, to take us to the trailhead. Little John and Sheppard join us to split the cost.

We are no more than a mile up the trail, still well within earshot of I-5 when we come across a Black Bear. He is young, maybe 3 or 4 years old. It is probably his first season away from Mom and in searching out a territory of his own in all that is left are the scrub brushes along the highway. I imagine that in the local bear hierarchy the larger, older bears get the prized berry bushes of higher elevations. Inadvertently the Carrot and I are on one switchback above the bear while Little John and Sheppard are on the switchback below. The bear is caught in between. This is not a good way to greet a bear. Fortunately he is frightened and takes off running in a direction he can exit.

We are excited to have finished northern California’s “nasty bits”, sections N and O. The Klamath mountains call and today we pass by their dramatic entrance gate, castle crags, en route to the trinity divide and the highlands of these dramatic northwestern California mountains. The trail tread has improved too, due in no small part to recent volunteer efforts.

We start the long, hot hike up the backside of Castle Crags. We leapfrog the afternoon with Sheppard and Little John. Exposed to the sun we consume a lot of water. Some seasonal creeks are dry. Remembering this same problem in 94 we tanked up at Popcorn Springs. A steep climb of several thousand feet starts right after that and there is no water until nearly the top. The heat saps our energy and at the small springs near the top we take a long break, to rehydrate, regain energy and to wait for the sun to go down a little further before we go on.

Dramatic scenery has returned to the trail. Our climb offers an excellent look at the backside of castle crags. It feels like we are inside the castle looking out through the turrets.

We reach the Trinity Divide long after the sun has gone down; in fact, its nearly dark. Not much room for a campsite, but we throw the sleeping bag down on top of a very low growth of Manzanita bushes. The 3 inch high branches are bumpy, but do offer some cushioning.

We arrive in time to catch the “last act” of the setting sun, the one where the orange fades to red and then to dirty rose finally to ever darkening shades of gray. My favorite part of this celestial play.

In the dark we try a new combo for dinner: a Lipton pasta side dish, adding pre-cooked bacon and raw green beans. It is good. But, at this hour, with this hunger anything would taste good. The moon is getting fuller and gives us some light to eat by.

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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