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

June 11th – Mt. Whitney

Today we took a day off, a “zero” day with no PCT miles, so that we could climb Mt Whitney, whose summit is 14,490 feet above sea level. There is nothing technically difficult about this ascent; it is really just a walk up. But hiking 15 miles round trip and with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain, to stand atop the highest point in the contiguous United States is also not exactly a day of rest.

In truth, it was an absolutely glorious day of hiking. Beginning with idyllic trout filled streams meandering through picturesque meadows; rising to marmot filled alpine basins with calm lakes and tarns, some still speckled with ice, climbing across snow chutes streaked with suncups and looking eye level at rock precepts and pinnacles; and then traversing a crest line ridge with sheer drops on one side to the hot and dry Owens valley and with panoramas on the other side opening to the heart of the high Sierra; and then finally arriving on the top of the world, it is a magnificent 15 miles.

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then a picture from Mt Whitney must speak those words in several languages to find all the ones that are needed to describe its incredible views.

But even beyond the incredible visuals, there are other senses that are affected. It is an ephemeral feeling sitting atop this mountain, a sense of something special. Beyond body and sight an elation and elevation of all the senses.

To stand atop the world, or at least this part of it sand survey this vast domain, to try and imagine what John Muir saw and how it inspired him to his noble work, to gaze out at the whole “range of light” through which we will walk on our journey north, is to find our place in these mountains and our deeper connection to the spirits which move within them.

There is a sense of awe more than there is a sense of achievement.

Whitney is shared by many. We saw a couple dozen day hikers coming up from Whitney Portal on the other side. And a few PCT hikers also climbed today. Pi and Data were coming down as we were near the top, Jimbo arrived just as we were leaving and on the way down we saw Crazy John, Salamander and Fletch climbing up. Still we leave feeling as if it is somehow “our” mountain now; and, I a sure everyone else shares this same feeling too.

Back in Crabtree Meadows the bubble of relative solitude has burst, as there are about 15 or more new arrivals who will climb Whitney tomorrow to make it their mountain. An ever evolving group of hikers, “The Unit”, has arrived along with a few others. We are camped near some of them as well as Strut, her dad and his friend. Tomorrow we will move on and be back again in our bubble, a day ahead of this wave, at least for the time being. Tonight we enjoy reliving the Whitney climb and passing on info about gear, route and what it was like, although in truth the latter has to be experienced as descriptions seem inadequate.

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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