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 17th

The whole camp slept in late, as did we, tired after climbing over two passes yesterday.

Shortly after starting down the trail we came upon a large doe grazing on the hillside in the morning sun unfazed by our sudden presence.

We walked most of the day with Crazy John and Steady, descending past a series of lakes and meadows into the ever tighter granite walls of the canyon before the long ascent to Pinchot Pass. At Woods Creek crossing we had lunch, contemplating the swaying cable and wood slat bridge as well as the climb to follow.

Halftrack arrived almost at end of lunch, having lingered in camp longer than most. We were all a bit sluggish; a latent effect of time off in town, but Halftrack seemed to be suffering more than most. By lunch, he had already decided that he would pace himself more slowly over the passes and we said goodbye knowing we might not see him for a while.

Our attention now turned to the long climb up to Pinchot Pass. We walked on trying to distract ourselves from the elevation gain with waterfall views and towering mountains coming ever closer. Wonderful waterfalls and cascading creeks, rushing downward releasing massive amounts of energy. Energy we wish we could harness to help us climb up.

Midway we gain the top of a ridge, which we follow surrounded by a ring of high peaks, seemingly with no way out. A very deceptive pass, Pinchot. After climbing over rolling ridges in the upper basin which point at various possible passes we still aren’t quite sure which way leads out, until the trail’s final switchbacks stop at a point slightly higher than the actual pass. We do not even cross at the low point, a final indignity to our efforts.

And so it is a love and hate relationship we feel with these passes. Hours and miles of hard climbing on sometimes steep grades, over slippery snow and at an altitude with little air are rewarded by stunning views and a real sense of achievement.

Pinchot has been a long march: 8 miles, up 3,500 feet. 4 hours of miserable climbing for 30 minutes of elation. But the views are among the most stunning we have seen so far. And a resident marmot who is willing to pose for a few photos. This is the reward and, however brief, it seems worthwhile.

Both sides of the pass are covered with snowfields, slowing our progress. Melting and merging, seasonal streamlets and trail become one and feet become wet. On the way down we slog through a beautiful lake basin as the evening light fades into soft tones and shadows, bringing out the darker colors in the peaks. We quicken our pace to put down more miles and set up our attack at tomorrow’s pass.

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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