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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

May 23 – Cooling Off Period

Some trail towns can just “suck” you in. Today, we hit the trail, despite the strong pull of the Saufley’s hospitality. A relatively cool day which made for nice hiking. At one water cache there was a thermometer which read 51F degrees. The water caches made the 23 miles bearable. Although it is not a generally good idea to rely on caches, Donna Saufley is in contact daily with the Andersons who provide these caches to let them know how many hikers are coming and confirm the amount of water available. Leaving town with about 4 liters of water was sure a lot easier than in 94 when I left with 2 and 1/2 gallons.

There ia a void left by the absent spirit of missing hiker friends who are now departed from the trail. One Braid, Pippi and Harry are now gone off to pursue their own paths, away and seperate from the trail. And we miss them. Charlie is carrying One Braid’s pack mascot, a small stuffed “Hedgehog,” foward so that it can complete the journey. I undestand that it was literally hanging on by a thread. So, perhaps it is fortunate that the Hedgehog was rescued before it lost its connection and fell to its demise. Perhaps without One Braid’s decision to leave it would have been lost on the trail. An omen that the right decision was made at the right time.

Since hikers congregate at the Saufley’s usually for a couple of days each, and since they all tend to leave after breakfast, a “grouping” effect usually occurs. And today we were “running” in a pack of about a dozen other hikers, flip flopping back and forth as each would take diferent breaks and/or stop for water.

The day’s walk was mainly through chapparel, up and down over a series of ridges which begin our ascent into the Sawmill mountains.

As we were nearing the end of the day we caught up with “Steady” who had left several hours before us. Shin splints were slowing him down quite a bit. We were about a mile or slightly more to San Fransiquioto road, where there is a ranger’s station with water and a possible walk or hitch hike into the Anderson’s “Hikers Oasis”.

Descending to the road we could see a car at the crossing and picked up our pace some hoping to be able to talk up a ride. The driver saw us and hollered to slow down, that he was there for us and would wait. But, no one knew we were coming?!? When we arrived we met Joe Anderson who waits each evening for incoming hikers to take them back to the “Hikers Oasis”, their house, in his “taxi”, a sedan which could have otherwise been easily mistaken for an abandoned vehicle. We told Joe that Steady was on his way and while Joe and the Carrot waited, I jogged back up the trail a few hundred yards to take Steady’s pack and give his shins a break.

The Anderson’s “Hiker’s Oasis” is a study in contrast to the Saufley’s “Hiker’s Heaven”. Both places were filled with a love and warmth for hikers. But, what the Anderson’ lacked in organization, daily cleaning and water deliveries, they more than made up for in fullfilling the hikers more sartoric needs: a never ending Taco Salad, a cooler filled with soft drinks and beer, and a living room filled with 21 sweaty, stinky and hungry hikers, alongn with an early 1960s bikers movies, “Hells Angels on Wheels” starring a very young Jack Nicholsen.

In the front of the house a large sign made from the cotton sheet to a queen size bed welcomes the Class of 2004 PC hikers to the “Casa de Luna”. Out back were plenty of places to pitch a tent and even more bushes to pee in…… As Terry Anderson has described it – a day care center for hippie hikers. It was truly our home for the night. The Saufley’s had invited us into their house; the Anderson’s had invited us into their home. They had both invited us into their hearts.

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Flora & Fauna

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