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 25 – The Dark Side of Trail Magic

After all we had to eat and drink the night before we were a little slow to rise. Finally on the trail at 8am hoping that hiking would clear the throbbing cobwebs from the head. But the darker side of trail magic emerged, “black magic” as it were. After just a couple miles it becomes obvious that the only way to rid myself of these demons of excess is an unscheduled nap. A couple hours later with head and stomach back to a more normal balance we walk on and make it to the water tank on top of Liebre mountain by 12:30 pm, only 4 miles from our camp. Here we catch up to Halftrack and Supertramp who are never too fast in the mornigns and today are living up to their motto of “3 by noon”. More importantly this mountian top marks the 500 mile point on the PCT. Although arbitrary it does seem like some kind of accomplisnment.

We walk on for a few more miles before lunch and a long siesta help the process of rejuvenation. The rest of the afternoon is spent dropping into Antelope Valley and crossing the Tejon Ranch. In 1993 an easement across this ranch was granted, trail built and the PCT eas eclared, finally to be “complete.” The trail reflects the difficulties of aquiring legal rights of access as it route reflects the twists and turns of lawyers and not nature. We walk a tortuos path of needless ups, downs and diversions intead of an easier, more direct and scenic course which looks so obviously available. All this to keep the trail at the edges of the ranch.

Fortunately the coolness continues and at least the “heat” is bearable. We finally cross highway 138 at 7pm and roll into “Hiker Town”.

Anyone providing hiker with a place to stay, after the Saufleys and the Andersons, would have a tough act to follow. And Hiker Town is a tough act. The outward apearance is curious, the general decor mostly upscale “desert rat” – a nice ranch style house with a very small patch of green lawn surrounded, a large garage, several “out” buildings in various stages of construction or destruction, and a large dirt lot filled with a Rolls Royce, an Italian sports car, a couple of motorcycles, various pieces of machinery, euipment and spare parts. Off across the desert a short distance from the main compound are several RV trailers and mobile homes that may have been abandoned by original settlers.

The owner is absent but his caretaker Bob and his handyman Jerry are there to greet hikers. They make us feel welcome and we enjoy the water and shade. We cook dinner on a kitcen stove in the garage. As we eat dinner the Carrot and I listen in while other hikers are regaled with stories from our hosts of their sordid past and the questionable circmstances which brought them here. While their hospitality is appreciated, there is a general feeling of unease, a sense that this scene is somehow just a little “sketchy”, but it is late in the day and there is safety in numbers. So even if this trail magic has its darker side too, we will sleep under its spell. We make our way to a deserted trailer to find a place to sleep, we are joined by Crazy John. Most of the other hikers are also finding some comfort in sleeping in small groups.

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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