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

September 5th

Once again, it was a misty, damp morning. There was a real chill in our little valley reminding us that fall is on the way. We were reluctant to leave the warm dry tent and so we were a bit slow in getting started. As we were packing up the clouds were lifting, revealing steep canyon walls, rock outcroppings and carpets of green clinging to them.

While we were walking the clouds continued to lift, and none too soon as we were about to climb up the final ridges to the “top” of the Goat Rocks where the views can be stunning. I remember it vividly as one of the highlights of the entire PCT. It is also a place very exposed to the elements and if the weather is inclement it can be very harsh.

Under clearing skies we quickly ascended to the ridge leading to and above the site of the Dana May Yelverton shelter. From this vantage point there is an absolutely stunning panorama, when I’ts clear, looking over Mt Adams, Mt Rainier and even Mt St Helens. We would have hated to have misses this because of clouds. Fortunately the clouds lifted and parted leaving only a layer that framed the ridges. We could peer into the valleys below, while both Rainer and Adams rose above the clouds floating like islands in the sky. Off in the distance Mt St. Helens was generally obscured but the veil lifted once or twice so we could see her peek.

We continue to be in a void with no other thru hikers. Today it was filled with day hikers and weekend trippers. The Goat Rocks may be a wilderness area but it was far from a place of solitude. At least we were lucky enough to see actual mountain goats grazing in one of the alpine meadows so we know that the area was honestly named.

After traversing a narrow knife edged ridge which seemed longer than the guidebook’s listed mileage, we began the descent to White Pass. Hogback Mountain interrupted our journey as we had to climb back up and over it. We made better time on the descent than we had along the top of the Goat Rocks. But our previous delays meant that we arrived in White Pass later than anticipated, around 7:30pm

Monte had been at the pass earlier in the day but had to leave at 5pm. So he left us a note and some soft drinks in the creek. We very much appreciated the refreshments, especially since the convenience store had already closed for the day.

We got a room at the Village Inn. The manager, Martin, told us that last night he had sold rooms to about 15 hikers, confirming that the large herd of hikers is about a day ahead. They are all gone now and once again we are in “town” with no other thru hikers.

Unfortunately the only restaurant at the pass closed 6 years ago. We had fond memories of eating there after a 1996 section hike through the Goat Rocks and had been thinking about it all day. Now all we had to eat was our one “emergency” meal of chicken soup and rice.

And then one of those moments of “Trail Magic” happened as Martin heard of our plight and invited us to join him and some of his friends, who frequently stay at the hotel, around a bonfire outside. Here we met Joel and his family. They were very interested in hearing about the trail and were very kind to share their beer as well as a nice Syrah from Willow Creek, a local winery. We also had farm fresh tomatoes, chilies, and carne asade and bean burritos. And Joel introduced us to the “just the cheese” snack products which he is helping to market. It was wonderful and unexpected hospitality. A nicer ending to the day could not have been planned.

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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