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

Sunday May 2

The night was a pleasant one with a restful sleep and the bright light of the moon was nice to occasional wake up to, although there were a surprising number of mosquitoes through much of the night. Fortunately they were slow and not prone to bite.

We walked for much of the morning through a landscape shaped by recent fires, burned sometime in the last several years. Although fire is a natural and necessary part of this plant community, the results can be dramatic and startling.

Despite much regrowth, lots of wildflowers and green shrubs, many areas are still barren. It was as if the “skin” of green chapparal, shrubs and grasses had been peeled away to reveal the “muscles and bones” of soil and rock. It is a strange contrast to the areas that are unburned where the chapparal is so thick that its imposible to see the rocks and contours underneath.

As we crested Combs Peak, much of what lies in our future came into view. Stately Mt. San Jacinto rising very statuesque and at over 9,000ft far above the dessert ridges and canyons. And free of snow! In the distance, beyond San Jacinto lies Mt San Gorgonio and the San Bernardino mountains, still mantled in white. It will be another week before we hike along its eastern ramparts, but its nice to be making enough progress north that mountains come into view as more than place names on a map.

The heat continues today, and we are thankful of our 6:30am start. We made the 15 miles to Tule springs water tank by 1:30pm, in time for a long afternoon siesta in the shade of a Juniper tree. Enough room for Audrey, Squeek and Megham to join us as well. And enough water to clean socks and shower some over our dirty and salty body parts.

After a 4-hour break and an early dinnner, we took advantageof the cool evening temps and pressed on, arriving at the “hikers oasis” water cache in the final fading light of day at about 8pm. Total miles for the day = 21.4. Several hikers are also here and three more arrived right after us. Water in the desert is a magnet.

The desert evening is cooling off fast and out comes the fleece. A brisk cup of tea, which would have sounded repulsive only hours ago, now refreshes. The moon is one or two day shy of full and is rising to bright colored rings creating a halo of orange, red, green and yelllow. The ice crystals creating this effect, coupled with high thin clouds holds out a promise of cooler weather ahead.

For now we will enjoy this fine evening without the barrier of a tent, by tossing out the sleeping quilt under the stars.

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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