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

Final Thoughts

Greetings all,

We’re back home in northern Idaho. Spring has been very busy so far, learning all about adobe photo shop and Microsoft front-page editor for web design. Also getting our hands dirty planning and planting an organic veggie garden.

Our website is updated with photos and an end of trip report from our recent BAJA adventure!!

Updating the website has allowed me to reflect upon what a great experience we had in BAJA. Of course the raw, rugged, virtually unspoiled beauty of the land was magnificent. But the trip was so much more. The human experience, the contact with cultural differences and similarities of behavior were all amazing. These are the true treasures of travel, the ones that we seek out by going to places new to us. I am always amazed at how much we learn when we travel, how many of our pre conceived notions are busted, how many things are different than what we expect they will be and yet how people, in many ways, are the same all over. And how, along the way, we learn more about ourselves.

BAJA was no exception. The genuine friendliness of the residents we met and the relative cleanliness of the countryside defy the image most people have of Mexico as one big border town. Except for one afternoon in Ensenada we did not encounter the barrage of street beggars, windshield washers, and peddlers seen in Nogales and Tijuana.

From impromptu English lessons we were asked to give to a young conscript at a military checkpoint to watching how hard pangueros (Mexican fisherman) work for a basic living to internet entrepreneurs in tiny seaside hamlets, to gas stations attendants frustrated with their co-workers sometimes slow habits, our prejudices about Mexicans and their individual lives were challenged and lifted. Sure “manana” still exists, but mostly as a state of mind for Americans on vacation. We found (and drank) wine made in Northern Baja, as fine as most of what we have had from Napa Valley. We wore our fleece jackets most nights, we ate street vendor tacos for 2 months with no revenge from Montezuma.

We traveled from Ensenada to La Paz (over 1,000 kilometers on the highway) with no sight of any American Fast food franchise. We had no problem finding unleaded gasoline. In fact these days it’s the only kind sold. And, during the 2 months we were in Baja the price of gas did not change one tenth of one cent per liter, while upon our return to the states it had gone up 50 cents a gallon in California. This is not meant to start a discussion of petrochemical politics, but to show the stability of the Mexican economy.

Although we searched out, and found, remote places for their solitude we also visited places that are more popular and well known. Along the way we met many travelers, mainly American, mainly retired folk driving RVs who live in the summer months in Oregon, Washington or British Columbia — snowbirds. Thankfully they kept to their mobile homes, the highway and the RV parks for the most part.

We met other independent travelers. The couple in their 70’s who were hauling a 20 foot fiberglass kayak on top of their 2 door Honda sedan; windsurfers in search of the roughest water, young couples with small kids; the kayaker out to chase whales from his small boat; the researcher who was collecting unique species of ants (did you know there are over 600 different ant species in BAJA???) We met, and became friends with, “la Vaca” (the cow) – a self named woman from Missoula with a limited knowledge of the Spanish language but an unlimited sense of humor…..but these are all stories for another time.

In remote, or not so remote, BAJA we met people on 3 different occasions that are from Sandpoint Idaho, our own little tiny outpost in remote (or not so remote) Northern Idaho. The world is getting smaller and we owe it to ourselves to learn more about our closest neighbors.

Well, its time for me to travel a little bit again. Tomorrow I’m off to the east Coast for a week to attend a retirement lunch for my college track and field coach. Later in May we will go to Colorado for 4 days to attend my nieces graduation and visit friends. Then we will be back to settle into Sandpoint for the summer.

Hasta luego,

Phil and Deb

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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