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

Trip Report – Lordsburg – The Theoretical CDT

From the CDT trailhead at Crazy Cook (on the Mexican border) to Lordsburg we walked through 84 desolate miles of dry, arid desert along a route marked by a few posts, following old jeep roads or cactus whacking all the way. It was a physically, mentally and emotionally challenging bit of hiking, pushing us to certain limits of endurance. The heat, rocks and rough terrain took their toll on our legs and feet. Carrying 2+ gallons of water, while necessary, added weight and stress.

Our approach has been to rise at first light and walk until late morning, find or create shade for a long mid day break from the brutal midday sun and hike again from late afternoon until dark.

The deserted landscape has it’s own special appeal. How do you photograph “vastness” or “emptiness”, the lack of something is even hard to describe in words; in photos it’s near impossible to capture.

Theoretically the Continental Divide is where the water divides, where the rain runs east to the Atlantic or West to the Pacific. But where there is no rain, or where the rain that does fall soaks into the sands and no rivers actually run out to the sea, the divide is more theoretical than real.

The trail, too, is theoretical. There is no actual “trail”, just a route marked by posts across the deserted terrain; following this trail involves whacking away at cactus and following the old jeep trails. In six days we saw no people, even on the jeep roads.

Critters included Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Lizards, Horned Toads, Lesser Nighthawks, Gambel Quail, Vultures (which seemed to always be circling overhead – just waiting), rabbits (both Jack and CottonTail), coyotes, Mule Deer, Antelope, Mourning Doves and many morning song birds.

But we made it through, and after a day to rest up and forget all these troubles we’ll head out again.

Water was mostly absent from the landscape except for the five water caches we placed the day before starting the hike, a convenience we enjoyed because my parents, who live in Tucson, were able to shuttle us over and around (thanks Mom & Dad!).

The heat and lack of water has meant that it has been six days with no coffee or tea. A looong time, but now we are in town and can enjoy caffeine and ice, two very civilized inventions.

How can you tell you are a long distance hiker? When you have been on a desert trail for three days of accumulated dirt, dust, sweat on your body and hands since you’ve had no spare water to wash with, and yet you still eat melted chocolate and don’t think twice about licking your fingers…..

84 miles Border to Lordsburg

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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