The first official trek to CLT came in April of 2003. An early April blizzard put the trip in jeopardy, but a quick thaw mid-month led to the first views of CLT without snowcover. A wet, late-night walk down the semi-frozen driveway from C.R. 527 led to the Showerhead, where a glance over the shoulder revealed a shooting star on the western horizon within seconds of crossing onto CLT proper. Harbinger.
With 40 acres to work with, the 2-person crew blindly set up in the dark, tents virtually pegged together. Then they inexplicably burned up the only possible flat work surface in the trip's first fire. After an evening of frost settling on the inside of tents, the suddenly energized travelers emerged to a sun-soaked morning with the Cisco roaring through the valley. The similarly awakened plants around them started to speak from the mud; the first morning at CLT brought the spring and a happy magic like no other.