COMPLETED. I woke up at 2am and I was so excited about finishing the trail today that could not go back to sleep. I’m going to miss being in nature 24/7 and the simplicity of life out here, but I miss Grant, sleeping in a bed and being clean 😂
Resistance. That’s what I dealt with this morning. I’m so close to finishing, but man I was over it! Last night I was the victim of a pretty viscous wind/rain storm. All. Night. Long. I felt like my tent was going to fly was l away with me inside. It was awful.
So many beautiful views today! The morning started cold with spurts of hail. I think the recent rain has made it colder in general, and it’s making it harder and harder to get out of my sleeping bag each morning 🥶
Started a bit later today than usual because I had to hitch to the trailhead this morning and I didn’t think I had a good chance of finding a ride if I left at 6am 😊 I also learned today that when you ask mother nature for a favor, you should be specific.
Probably my shortest day on trail. I woke up a little later, but through the tent I could tell it was not as sunny as it should be for that time of morning. And sure enough the sky was completely grey and raining 😑
The sky was completely grey when I got out of my tent this morning. I hiked for the first hour eyeing the clouds wondering if this was going to be my day and hoping I wasn’t walking into the rain. I was 😫
It rained for HOURS last night. And not just like a drizzle… hard windy rain 😫 It was a little nerve wracking because I just kept picturing my stakes flying out of the ground, and having to fix it in the middle of the storm. Luckily I also weighed everything down with rocks so in the end it was fine, but I was still nervous!!
Back on the trail after a zero in Lake City with my love ❤️ Grant dropped me off at the trailhead at 5am so that I could try to get all my miles in before the any thunderstorms that night occur in the afternoon. Thunderstorms on the top of a mountain range with little to no tree cover can be a very dangerous thing!
I think my body found it’s limit today after completing 100 miles in 4.5 days. I only had 12.4 miles to hike to get to Grant and a rest day, but it felt like an eternity. I’m sure only getting 3 hours of sleep the night before did not help either. 🤦
Finally finished with the endless road-walks and cow pastures 🙌🙌🙌Today was hard, but lovely. It started through a beautiful valley that followed Cochetopa Creek for miles. I had 3 ascents in the second half of the day (which I try to not do, but sometimes that’s how it works out 🤷).
Woke up from the best sleep I’ve had on trail! Felt completely rested and ready for the day. I did my normal routine of changing into my hiking clothes and packing everything up inside while inside my tent (you know, staying in the warmth as long as possible). Then I went to step out of the tent and nearly collapsed from a sharp pain in my knee 😫
I did not want to do today. The first 5 miles were aweful. I wasn’t feeling well, it was freezing, this section isn’t particularly interesting and the first 4 miles were uphill 😫 Then my least 4 hours were in direct sunlight and had 3 steep inclines (which is normally ok, but not at the end of a 23 mile day).
Back on the trail after a wonderful zero with Grant, Dory and James in Salida ❤️ I decided that it was time to do another big mile day since I officially completed the challenging Collegiate West route. So 22 miles it is!
Today I feel accomplished. We hiked in 10 miles to Monarch Crest, mostly finishing the Collegiate West portion of the trail. This was the section I was most nervous about, because it’s consistently at high altitude, had a lot of climbs and can be dangerous in a thunderstorm.
OVER HALFWAY THERE! Another beautiful day in Collegiate West ❤️ I wouldn’t say today was easy, but maybe easiER than the other days in this section. We had 2 significant climbs (and a small surprise 3rd one at the end 😫), and the views were spectacular!
Today was one of those days that was so very hard, but equally amazing! We (me and Chief) had 6 climbs over the course of 18 miles and epic views the entire time. I think this might be my favorite of the Collegiate West segments even though my legs were mush by the end of the day. Absolutely worth it!
I hate hiking over rocks. The first 2.8 miles of the hike today was a crazy incline up to Lake Ann Pass. I lost the trail in a rock field, and when I came out the other side I had to scale the mountain side straight up to find the trail again. It really was insane!
Most mornings I get up ready for the day. Today I wasn’t as motivated, but oddly I got ready faster than normal. I spent the first hour cold and contemplated went on earth am I doing this. That bed the night before last was soooo cozy, and I miss Grant terribly.
Today’s hiking day would be dubbed a “nero.” It’s a day that you don’t get any significant miles in, but you didn’t take the whole day off. I spent most of the day with Grant and Eli exploring Leadville and Twin Lakes. It’s really nice to share some of these moments with people I know and love.
Today my main goal was to get to town. I found a lovely trail angel to drive me all the way from Twin Lakes to my Airbnb in Leadville and I didn’t want her to have to wait around for me. So that means I had to hike almost 14 miles by 11:30am.
Do you ever go through an entire spectrum of emotions in 1 day? Well I have. This morning was perfection. It was warmer than usual and I left camp at a great time. The 11 miles in the morning were great. Challenging in a couple of stretches, but not exhausting. And there were a lot of easy flat-ish stretches through the forest where I had time to think. My mind was clear.
This morning was COLD. I wake up at 5:00 every morning so that I can start hiking at 6:00, and this morning was particularly chilly. It makes it a little harder to get out of my quilt, but I would rather be cold for a couple hours than miss the sunrise.
So. Incredibly. Exhausted. This was definitely the hardest day yet. The ascent today was a long and steep 8 miles. The view at the top was breathtaking, but knowing I still had 9 more miles to go when I was that tired was a little disheartening. Regardless, I stuck it out and made it to a beautiful campsite where I can finally relax 😌
I’m not going to lie, it was head to sleep last night knowing that I would get to see Grant today! I miss that guy like crazy 😫 As soon as my alarm went off at 5am I was up and packing! Usually it takes me an hour to pack up camp, eat and get water, but today I did it in 40 min 🙌
Beautiful day for a 17 mile hike! But damn that first 12.2 miles to the summit ridge got me good. I just kept telling myself, “Just put one foot in front of the other. You’ll get there eventually!” Georgia Pass was epic! 360° views of gorgeous mountain ranges and valleys, makes every painful step totally worth it.
So I DID NOT get eaten by a bear last night! 😂 I actually didn’t hear a single sound all night long. Everytime I woke up throughout the night it was completely silent. I didn’t even hear insects. I guess it was so cold, even the bugs had to snuggle up on their bug houses to stay warm 🤷
I was a little slow getting up this morning. 1) because I was a little nervous about the 3000ft elevation gain today, and 2) there were people playing loud music at a cabin close by from 10:30pm until 4am! 😫 And I mean it was LOUD! Why on earth do people come to nature to just ignore it? I will never understand this!
Today kicked my ass! I tired to knock out as many miles as I could on Segments 2 & 3 since they have the least amount of elevation gain and they’re known to be a little boring compared to the rest of the trail. I still think it was beautiful! The first 7 miles were great! Most of it was uphill, but I started at 6am so it was cool and I was ready to go! The following 3 miles were a little more difficult since the sun was coming up and there was little shade.