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.