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.