I think the heart, rather than the head, makes the decision to travel a long trail. This book, I hope, speaks to the heart. The trail is simply the ground upon which I stand to see beyond the trail to something else. I am, above all, interested in the “truth” of the trail, rather than its day-to-day reality.
This is not really a guidebook. You won’t learn anything useful about backpacks, tents, or stoves. I don’t have much in the way of backpacking advice to give you. Rather, this is a book about the experience of being on the trail. It describes what The Colorado Trail is like for people traveling on it. The “voices” you hear in this book are varied and idiosyncratic because the travelers are individuals who feel compelled to walk or bike a long distance. All of them crave adventure or change in their lives.
The trail is a transforming experience for many people. It informs and influences the rest of their lives. Whatever this personal experience of the trail is like for a person is what I mean by the “truth of the trail.” This is what I’m after. This is what interests me. This is fundamentally what this book is about. Each voice whispers of adventure, challenge, and personal transformation.
I have hiked the 500-mile Colorado Trail three summers in a row, and interviewed over 150 fellow hikers and mountain bikers about their reasons for being on the trail. Their stories, along with almost 200 of my trail images and a few of my trail poems, give the reader a clear sense of the experience of the trail.
For those who have traveled the trail before, this book recalls precious memories. For those thinking of hiking the trail in the future, this book provides additional motivation. Leave it around the house where your friends and family can find it. Chances are, they won’t think you are crazy anymore. They will be planning to join you on this experience of a lifetime.
There are over 60 “voices” in the book. Here are a few of my favorites.
- Blackhawk – First Backpack Ever
- Peter – Every Day I’m Smarter, Faster
- Breezy – Cynical About Humanity
- Rummy – The Universe is Pure Love
- Mary and Wendy – Eating Well
Enjoy a few pages in the book by clicking on the image below.