“Synchronicity has been a key word for this trip! Let me tell you a story of how I got my trail name, Blue Mountain. The tradition, of course, is that your trail name is given to you by others on the trail. In the first six segments of the trail, near Denver, you just meet so many people. My real name is very hard for English speakers to pronounce, so the people I’ve met on the trail started calling me ‘Denmark.’ Oh, no. I didn’t want to be known as Denmark for the next 400 miles, I’m telling you. So, I wanted to find a name that everyone could pronounce.
Around Segment 5, you start getting some views, and you can see into that beautiful valley, the South Park area. And all the mountains in the distance are blue, and I just love that. I grew up in Denmark and I sailed. I lived just two minutes from the sea. The sea was very important in my life. But, recently, coming to Colorado, I’ve fallen in love with the mountains, too. I often feel like my life is a hybrid between the sea and the mountains, between the Danish and the International. So, I gave myself the name Blue Mountain, which to me expresses this dual meaning of sea and mountains.
So, I climbed Mt Yale and I went to Cottonwood Hot Springs, and there is this guy named Carlos working there. He is a feng shui expert. He gives feng shui readings, and he is amazing! So, it was probably 10:00 at night, and he whispers to me, ‘Do you want a reading?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, sure!’ He asks me to give him some numbers, etc. He tells me this is a very special reading, and so forth. We talked about it for a little while. It was all very interesting, but afterwards we starting talking about blue mountains. He tells me that Sawatch is a Ute Indian word meaning blue mountains. Here I have been walking in the Sawatch mountain range for a week. In the Blue Mountains. Wow, that’s awesome! [Ed. note: The word sawatch is actually derived from a Ute language noun meaning ‘sand dunes,’ but this is irrelevant to our story, and perhaps casts a different light on our subject’s conversation with Carlos and what he was up to.]
And, then, I get to Creede, and I want to stay. (Write this in your book: Go to Creede and see a play! The theater there is amazing. Say hi from Blue Mountain! I was there for two days. I took an extra day there because I wanted to see another play the next day. I watched two plays there.) Anyway, while I was there I didn’t have much to do, so I started thinking about a Hans Christian Anderson story I used to like to read in Danish when I was young. It is entitled Blue Mountains. It is a two page short story about this tiny town that understands how God is found in the Blue Mountains. And, here I am, staying in it! This is insane! But, that’s how I got my name.”