“We had our first 20 plus mile day yesterday. We were excited. My favorite part of the trail was Segments 22 and 23, where we were up above tree level for two days. I think we both cried multiple times those days, because it was so beautiful and we had such great weather. It was amazing. And we saw a moose! We camped by the lake there before the Animas River and in the middle of the night we heard something moving around. We thought at first it was our friend, Granite. But when we looked outside the tent, there was a big bull moose staring at us from about 10 feet away.
The worst part of the trip so far is that we started out with Granite, but he was feeling really sick a couple of days ago. We carried all of his weight for two days, and we were getting later and later starts to let him sleep more, but the last day with him we only made eight miles. So, he chose to leave the trail at Silverton. We had come a long ways with him and everyone was disappointed he couldn’t finish with us. He was so close! We started this as a team, and leaving him was really hard.
I tried to thru-hike the trail in 2013, but that was the year when we had a lot of fires. So, I skipped around a lot and hiked about half the sections. I always wanted to come back and hike it straight through. This year we were sitting around with a bunch of friends at school and someone said, ‘Hey, we should just hike The Colorado Trail this summer.’ It was a super casual conversation. And, a few of us were like, ‘Yeah, good idea, let’s do it!’ So then we just committed to it and here we are.
I’m not sure what I think about when I’m walking. I sing a lot. I get a lot of songs stuck in my head, to whatever tempo we are walking. We have been reading some Thoreau as we hiked. We read his essay, Walking. And we have read just a little bit of Walden. I think about some of the things he brings up as important to him. But, I also just space out a lot and just find myself looking around without too many thoughts at all.
I’m from Denver, and I feel like with ever segment I walk, I feel more connected to this place I am from. I like how the trail changes, and I feel more connected to all of it, then to the little bit I know from my normal life in Denver. I’m proud to tell people I’m from Colorado. At school, people are always talking about how wonderful it is to go abroad. And, I’m sure it is. But I’ve also come to appreciate how little of Colorado I’ve actually seen, and how important it is to explore more of your home state, and the place where you live.”