Month: July 2018

Colorado Trail, Day 19: Carpe Diem!

Today is said to be the most beautiful section of the Collegiate West Wilderness. We will be entering Segment CW3 at Cottonwood Pass, and we will spend almost the entire day above treeline. With so many miles of exposure, it is important that we hit the trail early in case the weather turns on us in the afternoon. So, when the alarm goes off at 5 am, we don’t dawdle. (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 18: Deja Vu

Our third day in the Collegiate West is similar in many ways to yesterday. We woke up and immediately crossed a beautiful high mountain pass as our first challenge of the day. We spent much of the day descending and hiking flat only to end it with another 1000 foot climb into camp. And, just like yesterday, we spied another moose along the way, this one a lone female grazing in the shallows of a beaver pond only 50 feet away! Lightning, so to speak, really does strike twice. (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 17: Moose, Mink and a Milestone…Oh My!

Our tent site has the pleasant sound of a creek rushing nearby, and, with the long day of hiking yesterday and the crazy thunderstorm, we both have the best night of sleep so far on the trail. That’s probably a blessing because we have a challenging day in store starting with a big ascent over Hope Pass followed by a long descent and then a final climb to Lake Ann. It’s our first full day in the Collegiates, and we are anxious to see if they are any more challenging than what we have experienced so far. (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 16: Westward Ho!

After a very enjoyable zero day in the Twin Lakes/Leadville area, with our time split between watching the World Cup Final (France beat Croatia 4–2), taking care of laundry, lunch in Leadville and celebrating Alison’s birthday, it’s time to hit the trail again and begin the Collegiate West segment ending in Salida. Thru hikers on the CT have the option of taking the original Collegiate East route or the more rugged Collegiate West route shared by thru hikers on the CDT. Some folks even string the two together to form the Collegiate Loop. We don’t have time for that, so we’ve chosen to tackle the Collegiate West, as we hear it is more scenic, and we feel up for the challenge, especially after a pleasant rest day. (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 15: Ready, Rogue One!

I wake up in our lumpy, rogue campsite behind the Visitor Center in Twin Lakes just before 6 am to the sounds of the magpies squawking, the hummingbirds whizzing by our tent and a car pulling up on the other side of the willow bushes that separate us from the Twin Lakes Forest Service parking lot. I listen to all the sounds around us from the comfort of my cozy sleeping bag for several minutes before I remember that today is my birthday! (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 11: Triple Threat

This morning, we get up as soon as the alarm goes off at 5 am. Our tent is sandwiched between Juli and Eden’s and Ellen’s, and, as much as we would like to hit the snooze button a few times, we don’t want to annoy our neighbors. Apparently, it’s an early wake up for the construction site, too, because all of the equipment noise starts up by 6. So much for the peace and quiet! (more…)

Colorado Trail, Day 10: The Tenmile Trial

The alarm goes off at 5 am, and it’s off to the races! A quick shower and pack up, and then it’s off to get a breakfast burrito from a shop that conveniently opens at 6. Lucky for us, two veggie burritos are freshly made and ready to go. I grab a cup of coffee as well. We have one ripe avocado (perhaps our favorite food) that must be consumed before we leave town, so we ask the owner for some salt, and he kindly obliges. It is the perfect way to send us off on the trail. (more…)