• Brandon A. Kelone

The Colorado Trail: T-24 Hours

Updated: Sep 25, 2018

The hardest part of any long hike that I've ever undertaken is the time where I'm not on trail. Today is the last day of that waiting game. Over the last week I've started losing sleep over it, but this one feels like a perfect unity between the anxiety I was feeling leading up to the Arizona Trail and the excitement that I felt going into the Tahoe Rim Trail. 

The TRT was a short vacation, but the Arizona Trail was my first long hike. I felt like I was in over my head. The thing that made it feel okay was the fact that I'd be hiking it with someone who had more long distance hiking experience than I did at the time. The PCT was overwhelming because of just how long it would be. I honestly didn't know if I could even do it. Now I've been there. I have many thousands of miles underfoot. I know what I'm capable of, and I'm capable of a lot more than the Colorado Trail is going to offer. This one isn't a challenge; this one is a vacation away from work and life. This one is a playground. The only nervousness comes from the fact that it's been a long time since I've spent a substantive amount of time on trail. My last long hike was the TRT in September of 2016. That was a long time ago... almost two years ago. And since then I honestly haven't spent all that much time doing overnight trips. I've done a few, but not like I did leading up to the AZT or the PCT. Those two trails I trained and trained and trained on trips that were around a week long, but my training for the Colorado Trail has mostly been cardio workouts and day hikes up and down at elevations between 9,500ft and 12,633ft. I feel like I've built up an acclamation to the elevation now though, and I'm no longer really nervous. I'm just excited. I want to be out there. I want to have the trail under foot and I want to fall in love with it like I have in those times that came before. 

In a big way I need this trail. I need a break from the day to day life that I've been living. I'm grateful for the life that I live and the work that I have, but I need time away. I'm at a crossroads in my life and I know that I'll be leaving my job soon (maybe 10 months or so) so that I can move away from Arizona to be closer to family. I also want to shift careers. I want to focus on finding work in a field related to personal fitness and I want to focus on my writing. Maybe that's why I'm on here today. I plan on writing a lot on trail, and I'm excited to be sharing those experiences with people who aren't able to be out there with me. 

As I sit here today writing this, my bag is fully packed. Every item has been weighed down to the gram, I've tested everything out, I've planned my resupply, I've got my ride to Colorado set up for tomorrow morning (departing at 7am), and I just want to be out there. I can't even put words to how excited I am for the month ahead. The only thing that I wish is that the trail could be longer than 500 miles. I want to be doing the CDT this year, but life and the universe dictated that I needed to stay in Sedona for another year. I'm glad that I did stay, but it's hard, because my heart wants to be out there on trail. Tomorrow however, I will be, and I couldn't be happier thinking about it. 

I'm bringing a lot more gear than I normally would condone, but I want to play around with what I might be able to bring with me on the CDT next year (that's still the plan). I'm bringing a wireless keyboard, so hopefully I can journal quite a lot while I'm out there. I'm bringing a mirrorless camera (one of the heaviest pieces of gear in my pack), a GoPro (for shooting video and the night sky), and I just got a new iPhone 8 last week so that I'll have enough storage space for all the pictures and videos that I'll be taking. I also have... god I hate to admit this... three backup batteries. I don't want to have to worry about running out of juice on these cameras. I want to document this trail heavily, and I'm excited about the possibilities that are out there. 

I look forward to continuing my posts in the upcoming weeks, and I hope that there are people out there who enjoy following along. 

All the love in the world, 


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