• Brandon A. Kelone

The Colorado Trail: Day 13

Oh the glory of doing nothing for a day! And by doing nothing what I really mean is that I spent way more money than I’d like to admit. But that’s what’s to be expected from a trail town I suppose. I spend a week out there alone not spending a dime, and then I come into town and splurge. But that’s okay. This is supposed to be a vacation away from care and worry, and I’ll be damned if I have worried or cared about the things in life that I’d normally care about while I’ve been out here. I’ve cared about miles and sunsets and food and swimming and natural beautiful. I've cared about nothing more and nothing less. It’s been magical. 

And as much as I complained about the impact of my last trail town, I have to say that I have fallen in love with Salida. It has reminded me in a lot of ways of Bend, Oregon which I have only visited when I was on the PCT. It was an awesome trail town. So much so that it made me want to move there, and I actually have given some thought to moving here at some point in the future. I can say at the very least that this is the town in Colorado that I’ve wanted to move to more than anywhere else that I’ve visited in the state. But alas... I have a plan for the next couple of years in my life, and those plans don’t involve moving to Colorado. But the future is wide and I can see myself here sometime in the future. 

Mostly today I ate food, which is kind of funny seeing how much the food bogged me down when I visited my last trail town, but I’ve at least made a little bit of an effort to eat healthy foods while I’ve been here (note the emphasis on “mostly”). 

I also decided to build resupply boxes for the rest of the trail from here. I don’t want to talk poorly about Silverton or Lake City, because both towns had their good parts to them, but I was disappointed by the resupply options that they had to offer. I’ve been trying to eat more whole foods on this trail than I did on the PCT or AZT, and so far this is the first town that has provided me options for real food instead of junk food. So I spent way more money here than I would have liked to, but it’s not just for this next segment of trail. It’s for the entire trail ahead of me. Tomorrow morning I’m going to promptly eat a muffin at the local bakery (don’t judge me!), and then head down to the post office to send a box to Twin Lakes (my next trail town), and one to Leadville (the town after), and then I’m going to send my hammock back home because that thing has done me absolutely no good on this trail. But at least bringing it along has been a learning experience that I don’t need it. Sometimes you don’t know until you try. There was a part of me that wanted to try hammock camping while I’m out here, but the fact is that after a full day on the trail I want a home to fall asleep within, and that home is my tent. I’m sad to say that when I finish this trail I’m going to have to retire this tent though. It’s seen it’s last hike. It’s getting warn out. But I love it to no end, and I’ll be buying another one of the same when it’s over. I’ve seen too many miles in this tent to change styles now. 

I did eat some pizza while I was in town, but only by the slice this time—not by the pie like I did in Lake City. I also met another hiker named “Patience” and we went out for steak at a local place that only serves one item per night. The item is always steak, but each night it’s a different cut. Sticking true to my hunger from the last segment, I ordered the biggest prime rib that they could give me, and I sit here writing this completely stuffed and happy. 

Tomorrow I’ll likely head back to the trail, but I don’t feel too obligated. I’m open to staying here another day if that’s the feeling I have. I requested another week off from work, so I have no hurry moving forward. I can rest here if need be. If I do head out tomorrow it will be in the later part of the day and I’ll be in no hurry. 

My bag will be heavy in this next segment too, because after the hunger of this last stretch, I’m carrying way more food than I normally would. I’m not letting hunger hurt me again. I’m going to enjoy the trail, eat as I need, take detours as they come along, swim in some lakes, climb some mountains, and hopefully enjoy the time that I have left in Colorado before it comes to an end. 

Until then however, I need to try and get some sleep. I slept terribly last night (no surprise; I never sleep well outside of my tent anymore), but I need to give it another stab tonight. There are fewer hikers here tonight, so at least I have that one advantage. 

So whether it’s from here again tomorrow or from trail, I’ll be sure to write again soon. 

Thanks for reading. 



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