• Brandon A. Kelone

The Colorado Trail: Day 7

The Colorado Trail is broken up into 28 segments, but I really don’t pay too close attention to the technical sections from the guidebook. Rather, I am thinking of the trail in terms of my trail towns. For me there will be 4 or 5 sections of the trail, and today marks the end of my first segment. I have officially hiked 137 miles of the 485 miles that make up the Colorado Trail, and honestly, only now that I put that on the page does the reality of it sink in. It feels strange to me. I don’t want for this trail to ever end, but at the same time I know that what makes it beautiful is its impermanence. Being in a trail town for a bit will be nice though. I’m looking forward to getting some rest and relaxation. I need the time to recoup, read back through my journals, go through my pictures, get some good food, do some laundry, shower, and prepare for the next sentiment. 

It took me awhile to find a flat spot to camp last night, but then again, my standard for flat camping was kind of high because the night before my campsite was basically a bunch of lumps. Last night’s wasn’t perfect, but it was better than the night before. What’s kind of ironic though is that the night before I settled for a lumpy campsite because the view looked nice and I figured it would be a nice sight to wake up to. Then of course, I woke up to clouds and cold weather, so the view didn’t really matter. Then last night I set my sights on a flat campsite in lieu of a view, and when I woke up to go pee last night I literally exclaimed “holy f***!” First off it was cold as could be, but that’s not why I was so blown away. It was the view of the Milky Way that was so unbelievable. I've seen the Milky Way many many times over the years, but I forgot how amazing it is to see at such a high elevation on a clear night like last night. In hindsight, I sort of regret not getting my camera out to take pictures, but on account of the fact that I was kind of tucked away into some bushes (making for a bad view for my little tripod) and the fact that it was so cold, I just looked up in awe, finished my wee-wee business, and went back to sleep. But I promised myself that in the coming weeks I’m going to have to get some pictures of the stars before this journey is done. 

I wanted to sleep in a bit this morning, but I knew that I needed to make 10 miles today before noon in order to catch the shuttle into Lake City, so I had a quick breakfast, tea, and started on my way. The miles were mostly easy, and the weather was good. As I sit here writing this now, the monsoon storms are starting to roll in a bit, but through the hike I mostly had blue skies and a bit of puffy clouds here and there.

The trail itself was nothing special today. I guess that there is a good link between the challenge of the trail and how much I get out of it. Easy days aren’t all that worth writing home over, and that was kind of the case today. The trail was still very pretty, but mostly it was rolling hills and old dirt roads. The highlight was probably the other hikers whom I met along the way. I ended up seeing probably 15 thru hikers all headed south. I stopped to talk to some of them, but mostly cruised on so that I could get here in time for the shuttle. 

I arrived here at the trailhead about twenty minutes ago, took some pictures, talked to another thru hiker named “Popcorn,” and now I’ve walked over to this picnic table to write this. It’s funny how much easier it is to write this out when I’m not tucked into my little tent after hiking 25 miles. Thru hiking makes you appreciate little things like this table. And maybe that’s why I’m out here--to learn to appreciate the simple things in life. 

So with that said, I’m going to leave it there for now. The shuttle should be getting here any minute, and I have a busy day ahead. Not decided if I’ll stay in town for one or two days, but I do know that I have pizza and some fresh food in my very near future. 


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