Bit By the Hiking Bug

Colorado Trail

Julie enjoying the views near the highest point on the Colorado Trail.

We have been bitten by the hiking bug again, and we’re not talking about ticks. As if this summer wasn’t jam-packed with enough exciting adventures, including two marathons, a 50 mile trail race, a 100 mile trail race, and two long trail runs of 36 and 93 miles, we have decided to tack one more adventure on to the end of the summer. In preparation of hiking the Continental Divide Trail next summer, along with having a five week window of free time between Matt’s two quarters of nursing prerequisites, and topping it off with a desire to keep our hiking legs in shape, we’ve decided to hike the Colorado Trail.

The Colorado Trail is just under 500 miles from Denver to Durango, it reaches elevations often above 10,000 feet, boasts beautiful scenery in the Rocky Mountains, and shares some of its path with the Continental Divided Trail (CDT). We’ll be flying out to Colorado in mid-August for the Leadville 100 mile race on August 18th, and starting the hike on Monday, August 20th. Matt’s dad will join us for the first three days of the hike while Matt recovers from the beating his body will take in the 100 miler, and then we’ll continue on until we reach Durango, which should be around September 15th.

The most exciting part about the hike is that it gives us a preview of the CDT for next year, and we’ll be able to test out a few new pieces of gear and methods of hiking, like a different stove, tent and food strategy. I’ve hiked way too many miles with chips, peanut butter, and Snickers being my fuel for a 30 mile day, and we vowed on the Appalachian Trail to eat healthier, more nutritious food on all future hikes. However, don’t be alarmed, chips and ice cream are still my favorite post-hike food, Maui Onion Kettle Chips and Cake Batter ice cream, to be exact. I just don’t want to have them be my only source of energy anymore.

Call us crazy; call us cool. Maybe we’re just both for starting the hike the day after a 100 mile race and for squeezing every droplet of life out of the free time between school quarters. Either way, we’ve been bitten by the hiking bug again and are letting it’s venom spread through us, lighting a fire within us to once again live outside for weeks at a time, walk on a beaten path that takes us from point A to B, and allow ourselves to see the world and ourselves in a whole new light once again.

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