Colorado Magic

Trail magic

Ain’t nothing better than a cooler full of food and pop in the middle of the woods. Thru-hiking has its perks.

Today is the last of my Colorado reminiscing and then it’s time to move on, get back to life and back to the current challenges which include things like Microbiology and cash flow statements. But today is about thinking back on all the truly magical parts of thru hiking the Colorado Trail.

The first bit of magic is the classic trail magic: coolers filled with soda and goodies simply sitting in the woods off the side of the trail. This is the type of stuff that makes a hiker’s day and the CT was loaded with them. We encountered six total coolers in our 486 mile journey, five of which were freshly stocked with all the extra calories we were craving.

The second, and biggest trail magic was that of Lowell and Dottie Smith. These are amazing people that I knew from back working in the financial world. When I realized we were traveling through Creede, CO, I recalled how they spent their summers there. So I looked them up and gave them a call. They both quickly and excitedly offered to not only pick us up off the trail but to invite us into their home. They took us to town to pick up our groceries, we went to a restaurant for some pizza and ice cream, and then they toured us around the area in their off-road jeep so we could see the changing fall colors along with remnants of old mines around the area. Dottie cooked up a storm and we ate well. She also did our laundry and even sewed up part of our tent that was coming apart. They seemingly had the entire stay thought out and they made us feel so welcome. They are definitely the trail angels of the CT!

The CT also proved to be a trail of good vibes. Whether it was the friendly hello of mountain bikers sharing the trail or even a good conversation with a family of motor bikers out for the day, we tended to encounter friendly people simply happy to be out in the CO wilderness. We had great hitches in and out of Salida with the opportunity to meet a super-runner-girl as well as a really nice family. We met cool hikers too, some which we’ll hopefully hear from again. We had quite a few positive comments from people reading about our trip on and we even were contacted a few times by the head of the Colorado Trail Foundation as they provided us with pointers and cheered us on our way.

There is also something a little magical with the mountains of Colorado. I’m not sure exactly how to say it but I simply felt good and happy being up high in the lonely mountain sections of the CT. It was often cold or windy up above tree line but there was something really awesome and magical about being up there in the mountains. Maybe it was the altitude! Whatever it was, Colorado was good to us. The people were great, the support was top-notch, and I left the trail feeling good about myself and the world. That to me is pretty magical.

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