Friday, October 18, 2013

Salida to Creede, CO: CDT 2013

It's impossible to sum up the last couple of week's adventures in Colorado in a blog post. So I will just say that I believe I have met my "Colorado Adventure Threshold." The road walking begins now, and I will most likely stick to roads for the next 80 miles or so from South Fork, Colorado to Chama, New Mexico, and pick up the trail there. The reason is that snow and frigid temperatures on the Divide have made hiking down right dangerous in my opinion.

I'm flying solo once again. Relationships on long trails can be fleeting, and one has to simply be OK with how they take their course and try to hold no grudges. Everyone has their own hike to hike I guess, and that's just the way it is.

Last week felt like a climatic moment on the CDT for me. Captain and I experienced one of the most grueling and challenging days of hiking I can recall: An exposed, seven and a half mile trek just below, and then over the Divide to San Luis Pass through snow ranging in depth from 6 inches to probably 2 feet. It took all day to reach the pass, and snow fell throughout the day. I felt foolish at times wearing only my trail runners with gaping holes on the sides (from wear and tear), with zip lock bags over my socks to keep off the snow, and no ice axe. Breaks only lasted a few minutes as a frigid wind was persistent all day. I have never been so nervous about a day of hiking in my life. Captain and I divided up the day into seven phases. "To Creede!" was our mantra throughout the week and especially throughout the day, with an extra "To Creede with good decisions, somehow, someway," added to the end. When we reached San Luis Pass, we were both relieved and ecstatic. We had confronted and defeated our worst fears, and our continuous hike could move forward. It was an honor to hike with Captain. Walking into Creede and skipping the San Juans was a "no brainer" decision for me.

For now it's on to New Mexico. I will try my best to soak in this final month along the CDT. Thanks for reading and happy trails to all...

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