Sunday, October 15, 2017

Change of Plans: Colorado Trail 2017 (August 2, 2017)

Moosie in the San Luis Valley

Cumbres Pass New Mexico/Colorado border
While staying at the hostel in Salida for two nights, Moosie and I solidified our change in plans. We had been discussing the idea of leaving the Colorado Trail and hitch hiking down to the New Mexico/Colorado border at Cumbres Pass. There we would jump on to the Continental Divide Trail, and hike north for two weeks where we would rejoin the Colorado Trail at Molas Pass, and then finish the trail in Durango. The reason for this was simple. We had both already hiked the section south of Monarch Pass on the CDT in 2013. Hiking trail we had already done was not as exciting, and that was the simple truth. By flipping down to Cumbres Pass, we would have three weeks of new trail to hike. Not only that, we would be hiking through the majestic San Juan mountain range, a place Moosie and I had to walk around  in 2013 due to snow. This change in plans breathed new life into our CT hike, and I was exited to see what was next.

Hitching 120 miles to Cumbres Pass also presented a unique challenge. In some ways, I would recommend a hitch hiking adventure to anyone, in other ways I wouldn't. It took Moosie and I eight separate rides to reach our destination, and all day. All of our rides were unique and special, an interesting cross section of America. It felt like the world was at our finger tips, a flash of true freedom. We could go anywhere we wanted. On the other hand, there is an element of risk. It is an experiment in faith. I guess everything works out until one day it doesn't. In our case, everything worked out. Our shortest wait time was probably 3 minutes, our longest an hour and a half. We reached Cumbres Pass an hour before sunset.

That evening, Moosie and I set up camp with views into New Mexico. I had flashbacks to 2013 while we set up camp. The section south of here was a particularly tough one for me back in 2013. Same grey skies, but thankfully 30 degrees warmer this time around. We were in the San Juans. Our change in plans had become a reality. It felt great to be off the CT and on the CDT. I felt very thankful for safe hitches. I was excited for new trail...

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