In 2018 I hiked the Colorado Trail, taking the Collegiate West alternate route. It was my first long distance hike, extending nearly 500 miles through several Colorado mountain ranges over a 42 day period. This one hike changed me in profound ways, reaffirming my life's priorities and setting the course I'm on today with encouraging others to experience deeper this love of nature. I have a slide show of this hike posted on my Youtube channel.
Here it is a couple years later, and I still miss this trail.
This summer I had intended on going back to Michigan to join the family to celebrate my mother's 85th birthday. But this COVID thing put a halt to any plans of flying. Driving wasn't an option for us due to my wife's limited vacation time.
So, what was I do instead? Hey, I know - let's hike the rest of the Colorado Trail! Let's hike the Collegiate East route!
Early on Saturday morning, July 11, Bobbi dropped me off at Twin Lakes. I was off again, heading south on a little dirt path along the eastern foothills of the Sawatch Range. The Arkansas River Valley was to my left and the Collegiate Peaks were to my right for the next 85 miles. What a thrill it was to be back on this trail again! This time it was only for a week, but it didn't matter. It was just me, my feet crunching along the trail, my eyes once again amazed at the beauty of nature, my heart drenched in the peacefulness of the wilderness, my skin washed by the gentle breeze. There's really nothing in this world that brings me closer to the One who created all of this; there's nothing that settles my spirit and brings focus more than time on the trail. I instantly felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be.
The first day was one of the shortest days, a little over 10 miles from Twin Lakes to Clear Creek. The second day was the toughest with nearly 15 miles and 5000 feet elevation gain. The remaining days were in varying degrees less demanding. The third day was memorable due to a violent afternoon storm complete with a good dose of hail just prior to reaching a saddle along the eastern ridge of Mount Yale.
There's much more to tell here. I plan on passing along more detail in an update to my book, Purpose on the Colorado Trail, later on this year. So, please download that from Amazon to get the entire experience with lots of tips about this trail, wildlife experiences, hiking gear, and general advice.
I have the first of several videos I posted to my YouTube channel about this hike. Follow along with a post from each day. It was truly an amazing hike, as most of my Colorado hikes are. I appreciate comments, subscriptions, and likes!