Colorado Trail (2013)

“To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury;
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to the stars and birds,
to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely.
In a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.
This is to be my symphony.”
-William Henry Channing

Those of you who actually know me, will likely agree that I love adventure. Concepts for the next journey or three are constantly mulling about in the back of my head. In a sense I am a thrill seeker. I have all the traits to seek grand gestures of travel, big or small. Yet it is the quiet solitude of the unknown, unexplored landscape that extends the strongest pull on my wandering nature. Of course there truly are very few places left in the world which can rightfully claim to be highly unknown and unexplored, but one must start somewhere.

“A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.” -Lao-Tzu

Therefore, despite goals to continue my international traipsing about, I have decided to focus the next couple years on more domestic forms of adventure. First item on the bill, to complete a thru-hike end to end. As I am a complete novice to such notions as long term hiking, I will attempt to keep some level of sanity to these lofty ambitions. Thus I will commence with the Colorado Trail, otherwise referred to as CT this point forward. Not quite the feat as one of the three major National Scenic Trails: the Pacific Crest Trail (2,650 mi), the Continental Divide Trail (3,100 mi), and the Appalachian Trail (2,186 mi), with its mere 486 miles, but I am willing to start somewhere. Considering fewer than 200 people have completed all three (check out the ALDHA – West), I am fairly motivated to make that achievement a final goal. Back to the CT, it is 486 miles running from Denver to Durango, through eight mountain ranges with the highest elevation at 13,271 feet (San Juan Mountains), lowest elevation at 5,520 feet (Denver) and the majority above 9,000 feet. Over the entire course of the trail, I will gain and lose around 89,000 feet.

So, I am ready to put on my running shoes and get this trek under way.

Trail Logistics
Water: This is a serious resource that would be impossible to carry the entire trip’s supply in my pack. Thus I am utilizing the product Aquamira to make water readily available in streams and lakes along the way safe for my consumption.
Food: Another vital part of living on the trail. I have planned out three resupply points where I will have prepackaged meals waiting for me at the Post Office. More details below.
Map: Since the CT is so accessible, highly traversed, and well marked, I am forgoing the traditional compass and map routine for Erik the Black’s Colorado Trail Pocket Atlas. It provides fully annotated topographic maps, elevation profiles, trail features (i.e. water sources), trail mileage, and maps of possible resupply towns. Fits in my cargo pants pocket and weighs 3.5 oz.
Mileage agenda here.

Packing List
Everything has been weighed, packed, double checked, and ready to go. See my gear list here.