CDT day 118: purple ridges and green meadows

August 30
Mileage: 26
2,292 miles hiked

It’s a good thing this trail is almost over, because I’m running out of ways to talk about hiking.

This part of Colorado on the Colorado Trail reminds me of the PCT in the Sierras in a couple ways- above ten thousand feet, lots of steep passes, really nice trail. My god, this trail. I can’t get over it. I feel like I’m on some dreamy vacation from the actual CDT! Footbridges over every stream, signs at each junction, switchbacks…

Of course this section is nothing like the Sierras in appearance. Colorado at high elevation in August is bright green meadows and sloping purple ridges and pine forest and aspens and sunshine and streams… all smooth edges and rich color. No castle-like granite to be seen.

I am better at hiking today, a little. I imbibe lots of caffeine and dutifuly plod up the passes, stabbing my trekking poles into the ground and sucking at the thin air. I finish another audiobook. I need to find people to hang out with! There are only two southbounders ahead, that I know of, and they’re way faster than me. Track Meat and Spark are a day and a half behind, since they triple-zeroed in Breckenridge- they’ve got a more relaxed finishing date than I do. I’ve got a bunch of stuff I want to do between the time I finish and when work starts at the end of September, so I need to hustle.

I camp next to a glittering lake, pounding my stakes into the rocky ground. Tomorrow I reach Monarch Pass, where I can hitch into Salida if I want. After that the elevation profile is gentler for a little bit. Maybe I can finally do 30s again?!

Photos on instagram