* I’m about a week away from Wyoming
* Please send me recommendations for audio books I can get lost in while listening (good job on recs so far Natals and Greg)
* Cool Damn Trail (CDT)
Before leaving Salida I connected Ron of Six Moon Designs with my friend JH so he could get a ride to Leadville to finish off his CDT hike — 27 years in the making. I got a ride back up to the trail with him, and quickly entered the collegiate peaks.
Let’s be real: Colorado’s collegiate peaks are lit. They’re stunning, and have fantastically pleasant single track with views that look photoshopped — the sort of hiking of Instagram influencers’ dreams! (https://www.instagram.com/p/CQPNeQgjqf4/?utm_medium=copy_link)
It was a quick 2.5 days to Twin Lakes, where I then forded a rather aggressive river to get into town. If I had lost another couple pounds of weight the river would have knocked me over. I promptly hitched to Leadville where I devoured some Leadville food (and microgrid fleece), and met up with JH. I got back on trail in the morning with a pack no longer holding an ice axe and microspikes. About 100 miles later I hit Georgia Pass, the point at which the Colorado Trail goes to Littleton, and where the CDT splits to become the Crazy-Dumb Trail.
Up until this point, the trail had largely opted for going over mountain passes and skirting the high peaks. Unshackled from the confines of the Colorado Trail, the CDT pulls out all the stops. I thought I was going to have a fairly chill 28-mile day that ended shortly after peak bagging Gray’s Peak (14,270 ft). Instead the trail turned into a crazy, highly exposed ridge walk following THE continental divide where I went over 17-ish peaks and stayed right around 13,000 ft for the day (video: https://vm.tiktok.com/ZMdULb6jT/). I really don’t know how this section would be safely hikeable in the event of thunderstorms. I lucked out with a beautifully perfect, tree-free and storm-free day.
As I descended Gray’s peak, I realized the trail was going directly to the Gray’s parking lot, also known as the easiest hitch in the world into Denver. Given that my shoes were far-from ideal for continued peak bagging, I decided to go to Boulder and visit the fam 30ish-miles ahead of the originally scheduled Winter Park meetup.
I have a couple hundred miles of Colorado hiking left, at which point I hit the Great Basin of Wyoming. @philly_hikes informs me that the basin is actually great. For some reason a large number of thru-hikers seem to opt for a 60-mile asphalt road-walk through this section instead of the 80-mile trail. This makes me slightly suspicious (#NeverAsphalt). Regardless, I’m gonna be in need of some sweet, sweet audiobook listening in the event that the 250ish miles of long, exposed, and flat water carries becomes a bit monotonous.
With newer shoes, the newest socks, and THE MOST type-2 fun,