Miles: 23.7

Camp: My CDT mile 1332.6

As my last full day in Colorado (I’m currently 12 miles from Wyoming), I was treated to some wonderful hiking and wildlife. I had a Ptarmigan hiss at me while protecting her young, a staring contest with a moose and an antelope ran through my camp; I saw both rugged and lush mountainsides, millions of wildflowers, a new bird I’ve never seen before (it also had a beautiful song), rivers, lakes, meadows…you name it. I also ran into GregInWild, the first thru hiker I have seen in 4 days. 

The day was full and fulfilling. Even as I lay here, confined to my tent by mosquitoes, I feel so accomplished. I’ve never been so challenged and rewarded in my life and I will never be the same as a result. I’ve hung onto my ice axe for my life, slogged through miles of mashed potato snow, miles of postholing; I’ve climbed up and over 14,000 feet, spent days at a time over 12,000 feet, and I have never seen beauty so profound. I have seen things that very few people will ever see, I have built relationships with others and myself. I believe in myself more than ever before, because I did some seriously hard stuff in Colorado. I feel like I grew up a bit, I definitely became stronger.

I know the rest of the trail holds new challenges and I look forward to facing them. I look forward to showing myself that there really are no limits if I want to do something. I wish I was more articulate right now, but I’m ravenous and tired. Dinner is hydrating, the mosquitoes are buzzing, my feet are aching, the birds are singing and I am all smiles.

See you tomorrow, Wyoming!

Dinner: mac and cheese with salsa, bacon bits, oregano and extra cheese.