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Chrisaleksunas - Colorado Trail Journal - 2011

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Chris Aleksunas
City: Walnut Creek
State: California
Country: USA
Begins: Jul 22, 2011
Direction: Southbound

Daily Summary
Date: Tue, Aug 7th, 2012
Start: Taylor Lake
End: Junction Creek Trailhead
Daily Distance: 22.7
Trip Distance: 585.4

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 962
Journal Visits: 9,882
Guestbook Views: 344
Guestbook Entrys: 15

Colorado Trail Map

A Push to the Finish!

I woke up in the middle of the night with a deer or at least I thought it was brushing up against my tent. It startled me a little bit and I tapped the inside of my tent with my hand and heard and felt the animal make a run for it. There were quite a few hikers camping at Taylor Lake because the lake was the first water source for the last 20 mile section. I made some tea and packed my things and met some of the other hikers who were planning of finishing the trail today. I hadn't really made up my mind if I was going to push and try to finish today or if I was going to take it easy and spend one more night in the woods. As I began walking, a shower, a meal with beer and sleep in a bed began to sound better and better and I made up my mind that I would push to the end of the trail. I met a man who's trail name is Mofo. Mofo is 65 years old and from South Carolina. He has hiked the Appalachian Trail four times along with the JMT and some other trails around the world. We had some good conversation and I met his hiking partner, Cruiser who is also from South Carolina. They met while hiking the AT and stay in touch and enjoy some of their retirement with long distance hiking. Cruiser joked that this hike was costing him a fortune. I asked why, seeing as hiking is pretty much low budget travel. He laughed and told me that when he leaves on his trips for a month or two his wife and his daughters seem to think that they deserve a vacation as well. His wife and daughters are currently on a cruise in Europe and he just got a text message the other day from his daughter that his wife had just found a new Gucci purse. We all laughed. I said goodbye and continued on down the trail. The trail followed Junction Creek and it was exciting to look down and see 12 inch plus trout in all the holes. The sunny skies soon gave way to darkening clouds and like most other days on the trail it began to rain. I began to feel very tired and my body was beginning to hurt, but I was determined to find the end of this wonderful trail. I finally made it down to a creek and only had about 2.5 miles left to hike in the trail, but I found some refreshment in taking a little rest and a dip. I started again down the trail and was passed by a few mountain bikers that were finishing up the Colorado Trail Mountain Bike Race. The race is kind of an official/unofficial race where contestants race the entire 485.8 mile trail unsupported with a Spot locator to report their progress and determine the winner. I said congratulations as these contestants rode by me finishing in about 8 days. I heard that the winner broke the record this year, finishing in just under 4 days! The Colorado Trail Mountain Bike Race is officially on my list now! I made it to the almost anticlimactic end of the trail and took a self portrait next to the trail sign with the help of the timer on my camera. It was a great feeling to finally complete this amazing journey, but it was kind of strange at the same time that this was the end. With the lack of traffic at the trailhead I began to walk down the road with 3.5 miles to Durango. I stuck my thumb out to the first few cars that passed over the first mile, but no luck. Then Jeremy pulled as I stuck my thumb out. I immediately recognized Jeremy as one of the mountain bikers that passed me a few miles back on the trail. Jeremy had just finished his first CTR and was heading into town to grab a shower before continuing his drive to Bishop, CA where he lives. Prior to the CTR his wife, two daughters and he participated in Ragbri, a weeklong bicycle ride through Iowa. We had some great conversation about our journeys and then started talking a lot about cycling. We hit it off and exchanged info. I made it into town and walked the few blocks up to Chris's house where I had a much needed shower. We headed down the street and picked up a pizza and some salad and we all enjoyed a meal on the back patio. It was early to bed for me. It is interesting how when there is a goal or something you want to finish you can keep on pushing and pushing your body, but as soon as that is done you sometimes realize just how tired you are. I woke up this morning tired and moving pretty slow. I feel like I need to stretch, but at this point I still feel too tired. This trip has been incredible. I owe much thanks to Chris and Emily for all their help and for allowing me to stay at their house.

I am grateful that I have had the opportunity to explore Colorado and finish the Colorado Trail. I completed the 485 miles with another 100 miles tacked on to summit 13 of Colorado's 53 14'ers. It has been a great journey and I have learned a lot about myself and have met some really great people along the way. This particular adventure is done, but I will definitely return to Colorado and my adventures will continue.

Often your biggest physical limitation is your mind. Get out there and do that thing, whatever it is for you that you have always wanted to do, but have allowed your mind to make excuses of why you are not able to do it. Thanks for following my journey.

I am greatful that I have had the oppurtunity to explore Colorado and finish the Colorado Trail. It has been a great journey and I have learned a lot about myself and have met some really great people along the way. This particular adventure is done, but I will definatly return to Colorado and my adventours will continue.

Often your biggest physical limitaion is your mind. Get out there and do that thing, whatever it is for you that you have always wanted to do, but have allowed your mind to make excuses of why you are not able to do it. Thanks for following my journey.

Entry 39 of 39
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Two Heel Drive

The Colorado Trail is Colorado's premier long distance trail. Stretching almost 500 miles from Denver to Durango, it travels through the spectacular Colorado Rocky Mountains amongst peaks with lakes, creeks and diverse ecosystems. Trail users experience six wilderness areas and eight mountain ranges topping out at 13,334 feet. According to the latest figures, The Colorado Trail averages 10347' throughout its length! The Continental Divide Trail and The Colorado Trail share the same treadway for 200+ miles. It takes most hikers 4-6 weeks to hike the trail. Five weeks is a very average pace.

 

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