Total Miles: 427.7
It’s not every hiking day that begins by rolling out of a hotel room bed, then walking down the trail and to a fast food drive-thru, but there ya’ go. That’s Silverthorne for you. Not that we were complaining. A bit of extra sleep and a substantial morning injection of calories seemed like just the right medicine for four bodies that had been worked by yesterday’s sun.
Knowing that we had only two very short days to kill before our next zero day, you’d think that both excitement and energy would be peaking but, truth be told, I struggle in circumstances like this. With rest within sight, my mind slowly becomes fatigued and as the mental focus and sharpness recedes, a tired body follows very closely behind. It’s as if the day off has arrived two days early as far as my body is concerned.
Many years ago now, I came to understand that the recipe for me to be both physically and mentally energized was quite simple: commitment, and specifically, the longer the better. Day hikes most often feel more challenging to me than thru-hikes, and the cachet of weekend warrior status has never held any appeal to me. Why? Because when it comes to both love and hiking, I’m a serial monogamist. It’s the commitment to something far larger than any single day or weekend could offer that is the turn on. And as town stops and rest days draw nearer, they become a kryptonite of sorts—for what does one need of commitment when the end is in sight? Walking out of town, the cycle begins anew with a mind and body refreshed by the notion that it was only one more piece of a much bigger puzzle that is behind us, and that many more lie ahead.
We had plenty of company from the day-hiker and weekend warrior crowd on the busy trails outside of town today, as we gently climbed away from the sea of pavement, concrete and steel and into the cathedrals of forest, stone, and sky. I openly thanked the first brave cloud that momentarily blocked out the beating sun that seemed never to have rested from the day before. As we climbed higher, the clouds began to multiply as if each had invited two of its closest friends to the party. Before long, we wondered whether that party might soon grow out of control.
Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and an afternoon that appeared destined for fireworks peeled itself back from the brink and a benign, blue sky accompanied us all the way down to our evening home, tucked safely into a stand of Engelmann spruce.
Latitude/Longitude: 39.57355, -106.17155