(This post is obviously being written 3 months after the events)

I am going to write a more verbose post discussing all the life-changing experiences, friendships formed, paradigms shifted and of course future plans….but first I wanted to provide some photos of our brief, but profound time on the Colorado Trail after leaving the PCT.

Real quick Primer on the CT:

-486 miles between Durango and Denver
-Average Elevation 10,500ft+ (Collegiate West Route)
-Breathtakingly Awesome

Now this trail is typically done Denver–>Durango, because that side if far easier from an elevation and climbing perspective, but we are coming from the west coast and hiking over 2100 miles, so we opted to start at Durango. The other primary reason we chose Durango was to get the higher elevation portions of the trail (days of 12,000ft+) out of the way early due to our late start. We arranged to park our car with someone through Facebook and after 2 days prepping in SD, we got on the road and drove to CO.

1 year, a terminus at 2 major trails.

1 year, a terminus at 2 major trails.

Immediately we knew this trail was going to be something altogether different from what we had experienced on the PCT. We were confident and felt great, so this was the perfect way to enjoy some pretty tough hiking.

Just starting to climb up, we were passed by an Olympian Mountain Biker while gazing out here...Durango is apparently a big deal in that world.

Just starting to climb up, we were passed by an Olympian Mountain Biker while gazing out here…Durango is apparently a big deal in that world.

The first day was fairly easy, despite some evening rain. The next day started climbing with elevation gains rarely seen on the PCT.

After the big initial climb, things start to open up...

After the big initial climb, things start to open up…

First of 28 sections complete...onto bigger and better things.

First of 28 sections complete…onto bigger and better things.

My back was bothering me so we decided to take that day 2 easy and camp next to a beautiful mountain lake at well above 11,000 ft.

Not a terrible place to rest.

Not a terrible place to rest.

The following day was one of the most spectacular days of hiking our both of our lives. 30 miles of absolutely ridiculous views, terrain, wildife, and life-affirming wilderness. I know my language is getting a little over the top, but it’s simply a magical place.

Up above as we  climb 1200ft in .7 miles to start the day.  To quote the Historically inaccurate, but awesomely terrible Braveheart:"That'' wake ya' up in the mornin' boy!"

Up above as we climb 1200ft in .7 miles to start the day. To quote the Historically inaccurate, but awesomely terrible Braveheart:”Thatll wake ya’ up in the mornin’ boy!”

It's starting to just get silly now....

It’s starting to just get silly now….

I don;t think it's possible to take all of this in at once.

I don;t think it’s possible to take all of this in at once.

Benches in the wild are a precious resource.  One facing over something like this feels serendipitous.

Benches in the wild are a precious resource. One facing over something like this feels serendipitous.

Yes, this is exactly as relaxing as it looks.

Yes, this is exactly as relaxing as it looks.

Alot of colors here in CO.  Beautiful views after climbing several thousand feet.

Alot of colors here in CO. Beautiful views after climbing several thousand feet.

Late in the day, as always, storms coming in...be ready for rain in CO.

Late in the day, as always, storms coming in…be ready for rain in CO.

I’m going to bring in a slideshow to the site, because I can’t show all the amazing pictures from the adventures in a post, or the page would never load. The next day was more amazing hiking as we raced to Silverton, racing to escape hail and rain, but as always, laughing all the way. Laughing is easy when you know it’s a town day.

Just another morning hike.

Just another morning hike.

Climbing back up, looking back at where we came from...rare people on the CT in this pic.

Climbing back up, looking back at where we came from…rare people on the CT in this pic.

Beautiful valley and great water source.  It may look abundant, but water can be scarce here as well.  yesterday was a 22 mile waterless stretch.

Beautiful valley and great water source. It may look abundant, but water can be scarce here as well. yesterday was a 22 mile waterless stretch.

Top of another pass, still livin' the dream.

Top of another pass, still livin’ the dream.

Due to weather, I didn’t take nearly as many pictures as I would have liked, but I’ll give you a few more as we headed into town.

Soaked, but beautiful.  CO is nice too.

Soaked, but beautiful. CO is nice too.

We will never forget the last few days...

We will never forget the last few days…

I’m intentionally keeping this brief, as I am also penning a longer explanatory post soon, but upon reaching Silverton, we received bad news. Our dog again was homeless and we were going to have to head back to deal with it…lesson learned for future trips, his housing needs to be rock solid. So after a few amazing days on the CT, we had to head back to Durango and drive back to San Diego (not the worst place in the world to go back to). We had done enough hitching, so we decided to take an older version of the same transporation that we had used several times this year:

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad...it feels like Silver Dollar City without the rollercoasters and with a better view.

The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad…it feels like Silver Dollar City without the rollercoasters and with a better view.

Much, much, more to come soon guys….including HUGE plans for 2016!