Hiking Season. A time when a hiker is free to set off on any number of adventures with the reduced risk of being stuck in a sleeping bag for more than 24 hours due to winter type weather. Something I'll likely never take for granted again.
Colorado Trail Overview: For this adventure, I've changed some gear out that I used on the PCT last year. First, I've changed to the Osprey Exos 58 (Large; 62 Liter Capacity) which weights about half as much as the Osprey Atmos 65 (65 Liters).
Next the temperature rating of my North Face Furnace 20° was perfect. It took up a lot of space and weighed over 2.5 pounds! Switching to a Zpack's 850 Down Fill sleeping bag allows me to use the slightly smaller backpack and it shaves off a little over 1.5 pounds, all while maintaining a 20° temperature rating.
I will still be hiking with Altra's Lone Peak shoe... but instead of the 2.5 is the all new and improved 3.0! Supposedly they are more durable in the areas where the 2.5's would start to fall apart. I expect the single pair to last the trip, but there is the possibility of them nearly falling off my feet when I arrive in Durango.
Which brings me to the trail. The Colorado Trail (CT) spans 484.6 miles between Littleton (near Denver) and Durango. Large portions of it are available for mountain biking and with many alternate trails, the mountain bikers can manage to go around the sections closed to them. There are also portions of the CT that overlap with the great Continental Divide Trail (CDT), which is on the books for me in the coming years; a trail that spans 3100 miles between Mexico and Canada.
The Colorado Trail is a mountain trail; I expect snow to be a major part of it, though I also expect most of the snow to be melted by the time I'm arriving in Durango. I do have an ice axe available and ready to ship in case the trail is more intense than expected. I will be starting with a pair of micro-spikes which are invaluable assets when traveling on snow covered hillsides.
Other than those details, I have 3 packages ready to be mailed to a few of the towns I'll stop in to resupply. In the other towns I plan on purchasing food at the local grocery store.
Blog Overview: This blog will serve as a platform for me to record small pieces of the trail when I'm actively hiking, and to post afterthoughts on days, sections and the trail as a whole after I have returned. As a bonus, I will be capturing photos with a fancy Cannon T2i, which isn't the most loaded camera nor the most lightweight. But I have figure it has a good balance between utility, weight and cost. This will be on the test run for future hikes.
By clicking on "Long Trails" at the top of the page, you will be directed back to the home page where the most recent blog post's will be displayed, as well as my current position on the Colorado Trail and campsites.
All gear used for this hike can be found under by hovering over the "Colorado Trail" tab, then click on "Gear", or by clicking Here. At the end of the trail, I will mention any changes I made while out there.
I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. I do my best to have a healthy respect for conditions and obsitacles found out in the middle of the mountains. But the novelty and newness of a long trail is what I love and I know once I'm out there, the nerves will settle and any uncertainty will melt away.