Thursday, July 30th, 2020
This was the first time flying since the pandemic began, and it wasn’t so bad. Aside from a few knuckleheads, most people kept their masks on and airport security went quick given the limited travelers. We were overjoyed to be leaving Maryland! A change in scenery was more than needed. Hiking works wonders on your mental health.
About four hours later, we touched down in Denver. We took the RTD rail to Littleton where we picked up our boxes and grabbed some McDonald’s. Then we had to walk a mile along the highway to get to our hotel. The train stopped just shy of it. We saw some prairie dogs along the way. It was nice to finally take of my mask! We’d relax and hydrate the rest of the day, and got delivery pizza for dinner.
Friday, July 31st, 2020
We met Brian our front of the hotel at 8am. This was our first time meeting him. Brian was a friend and former co-worker of Andy’s, a buddy from back home. He was kind enough to drive us to the approach trail at Waterton Canyon. We were really glad that we got the opportunity to meet him. We talked about hiking and ultra running during the ride. Brian walked the first few miles with us then iced his hike off with a run up the trail. He was a super rad guy, and we hope to cross paths with him again.
The scenery was incredible! We were so glad to be out here! We really needed this. We took a break by the dam before we officially started our Colorado Trail thru hike. I’ve missed the smell of pine needles baking in the sun.
We stumbled upon some bighorn sheep. One of them wasn’t too pleased to see us. He slowly approached us, and we slowly walked away. That rack on his head was intimidating! We wouldn’t see any other super exciting creatures that day. Just deer, chipmunks, hummingbirds, and a tiny green snake.
Wildlife was limited, but there was no shortage of hikers and mountain bikers. We met a girl named Marissa who we talked to by the river. This was her first thru hike, but she’s done several week long getaways on other trails like the Appalachian Trail and the Florida Trail. We also met a guy named Mr. Clean. We bumped into him a few times and talked about, what else? Hiking! He’d hunker down with us at low ground as we waited for a thunderstorm to pass by.
Our first plan was to hike 16 miles, then we decided to try 26 to get to the next water source. Our final decision was 20 miles in at a nice wide open spot. We’d experience more rain after we set up camp, preparing to tuck in early. Our bodies were still functioning on Eastern Standard Time!
20.3 miles (32.7 km)
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