I'm a Minnesota native currently living in Denver. I've been gradually leveling up my hiking game from short day hikes to backcountry overnighters. I began section hiking the Colorado Trail in 2020 and hope to complete it over a few years. In 2021, I'll be hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail. I love figuring out how to balance my full-time work life with a lot of hiking, camping, and backpacking.
Remember a long time ago when I described how, until recently, I “let” my friends do basic backpacking chores for me, like filter water, use a Jet Boil, and carry our bear bin? Worry not – I have reduced my mooching ways, both out of necessity for solo section hikes of the Colorado Trail and simply to be a better person.
Last spring and summer, I section hiked 135 miles over some of the first 12 segments of the Colorado Trail. I hope to complete the remaining sections over time, as well as one day thru-hike the trail in one go.
When you’re in the middle of a pandemic, it never hurts to do a little daydreaming. Especially about international destinations that are off the current table. Though you may be stuck at home right now, join me on a mental journey to the jungle of Peru and learn why you may want to add the Inca Trail to your trekking and travel bucket lists.
Drumroll please: I quit my job! Long before the pandemic I’d hoped to quit my job earlier this summer to thru-hike about ¾ of the Colorado Trail. As everyone can relate, that did not exactly go to plan. I was very lucky to find a position I’m more excited about in the long term, with the added benefit of having a little time off between the two jobs. I decided to use a few of those days to complete my first ever solo backpacking trip while knocking out another segment and a half of the Colorado Trail.
Section hiking the Colorado Trail while working full-time requires some creativity. It isn’t always possible to hike an entire segment in a weekend, so I broke Segment 11 into two portions by splitting it at the Interlaken Trailhead. Alex and I added Mt. Elbert to what we called “Part A” as well, since Elbert’s trail directly intersects the CT.
Segment 7 of the Colorado Trail links Breckenridge to Copper Mountain - a twenty minute drive along the highway, but a six hour trek that gains more than 3,600 feet (and loses most of that too). With about three and a half miles above treeline, I treated this hike as I would any Colorado 14er - start early and get back below treeline by noon.
In May, I’d completed Segments 1-5 of the Colorado Trail. In June, I didn’t hike a single mile. In July, I was back! And this time, I added a side
I capped off three straight weekends of CT section hiking with something of a grand finale: two sections of trail, more than 30 miles, over four
You’ve heard it before: after hiking the previous segment the previous weekend, I was geared up for the next! For the third weekend in a row, I continued my path down the Colorado Trail segments towards Durango. Despite the hikes being separated by work weeks, hiking the segments consecutively increased my enjoyment and feelings of accomplishment.
After backpacking Segment 1 the previous weekend, I was hooked on hiking another segment as soon as possible. Given my job and life situation, I didn’t (and still don’t) really have the energy slash willing hiking partner slash time to fill up 100% of every weekend with overnight backpacking sections in between working full-time weeks. Thus: the underappreciated day hike. Well, probably not underappreciated by the general public. Probably actually the most appreciated by most people. But in terms of balancing a busy workweek, maintaining some non-hiking time on the weekend, and still making progress down a long trail, I was eager to test out the day hike.