Colorado Trail: Day 1 Section 2

My sister and I finally started the Colorado Trail!! … on section 2. We were all ready to go and start at Waterton Canyon BUT thanks to a comment on all trails I found out that they were closed for dust control… What the hell is that anyway? And it had been raining a lot so I was a little confused by what dust control actually entailed. I digress…

Day 1, Section 2:

And so we began our journey. Sounds magnificent doesn’t it? But actually it involves dropping a car at a little scraggy trailhead, turning around and going back to the beginning of section 2 at the south Platte river trail head aaaand 2 1/2 hours later THEN it’s time to walk. Walk back to the original car only to then drive back to the second car and go home that is. Ahhh, being in nature is so peaceful.

The hike itself:

Anyone else been a victim of all trails when planning an hike? (Pro tip from not a pro: this is why most guidebooks recommend you use some reliable navigation source, not just an app). Instead of a 9 mile hike, we hiked about 12. Overall, it is a pretty gradual ascent for the first 6 miles so not too strenuous. We did walk through a lot of old fire burn areas, and coming from the East Coast this was very sobering. It felt like we were in the elephant graveyard of the lion king. And honestly we were just waiting to see a mountain lion in this area, constantly scanning the trees around us. Which then in turn made it even MORE surprising when I looked down and almost stepped on a 4 foot long bull snake. We convinced ourselves it was a rattlesnake until Google told us otherwise. Clearly we are one with nature.

The end, but also just the beginning:

At the end of the day we had some new blisters, extra sun tanned shoulders, not enough water at the car, and starving bellies from not enough food during the hike. How embarrassing is a Dietitian right? But if anything, it reminds me how easy it is to forget the things that you know when you’re just trying to pack for ease and convenience. The plus side to ending with an empty stomach? The food you buy afterwards is always so. damn. good. No matter the true quality. Snowpack taproom in Conifer provided the perfect dinner spot and was packed, we soon realized because we were crashing a high school senior night fundraiser. Glad to have contributed a couple dollars from greasy pizza to next years prom!

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