Trailcation in Durango: A Mental and Physical Reset
After seven zeroes in the lovely, nearly engulfed in smoke, town of Durango I am ready to get back out on that dirt path. While my shin does not feel one-hundred percent, I feel as ready as I can be to start hiking again. I will rejoin the trail where I left off at Wolf Creek pass with the intention on going 15-20 miles a day over the next few weeks. My plan is to arrive at the Interstate 70 crossing around July 1st which is when my parents will be flying into Denver for a visit!
Going slow on a thru-hike is still new to me as my mind has been accustomed to walking all day and retiring just before the sun sets. Even after Nick and I separated back in Grants, my pace slowed down for a short while until I gradually upped the miles over the following weeks. However, it is clear that my body just cannot repeatedly handle big days and the punishment that comes with hiking sun up till sun down, over high mountain passes and across damp valley floors.
This will be the biggest challenge in my mind and one that I will have plenty of time to work on whilst in the wilderness. When you have nothing to do all day, except walk, eat and drink, it is sometimes harder to not walk than it is to just carry on. It is still too early to tell but at a slower pace I may not finish the whole trail before the snow falls in northern Montana. While this is a difficult realization to accept, I must put my body and mind first. It is one of the few things you have the ability to control on a long distance hike and adjusting your pace simply requires a certain level of mental discipline.
This week of zeroes has been helpful to realize some of these ideas and time has done well to reinforce others. As long as I am outside listening to birds chirp and watching the world rotate, I am at peace. The forest provides a welcome stillness and silence that is nearly impossible to find elsewhere. The beauty of all moments fleeting is a magical thing to be a part of and these moments can only be appreciated when immersed within.
I’d also like to give a shoutout to my hosts for the week, Gina and Alex. Their welcoming spirit and open door is something I will be forever grateful for in my time of need. A week off was just what I needed at this point in my hike and I’m excited to get moving again.
“Time is but the stream I go a-fishin in”. —Henry David Thoreau
Thanks for reading! Peace and Love
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