Week 3: Halfway Through!

What’s Goin’ On!

In the wise, wise words of Marvin Gaye, “Ain’t no mountain high enough”! We’ve made it to Salida, which is at mile 263 of our adventure- we’re over halfway!

This past week we’ve been on the Collegiate West section of the trail. In other words, we’ve been in what seems like a constant state of ascending and descending for the past 7 days. Truthfully, this section has been harder than we could have imagined! But with our big climbs have come some breathtaking views, gorgeous lakes, and moments of pure euphoria when taking the last steps up a mountain. I’ve recently discovered how wonderful it is to listen to music while hiking up a hill, and I’ve incorporated quite a bit of dancing into my days.

After my post last week, we made a slight change of plans. Zac has decided to continue onward to see out the end of the hike with us! Woohoo and hooray!

Other little tidbits about our week:
– Two ladybugs landed on me during our lunches and hung out with me for a bit.
– We’ve started doing Wim Hoff breathing exercises every day. We’re coupling this with the occasional cold plunge into a lake or river. I’m still waiting for my cardio to make a miraculous improvement lol.
– The instant coffee has been ditched in place of hot cocoa every morning. Maybe the best trail decision we’ve made so far.
– We’ve encountered an insane amount of trail magic and kindness. We’ve had absolutely no trouble finding rides and any accommodations we need in town. The trail community is real and thriving out here!!
– On the last day before Salida, Zac decided to try to kill me by making us walk as fast as possible for a burger. He said he was at the point of burger hallucination, but my resulting shin splints are too real. Ha ha. Just kidding.

We’re happy and healthy over here! Eating and drinking as much as we can before we start back on the trail tomorrow. Lattes, burgers, and beer have never tasted so good.

Our next stop will be Lake City in about one week! Miss you all!!

Progress Map

The red line follows what we’ve completed so far!

Daily Mileage + Campsite Elevation

Day 13-

miles hiked: 14.5

elevation: 9,214ft

Day 14-

miles hiked: 12.4

elevation: 10,370ft

Day 15-

miles hiked: 15.2

elevation: 10,100ft

Day 16-

miles hiked: 7.5

elevation: 7,965ft (Buena Vista!)

Day 17-

miles hiked: 16.4

elevation: 11,113ft

Day 18-

miles hiked: 14.1

elevation: 11,179ft

Day 19-

miles hiked: 13.5

elevation: 11,312ft

Wildflowers of the Colorado Trail

Some of the flowers we’ve seen so far! We did our best to identify them.

American Bistort

Common Yarrow

Ross’ Avens

Western Roseroot

Rhexia-Leaf Indian-Paintbrush

Mountain Bluebells

Elephant’s-Head Lousewort

Aspen Fleabane

Prairie Smoke


  • On the Road Again- Willie Nelson
  • Yesterday- The Beatles
  • Que Sera Sera- Doris Day


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Comments 4

  • Richard : Aug 26th

    Nice. I enjoy that you are seeing the flowers.

    • Casey : Sep 8th

      Thank you!!

  • Ruth Morley : Aug 27th

    Hey Casey! For some time, I’ve been trading messages with your aunt Tina. I’m also on the CT and post here at thetrek.co. I can’t remember at the moment how she and I started communicating. Maybe it was an podcast I was on. Anyway, I’m presently taking a zero in Saguache, where my grandparents used to live. Frankly, it was reassuring to me to hear a person younger than me say she found the Collegiate West tough. No kidding! But I’m still glad I did it. I hope you’ve enjoyed your well deserved rest. My next zero day will be in just 4 days in Creede, one of my childhood homes. Can’t’ wait to see it again — so cute!
    Happy trails to you! I hope we meet up on trail. My trail name’s Ruthless. I’m in a long sleeved blueish shirt and a tan cap.

    • Casey : Sep 8th

      Hi Ruth! Great to receive your comment. I’ve been hearing of you through my mom and my aunt. I hope your journey is going well! We are in Silverton now and will be doing the last stretch to Durango in a few days. I’m sorry that we haven’t been able to connect in person, but I will continue to keep an eye out for you and I’m wishing you all the best!


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