Sunday, August 24, 2014

Day 43 Seasonal non-existent spring to Disneyland

Saturday, August 16, 2014
Mileage: 4.5 miles!

It's morning!! Who even slept last night??? Our not so pretty makeshift cow poop camp was the best we could do at 8:45 PM at night.. Head lamps could only luminate no further than 9 incheds in front if our noses. And the fermented trough water was not too inviting ..

 Nooo , the trail did not break us.. We started singing ... "Let it go, let it gooooo... Blah, blah , blah.. Let it go, we are almost done🌲🌲... Cow poop and cold never bothered us anyway..."πŸ‚

As we were giggling about our finish and the reunion with seeing " dad" , " Honey" and Hannah, we see a headlight ( we were up like at 5:11 am),, coming oh way. It was another Moutain bike racer heading for Durango!! Simultaneously we hoot out loud from inside of our tents. .  "" woo hoo.. Go!"  The biker chuckled and in between breathes he mumbles out " ha, thanks!"

With that, we unzip our rents, slide on our stinky smelly trail clothes for the very last time on the Colorado trail, slither on our starchy sweaty socks that have formed a perfect impression of our toughened feet. Gently slide our rough callused feet into our ever so broken in boots, lace them up not too tight but just right.

Packs on, cinched up around our shrunken hips and stretched out shoulders from the harness. Hat on, pulled down over our really pretty unbrushd and unwashed stringy trail hair. Smile  at each other. And we start our final hike down , and yes it really was a down hill stroll.. Somber moments suggested a forever life changing experience . Teary eyes the entire last 4 miles. 

From a Moms thought: slowly with each mile my trail name Zippy starts to morph back into "Mom"... I am a mom first and foremost. The heartfelt emotions are trickling down my cheeks with pride for me and my perfect "Pippy ".  Such a tremendous love I have for both of my beautiful daughters . Not one day did I ever stop thinking about how special they are to me . And not one day did I not think about how overwhelming amazing this journey with my daughter Pippy  on this trail had been. 

I will soon be reuniting with my husband of which I have not seen for the past 51 plus days. It has been the longest time spent apart from him. How do I smell ? And do I look now, is all I can think of. 

And then I will  also get to see dear sweet Hannah who insisted that I take a bus instead  of hiking from Denver to Durango ., 

Our trail buddy named "Sparkle " is in the lead now with her ever so faithful side shadow named "Sir Harrison". Suddendly we are approached by a a solo early morning jogger. Sparkle barks out, " Good morning!"...jogger man  nods a polite "good morning".., I pipe in " we JUST hiked from Denver" !!!!. Pippy bellies out behind me with a happy squeal of .. "Woo hoo"!!!... And with the rest of the final three and a half miles that is exactly what happened when we passed on coming jiggers ... Miost stopped and gave us a commending pause followed by a big smiley face, "Wow, Congratulation.."!! Clapping excitedly for us.. Others gave a ".. you hiked from where look"?

Oh yes, the tears are free falling now. Our tummies are growling for real food , but the anticipation overrides the hunger. 

I gently ask Pippy , " what  are going to do when you see "Dad"?... She humbly replies ... " I am going to cry".. Then I asked her the same question about her sister . Yep, you guessed it.. " I am going to cry".

Twenty nine high school cross countyrunners  later, we are passed by the same first jogger . He happily reports that we are ALMOST to the end ... !

And then we rounded the corner and my Pippy blurts out... "Daaaaad"!!!!!! . I look beyond and sure enough , there in the morning sun along side with her sister Hannah  is my handsome husband and Pippy's Dad. And a surprise show from uncle Chris who gave us a congratulation hug too . Thanks uncle Chris!

It was the best stinky hug I could ever give to my smiling teared up husband/Dad and Hannah. I just broke out and cried .We did a family hug and stood together in wonderful smelliness.
The only picture I have of our finish is this one standing in front of the Colorado trail sign that you can either start from or end at. Pippy, Zippy,  Sparkle  and Sir Harrison. We didi it!!!!!

A most momentous ending ... 

Let's get some real food to eat!!

At Carvers having our victory beer with "Dr. Nooo, Sparkle , Pippy and Zippy!! 
Instead of a drunken spur of the moment trail bonding tattoo disasters, we opted for trail bracelets... Can you say , ahhhhhh?

Our parting ways in downtown Durango ended around noon thirty. Hugged each trail buddy at least three times . Promises to meet up again we quickly repeated. Next journey ?? Only the winds of time will tell.  Tentively??? Great "plans" to meet in Spain to "walk" the El Camino in 2016... Join us!

Pippy starts her new job in Montetey as a   Speech Language Pathologist in a private practice. Her roommate "Harrison " will join her. Yoga will be her daily routine and plans to hike and explore the Big Sur area .🐱 Zippy returns home to Hawaii to continue working at a Veterans Hospital  In the rehab department.. Or be a stay home mom  and hike on the weekends.
Perfect Pippy !!
Zippy !!

Sparkle returns back to Denver with plans to move into her OWN place with her trail dog Sir Harrison the second. Future nursing school is part of the plan. Go sparkle!!
Sparkle !!
Sir Harrison the second !!

Dr. Noooo, returns to Vermont to continue making his famous trekking videos and had decided he loves his new trail name!!! Who wouldn't ??
Ah , yeah., it's Dr. Noooooo

Oh and what about Hobbit??? He has returned to Hawaii , shaved his trail worthy beard and cut his gangly stingy hair. ( wonder if he donated it??) and he  has also decided to continue his educational studies.. Physics ?  Go hobby !!

Aloha trail peeps for your uplifting comments and enthusiasm with our Colorado Trail thru hike 2014!!!!

"It's not the destination, it's the journey"

For my mom..  And the memories of my dad .

My life is, because of the both of you .

Day 42 Taylor Lake to "Seasonal" non-existent spring

Friday, August 15, 2014
Mileage: 19 miles 

Brr... Cold bone chilling night. We had to squeeze our tents in between fluffs of three foot high bushes. Little critters had dug some mole holes on the only level part of the ground . So naturally we placed our ground cover and tent right smack in the middle of those mole holes. we got settled in our warm and cozily snuggled tent and sleeping cocoons, Zippy announces " I think there is a little scampering animal trying to get back into his mole house.. ". Pippy bring her perfectly in control yogi self, replies, " it will be okay., just go with it.. It's part of the adventure...". Whew! What would one do with out Pippy?
Here are our tents smothered between the brush . Good thing we put our tents in this area as the winds were brrr cold.
Ahhh.. The morning happy Mr sunshine arrived !! It will be the start of a beautiful day as we make our final decent toward our final destination of charming Durango🌺 happy sad.
Zippy launches a picture of herself near Taylor lake before we head out. 
Not am angry cloud on the sky anywhere!!
Airing out our Colorado Ricky Moutain high condo.
As we leave Taylor lake, we excitedly chatter Iike mischievous chippies of what the next 24 hours will be like.. Our hike is almost over. Unfortunately our favorite "Dr. Nooo" had to leave us . He only had a handful of mashed potatoes to eat for the day. He high tailed it down the trail for his final 22 miles... With out us! We will te connect in two dsys for that famous free beer from carvers .
One final gasping of oh my gosh views of these tremendously awesome and beautiful mountain ranges scope our memory bank for ever .
So excited!!! Less than 20 miles until Durango!! 
Sparkle behind the perfect Pippy meandering down from our 11,000 plus relevation. It's all down hill from here.
As we get closer to tree line.  The terrain becomes rocky.
Pretty waterfall trickling aside the rock cliff..we thought for sure we would be able to find a water stream near our "proposed" camp site.., WRONG!!! 

As were talking about how hungry we all were we  plopped down in the middle of the trail and started woofing down our delicious dry trail bars... Needing water very soon, and it was getting late.. We sipped our last to least filtered water and started on the trail..

 Up ahead was a line of bellowing wean off's.. Omg. It would mean a long night of moo-ing . Being that el torro Pippy and Zippy were raised with animalsπŸ‚πŸ“, it seemed quite fitting that they start to herd them cows away and off the trail. A whistle and a " hep, hep " and they retreated in orderly fashion.

Up on the slope side of the trail was a group of "hikers " reroute to denver.,going the opposite way . Not sure what to say to them as they were big eyed and frozen with a confused look as we ooshed the cattle away. They told us they had been waiting along the ridge for the cattle to leave.. Haha.. Fat chance. Cattle will always go the opposite way you want them to go. πŸ‚

We saved them.. They looked so fresh and clean. Not a broken in thru hiker look. But then again, they had just started their trek.

Eyeing them up with larger than needed packs, fake aloha shirts and NO hiking poles. We wished them well bad off we went in search of water.

We'll, well.. The beautiful little tiny meandering stream that was designated  as the LAST reliable water source from our CT hiker bible, was a stream of dark green cow S H I T.  Or  poop. Same difference. Try filtering water in that with the sneaky jittery wean offs trying to butt head you. Not happening. 

Soooo, what are 3 very thirsty and tired ( trail hungry) girls suppose to do?? Yes , that's right . We put on our Girl Scout thinking caps and unanimously voted to hike 5/6 more miles to the so called seasonal ( non existent stream... Hello). No big deal ... I mean we just hiked 14 miles .It's 5:40 PM and it will be dark as can be in a few bear hours.. We need to find water.

Bad words flew from our Girl Scout mouths.. We booked it down the trail . Head lamps on, eyes open for bears and shiny eyed things. 8:35pm. No steam!!! Sparkle spies an old water trough full of greasy rain water . That will have to do. 

The ground next to the trough is of course bumpy with not so dried up cow s h i t... What the beep ?? We throw down out  ground cover, set up our tent for the very last time and boil the bejesus out of that lovely trough water and mix into our mashed potatoes and homemade dehydrated mushroom burgundy ... The finale meal . Quite gourmet for trail food. We saved it for that night. 

Sparkle had her tent camped out next to ours . We exchanged a pile of "oh my gosh momments " of these past 480 some odd miles of hiking . We discussed how the trail had made us all become aware of the greatest things in life . Our family, silly puns, new found friends, and knowing that we can do without material must haves.. We are going all clean out our closets and simplify our lives. 

There is a new meaning to the word "backpacking" had been embraced .

"Good night Soarkle and Sir Harrison ", " Good night Pippy and zippy " !

Day 41 Hotel Draw Road to Taylor Lake

Thursday, August 14. 2014
Mileage: 21 miles....should we spell it out? Okay! Twenty one miles!!!!! In one day!!!

It was a dark and stormy rain pelting night. Not a creature was stirring all through the mountains, not even a chipmunk, deer, coyote, or marmot!....or our tents for that matter. However, there was one exception. 

At 4 AM in the rainy, stormy, monsoon morning, a tiny little light zoomed past our tent with speedy bike tires hauling at high catapulting speed down the trail next to our heads. It was the first place winner of the current hardcore bike race from Denver to Durango. Totally self-supported, these riders must supply their own food, water, and be the sole mechanic of any bike issues for the total 500 miles on the trail. The race began on August 10 at the trailhead in Denver.....and believe it or not, this speedy Gonzales racer that passed us in a blink of an eye hammered out 125 miles a day!!!!!

Anyway, let's get back to our morning. Soon after we set up our tents and went into bed, the rain came peltering down and never ceased to stop. 
And then a little reprieve of no rain and seeing these happy purple flowers started out our day..
But... Not for long. I mean as soon as we passed these flowers the dreaded splat of humongous rain started ... Up went the umbrella.
Yep, the fog whispered in..
Oh but look , our happy meadow of pretty flowers entice and encourage us to press on through the on coming rain.
And.... Our beautiful trail that pretty much looked like this for 16 miles..,
It's these meadows that keep you smiling and reminding you what this trail offers . Rain and more rain.. Bring it on.!
Try finding a non wet place to squat and pee with this turrain.
Fog, rain , more fog, rain and a hint of 

wind = cold, wet , trail hungry and praying for just a little sun.. Just a little.
Here is perfectly contented Pippy with her casual comnent... "What the &&@$ is up with this rain?? Zippy makes no comment and offers her a yummy yummy dry peanut crunch bar ..
Ah... A wee bit of warmth had broken through the fog. So pretty !!
Zippy and Pippy are happy !!
Pippy taking in the views on this 
ridge and enjoying the sun.. It felt so good.
Look at this view!!! It really does take your breath away. We sat here and just looked . Said nothing , no talking . Just observing and experiencing this moment.
We caught up with our trail buddies, "Sparkle" and " Dr. Nooo".. We prepare to cross over the Indian ridge trail.  The longest up hill forever never ended trail. 
Can you see the beauty in "sparkle "?.. We all smell like mildew socks and our hair is clumped together by flowers and sticks and left over mashed potatoes . It's a trail thing.
Profile of the perfect pippy.. She is beautiful too!!
Pippy and zippy at the edge of Indian ridge trail..sun trying to stay out.
Because we love to take pictures.!! Our trail friends are what made this adventure so special .
We know we only have maybe at the most 2 more nights before the end of this epic -ness , we all pause to take in this perk a boo view from the trees.. Even after we have been trekking UP this ridge with tired worn out feet , we still smile .
The blue sky made our day!!
But like a mean old grumpy goat , those ominous clouds appear!!
Zippy in a field of tiny daisies ... The black clouds are in front of her view . It's still so awesome .
Pippy wanted to pose too..ta da!!
Sitting down for a well needed break , and this is our visual . Really ? Can it get any better ?
Our faithful and most adorned mascot, Sir Harrison the second . 
Looks like another HILL.. Try this at 12,000 feet.
Yep, see that green grassy spot  on that HILL?? We climbed it. Happily:)🐾
See little Pippy in red??? And see another HILL? We climbed that one too. 
Holy moly!!! Not for the faint hearted with a tint fear of HEIGHTS. Zippy ... Not happy .
Sir Harrison the rescue dog with scared out of her pants Zippy.
Almost to the top .. Pippy encouraging Zippy to keep on moving... Ugh. It was a wee bit scary.. 
The wind was howling and thankfully you cannot see how far up in the SKY you are. 
See the canyon drop off on the left?  Yeah, the trail was inches from the rim.
The very last hellavious climb of the 20 mile day.. Omg. 
The late after noon brought us more blue skies!! Hurrah.
But wait!  We have another hill climb!! Is perfect Pippy happy!!??
And then our reward.., Taylor lake . It was like a mirage. Now we get to work our wobbling spongy knees down the side of this cliff to get to the bottom.
Magical lake with bright blue water. Peaceful and surreal.. And freakin cold.
We hunkered in our tents for the last night in the Colorado high country. Bitter sweet. Yet so complete. Just breathe.

Good night peeps, good night trail friends, good night scampering critters and the howling coyotes.. Until the break of day. Peace.