“For the love of pistol Pete y’all, we still got a second half to play.” – Ted Lasso
On the bus from Denver, Colorado to Rawlins, Wyoming, that’s when things finally clicked. I was getting back on trail and all the overthinking, questioning, and doubt that I seemed unable to shake left. Finally, things felt right. I was excited to get going again. To get out there. To see what it’s like and find out what’s ahead.
The day before this liberating understanding I’d flown from my hometown in Michigan to Denver after nearly a month away from the CDT. I could do a deep dive into all the reasons why this “time-out” was both needed and special for me, but a lot of it I’ve mentioned in earlier posts. I do think it’s worth going into some of the stuff I was going through though, that I alluded to above… the overthinking and all that. It’s part of this journey.
For me, there’s something about going “home” that’s both very comforting, but also seems to mess with me. I love seeing my family and friends. At the same time though, I usually get a feeling that everyone seems to be doing there own thing, which sometimes leaves me wondering where I fit. It’s not a new revelation for me, but still leaves me thinking, what’s my thing?
On top of that, returning to life in West Michigan after backpacking for a month and a half, coming back into the “normal” day-to-day lifestyle… that’s a change. Parting ways with my childhood home, that happened too. And then… I heard the news about a fellow PCT and CDT hiker I’d met, Cutie. He was kind, funny, and one of us. His passing is crushing and thoughts of him and of his family are going to stick with me.
So, you get the idea that I’ve been in my head, trying to figure things out and trying to figure out where this leaves me. The question of whether I even want to keep hiking bounced around at times, and usually I’d surface from a down mood and the understanding would return that yes, the trail is where I need to be. Honestly, at this point I just want to keep it simple. And that’s why I was so happy when I felt passion and purpose for the hike return when on the bus!
In Denver, I stayed at Hostel Fish. It’s a pretty cool place, but different from any place I’d stayed before. I’ve stayed at lots of different hostels since joining this hiking world, but none in a downtown of a huge city. I got in late and so just found my bunk, pulled the curtain closed, and crashed.
I actually slept pretty good. Around 8am, I got up and went for a little walk in search of Voodoo Doughnuts, a classic if ever in Portland or Denver (and apparently there in other cities too nowadays).
Heres some photos of the hostel.
My bus was about an hour delayed. I had a whole debacle with Greyhound earlier in the week too about them telling me my bus was cancelled but later, after I made a whole new itinerary, that it wasn’t. Basically, they’re the worst. I suppose once on the actual bus, this was one of the nicest and cleanest Greyhound trips I’ve gone on though.
And, the scenery outside was getting me excited. It felt so similar to the various times busing on the Eastern Sierra Transit along the PCT where the snowy mountains are off to the left going north. Here too, we crusied on the flatlands with far off views of mountains to the west.
I arrived in Rawlins, Wyoming (a CDT resupply town) and got dropped off at a gas station along Interstate 80 around 5:15pm. Made a quick plan with Cheer and Snickers (who were already in town at a hotel) to meet for dinner, and then both started walking that way to meet in the middle. En route, I found myself back on the CDT for a solid 0.5 miles. Yep, the trail crosses through town and so I made my official return by hiking CDT miles 1600.9-1601.4. This little park will mark the northern point of a large chunk of trail that I’ll need tie together at some point. I skipped about 800 miles, which mostly consists of the entire Colorado stretch.
And I saw this…
We timed it so that as I neared Rose’s Lariat Traditional Mexicana, I saw my two friends coming from the other direction. A joyous reunion was had over quesadillas, burritos, and taco salads. I got to hear all about their hike from Steamboat Springs, CO here to Rawlins. Snow, detour road walks, heat exhaustion, hospitable strangers, rushing waterfalls, and storms with the fiercest winds that resulted in Cheer’s tent pole being snapped and a disastrous night trying to stay warm. It hasn’t been the easiest go and thus, we planned to rest another day in town before starting hiking. So after dinner it was back to the hotel, mostly we just hung out and did a little scheming/research on trail conditions ahead, but Cheer and I did get into a serious game of Scrabble too having found the game in the lobby.
So that’s where we’re at. As I write here, zeroing after my big half mile day yesterday, we’re all just laying around resting. We’ve got some resupply to do and Cheer and Snickers have some injuries to heal up. Then, we go out tomorrow as a trio of super CDT hikers!
“We’re putting the band back together” – Elwood (The Blues Brothers)
Also… I made a little photo montage video of the first phase of my CDT hike. Woohoo!