My departure date is getting closer, and I'm looking forward to hiking in the mountains for a month! I wanted to share a brief itinerary of what I've got planned (though anything could change based on weather/injury/trail conditions). I start hiking on July 1st (Happy Canada Day!) and here's the rough schedule for the trip:
· Phase 1 - 7 days to go from Denver to Breckenridge (105 miles). It's going to be HOT the first couple of days out of Denver (it's currently 35C and it's only early/mid June!) but the weather should cool as I get higher up into the mountains.
· Rest day in Breckenridge (laundry, shower, food resupply) Breck is apparently a funky little ski town.
· Phase 2 - 8 days to get from Breckenridge to Buena Vista (115 miles). On this portion I actually walk right through Copper Mountain ski resort, and I'm also hoping to take a side trip to climb Mt Elbert (14,440ft high). I'll also have to take a bit of a detour on this section as they've had a huge blowdown of trees (due to high winds from winter storms) that essentially makes 10 miles of the trail impassible
· Phase 3 - 6 days to go from Buena Vista to Gunnison (90 miles). On this portion I'll get to pass by Princeton Hot Springs and may have to take a break to soak in the hot springs!
· Rest day in Gunnison
· Phase 4 - 7 days to go from Gunnison to Silverton (110 miles). Fun fact - Silverton is an old silver mining town, and is one of the highest towns in the United States, at 9,305 feet above sea level.
· Phase 5 - 5 days to go from Silverton to Durango (75 miles)
And then I've got a day in Durango to recuperate (I'm thinking massage, pedicure, and lots of eating!) before flying back to Denver for a night and then back to Toronto on the August long weekend.
Depending on cell coverage on the trail, I may only be able to blog when I'm stopping over in towns at the beginning/end of each phase. But there may be cell coverage higher in the mountains as well, I'll just have to play it by ear.
And now one of my favourite quotes from John Muir: "Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drip off like autumn leaves."