- July 7, 2013
- Start - 7:00am
- End - 11:00am
- Distance - 7 mi.
- Segment - 9 (7 mi.)
It rained again last night, but thankfully there was no thunder/lightning. This morning was cold, wet, and frost covered the ground. When I emerged from the tent, my mosquito friends were there to greet me. Lovely. Don’t they sleep? It wasn’t nearly as bad as the night before, but I definitely was not going to be hanging out long at all. One cup of coffee. Breakfast. Breaking camp. I was getting pretty good at this routine. I just wish everything wasn’t so wet.
|It was a chilly night!|
|Finishing segment 9. Starting my final 7.5 mile stretch to Turquoise Lake.|
|The last 200 feet!|
|DONE. 116 miles in 4.25 days.|
|Bouncing with excitement!|
|Look! I even got a finishers medal.|
|Five days with no shower and she still loves me!|
This trip was a whole lotta heaven and little bit of hell - and I wouldn't change a thing. I discovered there is something magical about the backpacking experience. In many respects, it’s just like the joys and trials found in ultrarunning, but in many other ways it's not even close to that experience. You can’t compare them on all levels. Being alone was at times perfect. It gave me space, freedom, peace, solitude, and a chance to live in the present and chase any thought that came to mind. After a day or two, I began noticing things about my surroundings and that awakening provided nonstop entertainment. The only moments I would classify as boring, were the times I was stuck in my tent. Most days we are simply too rushed to see and appreciate any of this.
I have a new appreciation for all the conveniences and comforts we have. I certainly enjoy sitting on a cushy couch instead of a log or rock, but I know that I don't need these comforts to be happy. Wants versus needs become very clear after a multi-day experience like this. That is one lesson learned during the trip.
It would be special to share this kind of experience with others, especially my family. I have a new love for the CT and backpacking. As soon as I figure out a solution to the mosquitoes (can you say Deet?!?), I’ll be back to planning my next adventure on the CT. There are many more segments calling my name and they only get better as you head south and west. I'm sure I'll make it to Durango someday, but I'm in no rush. Time is a gift and spending this resource on the trail is an investment with huge returns.