Magic, Miracles, Walking through fear, and the kindness of strangers.
486 miles walking in the wilderness. 380 of those miles by myself. 32 Days alone with just me, nature and a heavy backpack.
September 7, 2015 I stumbled off The Colorado Trail in Durango, Colorado after walking 486 miles.
The original plan was to do the long distance hike from Denver to Durango with my boyfriend Oliver.
It was a spur of the moment idea for us to head out on the trail.
Oliver had never been to Colorado and we both wanted to be in the mountains.
I had always had in the back of my mind that a long distance hike would be a cool thing to do.
So with less than a week of planning and preparing we set off from the Waterton Canyon Trail Head outside of Denver. The first 100+ miles from Denver to Breckenridge began to work their magic and I loved being out there. I began to sink more in to myself, feeling more grounded and clear, and beginning to let go of the family and social pressure I had been feeling prior to setting out into nature.
I was in a transitional place in my life.
Oliver and I had been living in Asia for the better part of the last 2 years. I had just finished a film job in Uganda and my family was breathing down my neck to get a job and stay in the USA.
Inside I was feeling lost, confused and unsure of my next step in life.
Having a mission on the trail, being immersed in nature and asking for guidance and clarity was what I knew I needed.
We had an amazing 8 days out on the trail together and when we reached Breckenridge Oliver unexpectedly
got some work back in Europe and decided he needed to go.
The thought of completing the trail alone never crossed my mind and I resigned myself that we would come back next year and finish it together.
We hitch hiked back to Boulder and Oliver set off back to Europe.
I was left in Boulder feeling lost, confused, numb and not sure what to do.
So I went to meditation and asked.
The answer I got was: “you need to go back out there and finish the trail by yourself”
“Ok” I replied to the little inner voice, and began my preparations.
I went on Craigs list and found a brand new light weight 1 person tent for $100.
Next stop was REI for another guide book as the first one got drenched in a down pour of rain.
I was chatting to the saleslady in REI and told her I was about to go finish the Colorado Trail by myself, and she enthusiastically told me that her 19 year old daughter had done it alone! She said when she finished she felt invincible! and had absolutely no problems or trouble.
This was exactly what I needed to give me the little boost of confidence that I could do it and would be ok.
It felt like my first little miracle and positive sign that I was about to do the right thing!
My good friend Ashley dropped me off the next day on the side of the freeway, armed with my card board sign that read FRISCO Colorado Trail Bound. Thank you! 🙂 and I began my first real solo hitch hiking experience back to the trailhead where Oliver and I had exited the trail a few weeks before.