After Harpo & I attempted the CDT in 2016 I was pretty bummed, not feeling mentally stable, and accidentally took a job growing weed in northern California. I had worked in the weed industry since college (mostly sales, some shipping and handling) and until 2017 I had been trimming in norCal for 6 years. I ended up living outside of Grass Valley with some nightmare fake hippies who were fond of extended monologues about their spiritual journey and talking shit about the servants in their house in Bali. They never paid me for a year of work.
Sometime towards the end of the growing season, the homie Atrain (who Harpo & I met and hiked with on the PCT 15) was moving from Oregon back to Georgia & stopped by the farm for some work. He brought along Ekho the dog, the most beautiful and most chill husky/wolf I’ve ever met. We schemed and I managed to convince the other grower I was working with that it would be ok for me to leave for a month & hike the Colorado Trail. This was maybe the only positive thing to emerge from that year.
Atrain and I took a train from Colfax to ‘the Junk’ (Grand Junction), got hassled by fake railroad cops who thought we were smoking weed on the train (fuck you guys, really? We were in a legal state & u think I’m that dumb/desperate?), rented a car & drove to meet Harpo in Durango. The Harpo-mane managed to get a week off work to meet us for the first 75 miles from Durango to Silverton. It was a great reunion despite the 7000 foot climb out of town.
Atrain, Ekho & I took it easy, finishing the CT in 31 days after starting on September 3. I thought I liked Colorado at first glance when Harpo and I hiked the northern part on the CDT up to Winter Park, but on this hike I really fell hard. We took a zero in Leadville, where Harpo and I would end up moving early in 2018. There were laffs & some tears. I blacked out somewhere around Twin Lakes and fell on my face. I got food poisoning in Breckenridge and it snowed 10 inches, which (as I now understand) translates to 3 feet in the mountains… Climbing out of Breck after an unexpected double zero (first vomiting then snow) Atrain and I postholed for 5 hours to the top of Georgia Pass to watch the sun set as the moon rose. Also I literally shredded all of the flesh off of my shins.
The Colorado Trail, though a shorter thru hike at 478 miles, was both beautiful and brutal and I’ll hopefully do it again.