Where I hope to be in 2 short days.
Almost exactly 10 years to the date that I first heard about the Hardrock 100 while thru-hiking the Colorado Trail, I am back in Silverton to run it myself. It took me 8 years of applications to make it through the lottery, but I did my best to stay patient throughout the process. I knew my day would eventually come, and that when it did, it would be oh so sweet.
This year, C and I decided to combine my Hardrock run with a San Juan's tour. While my goal was to try to stay at decent elevation and hit some 14ers in the process, my larger goal was simply to enjoy the mountains with my favorite person. We rented a camper van from "Wandervans" and have spent the past 8 days touring around Southern Colorado, hiking, peak-bagging, canoeing, horseback riding, backpacking, and all-around galavanting.
It has been another wonderful trip so far, and reminds me again just how much I love the mountains of Colorado. This post will just be a simple update with some photos of our trip so far.
Regarding peaks, I managed to bag: Redcloud, Sunshine, Wetterhorn, Eolus, North Eolus, Sunlight, and Windom to bring my total to 46 so far. During the Hardrock, I will also hit Handies which will put me at a grand total of 47 leaving Colorado this year....with just 11 remaining. It's crazy to think that I only started bagging 14ers about 7 years ago and I'm almost down to single digits.
At any rate, I'm going to head over to the race meeting, turn in my drop bags, and rest my legs for the next 16 hours. I had my oxygen level checked this morning and it is high, meaning all the altitude training and sleeping above 10.5k has paid off.
No matter what happens tomorrow, I will enjoy the journey, and be grateful for the opportunity. I take a deep breath today, and will calmly head into the mountains tomorrow for the journey of a lifetime. The rock is calling me.
Here we go...
Twin Lakes (upper Chicago Basin)
Very curious marmots
Me in my ultimate happy place
Mt Eolus and North Eolus
Upper Chicago Basin
The "Prow" on Wetterhorn
Marmot on Wetterhorn
Perfect Camp spot
Canoeing on Lake San Cristobal (Lake city)
Climbing up to Upper Chicago Basin
Just past the Class 3+ Eolus "Cat Walk"
North Eolus Summit
North Eolus Summit
Just below Sunlight Peak
Sunlight Peak Class 4 summit block (wicked exposure)
Windom peak looking over to Sunlight and Sunlight Spire
Leaving Chicago Basin
Bridge near Needleton Stop
Walking the train tracks out 13 miles back to Silverton
(Train was canceled due to mudslides)
Horseback riding in Ouray
For those that are curious about the tracks...here are my Strava logs of my 14ers hikes