T minus 1

Rise and shine. O’dark thirty comes much too early! At 3:30 am, even my dog put her paws over her eyes. Dogs have a way of making you feel guilty. She has been watching me pack, repack, and pack again for the past few days. She knows the routine. The backpack comes out. There’s gear all over the den and after a couple of days of deciding what I want compared to what I truly need, the items are reduced down to just a few.

One outfit for the trail, and only a few other items that I am willing to carry on my back for the next five weeks! It’s a process that happens every time I venture into the wilderness. Only a few make the cut and the majority go back into the box. The dog, Zoey, knows she’s not coming and she just gives me the look. Big brown eyes, tail between her legs and Momma leaving her again. It’s quite the guilt trip. I tell her that next time, she’ll be hiking the trails with me. But that doesn’t justify that I’ll be gone for 40 days which in dog years is close to a year! Now I feel guilty too!

Karen and I arrive at Sacramento Airport, with our backpacks in large trash bags to protect it from certain fatality of a conveyor belt. When I place it on the scale, the attendant ask, do you have any batteries? Well of course I do. A battery pack to charge my phone, a battery inside my headlamp and maybe other batteries that I couldn’t recall. Well then, you must remove them from your pack! Seriously? Yep, serious as a heart attack. Apparently as they man handle your precious pack, the batteries can get hot, spark and start a fire in the hull of the plane. So with that, I start digging through my pack, removing such fire starters, and frantically rewrap my backpack in such an unorthodox manner that all I can think is… will everything be scattered as it comes down the exit shoot at the final terminal? And to think, I haven’t even arrived in Denver yet. This is going to be a long day.

What a relief as I saw the big black trash bag getting loaded onto leg #2. American Airlines rocks the baggage department.

Made a phone call to the local sporting goods store in Denver. It seems that there is a lack of supply for fuel canisters this season. I talked with Jeff and he pulled two medium canisters being that the small ones were sold out. Hmm, guess this will be a year of limited supplies. Remember the toilet paper wars?

And the adventure continues. Picked up my pack from baggage to find my very important Aqua Mira busted and leaked. So one more stop for fuel and a Sawyer Mini. The shelves were picked clean and hunters must not need Aqua Mira. They must have tougher inners than me.

With all things COVID this year, Waterton has had an influx of hikers. The trailhead has been closed with an alternate start at Indian Creek Campground. It will be a little extra credit but will eventually intersect CT. I’m excited to see this portion of the trail as I’ve heard it is quite beautiful with a bit of climbing. Of course we get to start this trail with a climb to Lenny’s Bench.

Tonight we will camp at the campground, get our packs ready for the next few weeks of trekking and get acquainted with the altitude in Colorado. Breathe what you can, and breathe some more.

The one thing I remember from my visits to Colorado before is that they sell oxygen in a can?!? I haven’t tried it but imagine many have. I’ll let you know if I need to indulge.

Indian Creek CG is bare bones in the sense that there is no running water, only pit toilets and not much in the scenery department. But what Indian Creek does have is a super Camp Host Dan who gave us a gallon of water, a free campsite and a personal tour of the grounds which included a stop at the TH.

Now begins the waiting game. Wait for the sun to set, for my eyes to close and for the sun to rise to a new dawn. Yes tomorrow is D-Day! The day to find out if I still have what it takes to hike for days, for weeks and even a month? Look out CT, Geisha Girl and Triple Z, aka Karen Z are hitting the trail.

2 thoughts on “T minus 1

  1. Good luck Kelly. Enjoy your journey and keep those blogs coming. I’m hiking with you in spirit–much easier on the dawgs 🙂


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