Twig Adventures

#5 of 20: Mt. Antero 14,269′

Friday 6-26-20 to Saturday 6-27-20 CO 14ers: 10 of 53 Distance RT: 20.5 miles Elevation gain/loss: 5,200′ Starting Elevation: 8,900′ Summit: 14,269′ Rank: 10 of 53 Location: Sawatch Range, Collegiate Peaks, north of Salida Route: Brown’s Creek Trail to FR #277 up to peak, back down Little Browns Creek Trail Companions: none I’ll start by explaining that this was my first trip combining an overnight backpacking loop with a summit hike the following morning. I didn’t follow the standard route to the top, which is a boring 16 mile RT jeep road walk. I did some research to find that I could hike up one valley, summit, then come back down another valley, making for a much more interesting and[…]

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#3 & #4 of 20: Mt. Shavano 14,229′ & Tabeguache Peak 14,155′

06:00-13:00, Sunday, 6-14-20 CO 14ers: 8 & 9 of 53 Distance RT: 11 miles Elevation gain/loss: 5,600′ Starting Elevation: 9,750′ Summits: 14,229′ & 14,155′ Rank: 17 & 25 of 53 Location: Sawatch Range, Collegiate Peaks, north of Salida Route: Shavano East Slopes then 1 mile ridge hike to Tabeguache, Class 2 Companions: Wind Photos from 14ers.com Suddenly peak-bagging had become a thing I was doing this summer (for various complicated and sad reasons I explained in an earlier blog). Achieving these feats was just the positive measure I needed in my life in this moment. A short-term goal and focus. A big reward. 14ers.com had become my new shopping list. It’s a webpage outlining all the routes and details of[…]

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#2 of 20: Humboldt Peak 14,064′

07:00-17:30, Sunday, 5-31-20 My CO 14er count: 7 of 53 Distance RT: 17.5 miles Elevation gain/loss: 5,350′ Starting Elevation: 8,800′ Summit: 14,064′ Rank: 37 of 53 Location: Sangre de Cristos, Southern Colorado Route: South Colony Lakes 2WD Lower Parking Lot to Humboldt West Ridge, Class 2 Companions: Jolly Rancher (Kevin Parsons) Photo from 14ers.com After I’d recovered from my climb up Pikes Peak, I felt really inspired to do more. What next? I’d been in touch with my friend Jolly Rancher (JR), who lives less than 1 hr from my base camp in Canon City. I met JR while hiking the Colorado Trail in 2017. His amazing Earthship home is nestled in the Wet Mountains, facing the awe-inspiring Sangre de[…]

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#1 of 20: Pikes Peak 14,110′

05:45-18:30, Thursday, 5-21-20 CO 14ers: 6th (& 1st) of 53 Distance RT: 27 miles Elevation gain/loss: 7600′ Start Elevation: 6,650′ Summit: 14,110′ Rank: 30 of 53 Location: Front Range, Central Colorado Route: Barr Trail, Class 1 Companions: none Pikes Peak was the first peak above 14,000 feet (here on referred to as 14er’s) I ever hiked…but only halfway. Back in 2003, I went up with a friend and we got a ride down with my parents. Pikes Peak is one of two 14er’s in CO with a road all the way to the top (the other being Mt Evans and a 3rd, Mt Antero, has a road within a few miles of the top). At the time, it was the[…]

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A 2020 update

Nov 27th, 2020 Dear blog readers, First, thanks for following!  My goal in writing this blog has been and always will be to provide positive and uplifting content about my hikes and other adventures. I strive to focus on the beauty of nature and inspiring elements of human-powered travel. But I feel a bit of a departure is in order before I launch into my summer hiking blog series “20 in 20,” briefly explaining how this came about. I’ll be posting short stories about the 20 14er’s I climbed in 2020 while “stuck” in Colorado.  It’s the “stuck” part I struggle with, because it involves disclosing a painful personal experience with a wide and largely unknown audience. It’s my hope[…]

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2019 CDT & AZT Gear Summary

This is a summary post on my gear and stats from my 2019 thru-hikes, combining both the CDT and AZT, since I didn’t change a thing about my gear in between. In fact, I’ve barely changed a thing from my previous 3 thru-hikes. I carried a bit heavier gear in 2019, mainly because I expected some rain and colder conditions. I wasn’t wrong about this. The CDT is high-elevation and therefore a colder and somewhat wetter thru-hike. The AZT was dry but also quite chilly at times, given that we were above 8000 feet during many parts of the trail and also approaching the end of October / beginning of November. I needed my 22 degree quilt and women’s Thermarest[…]

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2019 Trail Angel Recognition

This is a special post to recognize the many trail angels and trail magic that made my hiking so memorable and cohesive. I’m truly blessed to have had so many positive interactions and made new friends. I’m amazed and humbled by the kind souls that exist out there. Someday I’ll write a book honoring trail angels and this year gave me so much material to work with. I’ve listed the trail angels and their magic by state. I don’t expect people to read every bit of this post but at least scroll down to the bottom just to realize the sheer magnitude of this kindness. I’m so sorry if I omitted anyone or their contributions, and that I didn’t get[…]

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2019 AZT Summary and Stats

For links to each of my daily posts, see here. I thru-hiked the Arizona Trail for several reasons. One, I said I would when I first learned about it while visiting my friend Jon near Phoenix at the end of 2018. Two, my friend Stellar planned to hike it and the timing worked out well for us to join together. And lastly, I wanted to hike from Canada to Mexico again. I finished my thru-hike of the CDT going southbound through Montana/Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and half of New Mexico…long story, see my CDT summary. So I finished this journey by hiking all the way south through Arizona. The official CDT is a 3100 mile trail but in reality/practicality, it’s about[…]

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2019 CDT Summary and Stats

For links to each daily post, see here. What a strange, long trip it’s been. The CDT will go into the record books as the thru-hike that never stopped testing, frustrating, enchanting, and forever changing me. It was the best of times and worst of times, all wrapped into a long and incongruous season of hiking. To further prolong the magic, I went straight onto the Arizona Trail only a week after finishing the CDT in Grants, NM. I wanted to get the full experience of hiking from Canada to Mexico for the second summer/fall in a row but somehow fell a bit short in replicating that magical feeling I got at the end of the PCT. That trail was[…]

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AZT Day 34: The Hiking Season That Finally Ended

November 9th, 2019 Bathtub Spring mm 780.5 to USA-Mexican Border mm 788.6 Distance in miles: 8.1 0605-1220 (An aside, this long-overdue post is about my last day on the AZT and of a very long 2019 hiking season. Between the CDT and AZT, I calculated that I hiked around 3,500 miles. This is not including all the day hiking and short segments I did in Florida and Colorado, which probably brings my total to around 3,800 miles. I will follow up with summary posts but in the meantime, enjoy this last day, as I did). It’s very quiet overnight and I have one of the best night’s sleep, ever. I’m right about the condensation though. My tent hasn’t been this[…]

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