Colorado Trail

How many days can you go without a shower? The Colorado Trail in 9 days.

How many days can you go without a shower? The Colorado Trail in 9 days.

My hike was wonderful. I was unable to post to the blog from the trail, so what follows is a little photo record of my walk. I hiked for 9 days and I can tell you with firm certainty that this is my limit for not having a shower. There is only so much a little bottle of Dr. Bronners and freezing cold stream water can do. I came to the trailhead at the only major paved road ten minutes before a hail storm and nine days in and that was it. The second car by was a nice woman with two dogs who, though she did turn on her car vent a couple minutes after I got in, did not complain about my smell. Straight to a hotel through a hailstorm I went. Clean clothes, shower X2, pizza... all was well. Though I got off one day before I intended to, it was the unknown shower wall that demanded it. Nine days is the limit.

Packing it all up.

Packing it all up.

Once I decided to go hiking and gave up all pretense of finishing an online course and half of a tapestry before I leave, I was able to dig into the planning.

My little spinning/weaving kit is ready. I've made some rolags at home as I can't bring the big hand cards (obviously too heavy). I'll bring this little flick carder which I can use as a lock carder or as a comb and hopefully will even be able to diz off short lengths of fiber. The goal is to weave a few tiny tapestries on the Hokett loom so I don't need long lengths of yarn, just a variety of colors and enough fiber to make me happy with the spinning. I have already spun some base colors on the spindle (the Olympics helped with that) so have some larger bits of yarn that have been washed and balled.

Another decade gone...

Today is my birthday. One used to be able to keep birthdays a secret, but with the advent of Facebook, nothing is sacred anymore and I can no longer pretend I never age. In general I don't get too worked up about birthdays. What would be the point? They're great if you're 7 and get to wear a paper hat, but once you're past the balloon and streamer stage, birthdays are mostly just good for getting a great chocolate cake for desert. Today was low key and wonderful (except for the 30 seconds after I realized I was now in my 5th decade of life which seems rather old to me). I feel okay saying that I am now 40.

On my 30th birthday I was hiking with my sister in California and she took this photo on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). As I used film back then (an ice age ago in digital time), this is a photo of the photo that has been hanging on my refrigerator (or various refrigerators) for the last decade... its intended purpose at the time still remains--to inspire me to hike (whether I hike the 2,655 miles from Mexico to Canada or not).

And today I went hiking with my sister again--and her husband and baby and Emily... in Colorado, and we ended up on the Colorado Trail. In 2002 I was dreaming of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (which I have not yet done) and in 2012 I was celebrating 40 years and the fact that I at least DID hike the Colorado Trail in 2003 (with my sister and dog Cassy end to end, 500 miles. Yep.)

Now there is a tiny niece and hikes have to be shorter and it can't be too hot and my life is busier. But I still get immense joy out of being in the woods looking at or climbing 14ers, watching for moose or deer or grouse, daydreaming through sweaty days and starry nights, and dreaming of long days and weeks and months on the trail.

40 years is the blink of an eye and there are still many more adventures to come. I have so many interesting things to do at the loom and in the woods and with my family. I am grateful and still very very lucky. Happy Birthday!

I'm off for a hike... Colorado Trail

After I leave Pueblo tomorrow I'm headed out on the Colorado Trail.  I'm looking forward to some weeks of hiking and a simpler life... for a little while.

The Pueblo class has been marvelous.  What a great bunch of students!  I have enjoyed teaching and will be developing new classes about color and design for tapestry for the spring.  Thanks for the inspiration all you Pueblo-ites!

What a great facility--the staff and classroom were both wonderful.

I am leaving from Breckenridge heading towards Durango soon now.  You can follow my progress HERE if you are interested.  I'll be back in several weeks with more from the land of tapestry...

In the meantime, hike your own hike.

My next adventure...

There is a tapestry mouldering on the loom--a fact I greatly regret.  But I also regret the slipping away of summer without a single backpacking trip yet.  My soul needs to walk and so I am leaving the tapestry unfinished for now and heading out for a solid month of hiking.

Here is the sad lonely tapestry waiting for me to finish her up... Finished tapestry will be 45 inches--not quite halfway there.

Before I leave on the hike I will be teaching a 3 day workshop for the Pueblo weaving guild.  From there I'm headed out on the Colorado Trail.

My sister and I hiked the entire trail in 2003 from Denver to Durango (about 500 miles) with my then-3-year-old dog Cassy.  Cassy will be coming on part of this hike, but she is turning 12 in a few days and will not have to carry a backpack this time around.  She is a spry old thing -- a fact I attribute to her walking every day of her life perhaps as well as a puppy-ish personality and a lot of joy.

When we finished my grandmother had trophies made for us.  Too bad the trophy shop misspelled Colorado(A) !!

I have been busy dehydrating food and making some gear in between getting ready to teach the tapestry workshop and figuring out how I am going to finish that big tapestry and a commission before I return to gainful employment (NOT that tapestry weaving isn't gainful, it just doesn't quite pay the mortgage YET).

So I'm off for a little walk.  Part of it will be on my own and part of it will be with my two best girls, Emily and Cassy.  About 300 miles of the Colorado Trail before we come home again... You may not hear much from this blog until mid-September, but rest assured I am having a grand time outside.

Colorado Mountains... (This is actually Little Bear, a 14er that is part of the Blanca Massif near Alamosa, CO.)

Go For a Hike!!!  (before it snows again)