Colorado Trail – Day 39

September 12, 2013

Miles Hiked: 18.5
Total Miles: 484.6
Segment: ​​28

Final day! I woke up easily this morning before my alarm went off at 7am. Excitement about the final day on the trail I suppose. I looked out of my hammock and the skies seemed clear but a few minutes later I discovered they were overcast. I got camp packed up faster than normal. Kate hit the trail several minutes before Lott and I. We left camp at about 8:05am. We came across a decent clear stream and decided to go ahead and refill with water. I had no water left by that point and the skies were getting very cloudy and it looked like it might rain more. Ugh. My right knee was hurting very badly. We resumed hiking and before long we caught up to Kate near the waterfall at Gaines Gulch. For the rest of the day Kate, Lott, and I hiked together. It rained very heavily on us for a few hours. I refused to put on my rain jacket because I didn’t want to finish the trail that way. I did put the rain cover on my pack. Kate and Lott put on their rain jackets but not their rain pants. We were all sick of the rain and wearing that rain gear. We made good time despite the weather. Kate was leading us and she walks quickly but I know she was walking slower than she can because we were able to keep up with her. The final miles of the trail weren’t flat but I’ve definitely hiked harder. Constant thoughts of reaching the end of the trail made the day seem to last forever. It was very nice when it finally stopped raining. I am extremely glad that I didn’t finish the trail in miserable, heavy rain. We finally reached Gudy’s Rest which is a bench 4 miles from the end of the Colorado Trail. There was a couple there who we talked with briefly. I sat on the bench after they left. I had too. Lott made us take a group photo with his camera. We had already taken several. I don’t think it thrilled Kate. We hit the trail again, eager to finish the last few miles. My knee was still hurting, badly. I’m glad we finished the trail today because my knee hurt bad enough (and still does) to make me get off the trail if I would have had 100 miles left. With about 2 miles left, it started light raining, but thankfully it didn’t get much harder. The last few miles were a nice walk next to the creek. A much nicer finish than northbound hikers get in Waterton Canyon. When we reached what looked like a trailhead, Kate checked her phone to see if we were actually at the end before celebrating. We were at the end of the trail! What an amazing moment, but it really didn’t set in immediately. We each took several photos and another group photo. It was still sprinkling. After photos, we headed to the road for one last hitchhike into Durango. It didn’t take but probably 15 minutes for a lady to stop. She has lived in Durango her entire life. She dropped us off and we headed for a bus stop. Kate found the route to the hostel in town. After 2 bus rides, we got to where the hostel was supposed to be but we couldn’t find it. We researched online and discovered the hostel closed a few weeks ago. So then we were stuck on the edge of town in the pouring rain. Kate felt bad because she thought it was her fault. It wasn’t. My phone was dead so I really couldn’t help. We waited and caught the next bus to the transit station. Kate found another motel, Durango Lodge, which was just a few blocks from the transit station. At Durango Lodge we got a room with 3 queen beds so we could divide up the $140 price tag for the room. We didn’t spend much time cleaning up (no showers) before we headed out to find food. We finally ended up at Carvers. We had a good meal and enjoyed. The fact that we had just completed a thru hike of the Colorado Trail was setting in and we enjoyed it. Back at the motel, Lott went over to the Best Western to do his laundry because he was going to rent a car in the morning to drive to meet his daughters who were driving through Montrose. Kate and I both bought flights on Frontier from the Durango Airport. She leaves Saturday to Denver and I leave Sunday (September 15) for Denver through to Oklahoma City. It has started pouring rain, again. Good thing I’m not out in that crap anymore. Kate is worrying about the flooding in Boulder and where she lives, Louisville. Apparently there is bad flooding and some deaths. I guess it has been raining in a larger area than the trail. So far she doesn’t have damage at her house, but she is worried about a possible evacuation and her pets. Lott made it back at around 11pm and we called it a night. Damn it’s good to be done with that trail!!!

⇐ Day 38​​Colorado Trail 2013

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At the end of the Colorado Trail!

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⇐ Day 38​​Colorado Trail 2013