On Saturday, a little before noon, I turned a corner of the trail and the busyness of Monarch Pass opened up before me. After spending the last six days mostly alone with Nature's peace and quiet in some of Colorado's most remote high country, it was a bit overwhelming - numerous parked vehicles, many with trailers loaded with camping equipment, motorcycles, ATVs, and/or bicycles; tourists taking pictures; folks heading up to and down from the tramway entrance; bicyclists - both mountain bikers gearing up for the Monarch Crest trail, or road bikers about to take on the exhilarating ride down the pass; cars and trucks and RVs heading both east and west on Highway 50...the place was humming!
So, with 77.4 amazing miles of the 80-mile Collegiate West Backpack hiked over those six days (which, I now know, is actually 83.8 miles, plus another ten or so to access the beginning and end points, but those are just details), there still remains 4.9 more miles before I have officially completed the trek. I am looking at my calendar and will come up with a day when I will head back up to Monarch Pass and complete this Backpack for Nature Education.
Meanwhile, I've been going through the many photos I took along the trail (I've included a few with this post - you can see more at my Facebook Page, Dave Van Manen, which I'll be adding to). As much as I know that Colorado is a beautiful state, these miles - all of them new to me - reminded me once again of just how beautiful it is. Over the next few weeks, I'll be doing some more posts highlighting some of my experiences while out on the trail.
click here and choose Ranger Dave's Backpack for Nature Education as the category. Thanks so much!