Colorado Trail – May, 2019
I heard the tone of an incoming text, and glanced down to see the small red dot next to the bright green text icon. I tapped the screen and saw my brother’s name. I enjoyed texts from Jordan. They were completely random, and always held interesting information, or details about some current adventure. Jordan was the brother with which I had the most common interests. He had spent some time on my CDT hike with me, hiking three weeks through Glacier National Park. The hiking had been breathtaking, and I had learned a lot about the brother I had not grown up with.
Jordan was quite smart , and hiking long days with him were never dull as he educated me on topics ranging from obscure scrabble words to foreign languages. While I understood little of what he said, the timber and emotional flows of his voice kept me engaged. Every once in a while there was also a glimmer of comprehension on my part, like when he explained he was getting his doctorate in algebraic-trigonometry, and I excitedly explained I had also taken both algebra and trigonometry in high school, although not having done that well in either. During this discussion, Jordan was walking ahead of me, and I smiled at his long pause followed by “No Ellie, it’s not the same thing.”
I read through Jordan’s text and smiled. He was seeking my opinion on a good short trail to hike before his wedding in October. Let’s see I thought – what trail would I want to hike. My choice would probably be the Pacific Northwest Trail, but he only had 3-4 weeks to hike. There was the John Muir, Arizona, Hay duke….all trails that held my interest. I glanced out the window, and images from the CDT flashed through my mind. I had hiked the CDT, but was still interested in hiking the Colorado Trail. I had found many of the remote and rugged sections of the CDT beautiful, and the Colorado trail traveled some of the areas I had liked the most. I knew Jordan could finish this trail in 3-4 weeks, and I could start with him, probably finishing in more like 5 weeks. I texted this idea back to him, and he said he was on board!
The 30 year old, approximately 500 mile long Colorado Trail traverses eight mountain ranges, six wilderness areas, and at it’s highest point is approximately 13,334 feet. Many hikers and trail users consider it one of the most beautiful trails in the world. This would be the perfect trail to kick off the next phase of Jordan’s life, or end the first one – however you wanted to look at it. I was so excited, and could not wait to get started with the planning, so I texted him back and told him I would put together our itinerary, and immediately pulled up the Google.
I had two objectives before the hike. I needed to lose at least 20 pounds, and also try and do something about what appeared to be a painful case of planter fascitis. I stretched my foot and grimaced at the searing pain that shot up the side of my arch, just in front of my heel. The pain had been building slowly over the last few months, but I had ignored the ache that occured after I walked. I was used to my feet hurting. Foot pain was common for me during my hikes. Pains would arise, I would ignore them, and eventually the random pains would go away.
This time was different though. The pain was a dull ache when I walked, and turned into a searing, hot pain when I stopped walking. It had escalated over the past few weeks, and I had begun to realize that ignoring it would not result in it going away, so I fell back on my usual method of attack. I went to the Google and started researching the symptoms before finally settling on what seemed to be planter fasciitis. I then began going through home remedies. As with most things, I would try and fix it myself. At a minimum, I might go to my Doctor to verify my own diagnosis, and give me options for treatment. I would then research his recommendations, and put together my own treatment program. Sometimes this was successful for me and sometimes it was not. I had been going to him for years, and I’m sure I was one of his more irritating patients.