Steamboat Springs

Yep, I crossed into Colorado on Thursday, 8/22 and have already had some great hiking and a pretty decent climb in these first few days here.

The below image shows the full CDT in red, with a crude overlay in green approximating what I’ve completed so far (sorry, hand drawn with lousy phone tools). I’ve finally done the math and I have about 760 miles remaining of the Continental Divide Trail to “connect the dots” of my chain of unbroken steps between Mexico and Canada.

760 miles to go (see green overlay) mostly in Colorado

I’ll keep this update brief as I’m working once again via my phone, but a day or two ago I finally hit a psychological milestone I’ve been waiting for: that feeling of confidence in my ability to realistically complete this hike. The same thing happened on the AT as well (albeit much earlier by comparison). After enough completed miles, I was able to stand back and convince myself that- barring the catastrophic- I could see myself finishing the entire hike. For a bunch of different reasons I’ve been much less certain along the way on this one, but that has now definitely changed! I’ll set out again in the morning with a new spring in my step, excitedly counting down the final weeks left of this incredible walk.

Whew! Made it!
A pretty cold morning
First snow traversals since way back in the Pintlers!
Scenic Colorado
I love extended walking along the side of a mountain ridge
Met this dear couple who were out scouting for the upcoming elk hunting season. Sodas, great conversation, and they even hauled away my garbage for me!
In addition to encountering many local hikers, mountain bikers, motorcycles and ATVs (the trail here is shared use), I also saw my first abandoned tractor on the hike.
Lone elk scoping me out from a ridgeline.
Some kinda sad story reflected in this roadside memorial on the highway walk leaving Rawlins, WY. The markers were just two months old and the flowers fresh.
Leaving Rawlins with a family of deer buddies.
Steamboat and I would get along famously.
More evidence.

Thank you all again so much for your interest and your encouragement along the way! Several Colorado residents have indicated to me that September is the prime hiking month in Colorado and that is precisely when most of my hiking days here will occur. I may be hiking alone these days, but my heart is full to overflowing. And since you’ve made it this far with me in spirit, hang in there a bit longer to see if I really can pull this off and walk myself back into Ghost Ranch!

My sincere gratitude and very best wishes to you all. My next update should be from Summit county in the thick of Colorado big ski resort country. Cheers! Max

6 thoughts on “Steamboat Springs”

  1. Great meeting you “Max” Congrats on the adventure. Thank you for sharing your story during our brief ride together back up to CDT on Rabbit Ears Pass outside of Steamboat.

    We are glad we turned around mistaking you for a local.., we love Greg, however our time with you today was more inspiring. From your family to the back story of Max Heap!

    All great tales!

    1. Likewise! Always great to swap life stories with the fine people you meet along this kind of journey. As far as I know you’re the first hitch I’ve ever had that literally turned around into my direction to offer me a ride! It’s cliché but absolutely true that a long thru hike restores one’s faith in people…cynism builds up over time but when you interact with most people in their daily lives the kindness and generosity outweigh the occasional lousy encounters. So glad to have met you and thanks for the kind words!

    1. MAV, while I’m enjoying the role of solo hiker, I keep thinking how much fun it’d be to be hiking Colorado together. Glad to know your hike is in such good shape…love your pix and your daily narratives. Keep it up!

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