18th June 

11.6 miles 

Monarch Pass (899.2) to Bushcamp (910.8)

Salida was a difficult place to leave. I must admit this trail has worn me down, physically and mentally. I felt refreshed but I must be honest that I didn’t want to go back to the trail. I’m tired and just want to rest. Colorado is tough but I’m trying to be tougher.

I couldn’t be bothered hitchhiking the 20 plus miles from Salida back up to Monarch Pass. I took a taxi. I didn’t see any other hikers in the area so I set off alone. 

The trail climbed up and over 12000ft. My days in Salida had lessened my ability to breath efficiently at altitude. I struggled. I’m starting to wonder if there is something wrong with me. I’ve been to high altitudes before. I’ve climbed Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa and climbed over 20000ft in South America. This altitude is killing me. Several weeks at altitude and I’m still struggling.

With a late start I only made it just over 11 miles. I fought for every step. At times I was almost in tears. I was frustrated with my inability to hike with the freedom I have previously known and enjoyed. I guess right now I’m not enjoying the trail. As I make camp nausea ripples in my stomach. I think I need to vomit. I hope I feel better in the morning. Tomorrow is a new day.

18 Responses

  1. Bob Jaworski

    Without a doubt, you are pushing yourself. Be Mindful and take care and caution.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Yes Bob, Colorado is extremely tough. I fear that if I rest or take too long in a town I may not want to get back on the trail, so I’ll keep on hiking.

  2. tjmark

    What’s the saying: embrace the brutality. Seriously though, be careful. Don’t push too hard. Smell the roses along the way. Pearl

    • BikeHikeSafari

      I feel like I’ve embraced the brutality. I think I’m just at that low point of the trip, we feel it somewhere. I’ll bounce through it I hope.

  3. Deb

    Hiking by yourself can’t help either. It seems like many flipped up to Montana?

    • BikeHikeSafari

      I think maybe half have flipped to Montana. Most seemed to take time off the trail to let the snow melt.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Indeed, sometimes nature is just showing off.

  4. Alison

    Hang in there, Brad! Your journeys are so inspiring. It won’t be long before you find your mojo again!

  5. Jennifer Ivey

    Hang in there!!! When do you think you’ll be in Breckenridge or somewhere “closer” to Denver? I’d be happy to meet up for a semi-familiar face and some food!

    • BikeHikeSafari

      I’m at Twin Lakes at the moment. If I feel fine I’ll be in Breckenridge in 5 days, or so. Would be cool to catch up again.

  6. Heather

    I’m so sorry you have been struggling. Saying a prayer for strength for you! That last photo looks like a beautiful painting.

    • BikeHikeSafari

      Thanks Heather. There is still a lot of amazing scenery out here.

  7. ThierryB

    We need the whole Hollywood style story. You must continue, it is cold and raining all over west europa !

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