MAD Hippies Life

We love the outdoors and spend much of our time in the backcountry of Colorado, photographing and absorbing the awesome beauty of the Rocky Mountain Alpine. We love to share our experiences with others in hopes of inspiring them to get out and explore, make memories and embrace life.

Colorado Trail Segment 28 of 28

We could see the parking lot now, we were almost laughing with excitement as we took our last steps and arrived at the southern terminus. We took off our packs and just deflated, as if on cue, in an emotional end to an incredible journey.

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Colorado Trail Segment 27 of 28

We crossed through treeline and across the open tundra where we were greeted by a spectacular array of mountain peaks and ridgelines. Back in the alpine we were. 

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Colorado Trail Segment 26 of 28

Our pace was quick, our focus acute, we were only 53 miles away from the southern terminus of the Colorado Trail.

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Colorado Trail Segment 25 of 28

There was a sense of harmony in this place. We needed to pass through it, but didn't want to disturb the energy. Peacefully we made our way across, absorbing it's beauty and leaving no trace of ourselves. 

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Colorado Trail Segment 24 of 28

If the avalanche debris we were finding off on the side of the road was any determination to what we were bypassing in Elk Creek, we were assured of our decision to take the detour.

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Colorado Trail Segment 23 of 28

Traveling in the alpine region for this long was a special treat for us that we will cherish for a long time to come. Sunsets, sunrises, extreme views and starlit skies beyond imagination made for great moments and everlasting memories. 

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Colorado Trail Segment 22 of 28

We found an inviting saddle to camp in that would offer, not only a great sunset in the coming minutes, an incredible sunrise the next morning, but also a starlit sky that night like nothing we had ever seen before. 

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Colorado Trail Segment 21 of 28

We neared a known avalanche debris field and began a tedious game of "where is the trail" in the dark. Our headlamps allowed us to see only so far.

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Colorado Trail Segment 20 of 28

We paused, looking forward into segment 21 and were in awe of the trail as it climbed straight up the other side of the valley as if a stairway to heaven. We had arrived, we were in the San Juan Mountains. We pushed on in silence.

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Colorado Trail Segment 19 of 28

The bridge crossing, more like log crossing, had been washed out earlier in the season, so we took off our shoes and waded through the cold waters to the other side. It was invigorating.

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Colorado Trail Segment 18 of 28

It was just a quiet stroll through a place lost in time. Nothing out here spoke of modern man. It was just earth, sky and far off mountains as far as the eye could see. 

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Colorado Trail Segment 17 of 28

The thunder cracked, the rain began to increase and we found ourselves pitching our tent on an awkward hillside trying to take shelter. 

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Colorado Trail Segment 16 of 28

In the middle of the night we heard what sounded like a pack of wild hyenas coming up from the valley below in search of a late night snack. Coyotes.

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Colorado Trail Segment 15 of 28

We were in a happy place. Good vibes just seemed to wrap around us. We hiked, we talked and we shared our stories. It was a day of recognizing all the good that exists. 

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Colorado Trail Segment 14 of 28

The day had been great, travel had been great, breakfast had been great. We were hiking with a new and encouraged mindset, each day just seemed to bring new and wonderful surprises.

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Colorado Trail Segment 13 of 28

We were nearly at the halfway point of the Colorado Trail and were beginning to realize that someone was watching over us.

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Colorado Trail Segment 12 of 28

We had found ourselves in a valley surrounded by mountains, lush with pines and aspens, cool running streams and a beaver pond the size of Texas. It was obvious that here, in this place, man was just a visitor.

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Colorado Trail Segment 11 of 28

We were a sight. With our backpacks leaned up against a tree, we began going through our resupply box, inhaling our fries and chasing them down with cold blueberry iced tea. 

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Colorado Trail Segment 10 of 28

We listened to audio books and enjoyed some of our favorite music. Straight forward hiking with seemingly one goal in mind, reach the end of the segment. 

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Colorado Trail Segment 9 of 28

The following morning was quite cold as we quickly moved down the trail and dove into what we called, " the Valley of the Sun." It was as it sounds, a beautiful valley full of morning sunlight and much needed warmth. 

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