Rebounding and Ragbrai

After counting to ten multiple times and being on the phone with Verizon for 30 mins I got them to overnight me a new phone! Honestly they did not make it easy. They could not send it to the post office I was sitting right in front of, nope. I was there to get my box with my much needed shoes. Luckily a nice guy at the Coffee on the Fly shop let me use their address.

The phone arrived late afternoon the next day. I worried most of the day that my apps (mostly I was concerned about my trail map app Guthooks). While I sat on the floor of the post office, charging the new phone (and saying prayers) a local lady invited us to spend the night in their “trailer”. Turns out the “trailer” was a motor home with a queen bed, electricity and a shower! The trail does provide.

The next morning after as we headed out I realized that my GPS did not have a locator button. Kelsey was itching to get back on the trail so I told her to go ahead while I headed back into town to fix the problem. I was not going into the wilderness with it not working, nope. It only took about 15 mins to correct once I got on Wi-Fi. But by the time I got on trail Kelsey was long gone.

I hiked most of the day til it started to rain and I got wet/cold. About 18 miles in I gave up and set up camp. It was actually a good day even with the rain because CDT joined up with the CT (Colorado Trail). It was fun to all of a sudden see other hikers. All though they were headed in the opposite direction, but yeah people!!

The next day I was sure I’d catch Kelsey but nope. I admit I was distracted by OMG, trail magic! I was gifted rice krispy treats and coke at the first stop. Woohoo!! With that sugar injection I was off to the races. I was really moving, 10 miles by 10 am! Feeling good with good trail I set out for 10 more by 2pm. That’s when I hit the next trail magic stop. Fresh water, hot dogs and yes more coke. With that I took off determined to pull a 30 mile day. Racing the rain I made it 33 miles. Biggest mile day this whole trail. I really need to start packing out soda pop!!! Or maybe it was those spiffy new shoes and insoles. Or maybe all those encouraging comments from everyone, thanks guys! What a difference a day makes, hang in there.

To all you guys on the Ragbrai stay safe and keep the rubber side down!


Nothing without Providence

Nothing without Providence -the Colorado state motto…..

Colorado started out beautifully, but into each life some rain must fall. The clouds gathered, then there was hail and rain. Not a warm rain, oh no, a very chilly rain. There is no guessing when it will start between 12 and 4pm, maybe, but pretty much everyday. So you either hike in it, put the tent up and wait it out, or huddle under a pine tree, shivering, wrapped in your rain fly. (That rain fly is surprisingly warm, btw)

There was still some spotty snow to traverse, but mostly I just got wet feet. Still managed to get “lost”(i.e. get way off trail). Someday I’ll learn to consult GPS map first instead of going off all Willy nilly. Ended up exhausting myself climbing up to the wrong pass, then down to the valley and up again to the correct pass. I seriously had to almost crawl to camp. I laid in my tent with back spasms, staring at a rainbow in the distance, maybe I’m too old for this.

Lately I’ve found myself mesmerized by the scenery. The wild flowers, the streams, the elk herds..I just want to sit and take it all in, but I have to hike. A little voice tries to remind me ‘enjoy this, this moment, this day’. I push on, to all the things ahead Montana, other hikers, Canada. Well life has a way of slowing you down.

After a quick stop in town, food, charge batteries we raced a storm to camp. It rained most of the night, I awoke happy to hear it had stopped. Grabbed my phone to check the time….and the screen was black! Well partially black but enough to make me panic.

My phone is my everything, clock, camera, phone, gps/map, computer and connection to the world! Omg! Everything is on there notes, blog posts, numbers, passwords…crap. Nearest Verizon store 40 miles away (btw they will not help you unless you come there). I want to scream, cry, throw a tantrum. Is this how this trail ends? I can’t go out into the woods without GPS and no maps. I can’t afford a new phone! Crap are my pictures backed up? Panic, panic, panic, breathe.

Sidenote: yes I know I should not depend solely on electronics and should have papers maps. I typically do, but the paper maps I ordered, well, agh…long story I’ll explain later. 

Going with the flow

Sorry, I know its been awhile. I’ve been in the wind! But here’s  an update:

Ok after the brief July snow it was nice to stumble into Kilgore, ID. A tiny but festive town. They put on a great fireworks show, that I caught from my tent! One little girl even gave us sparklers!

Off trail heading into Kilgore, ID we ran into a group travelling by motorcycles and a van. They were so kind to share snacks and water. It’s in the detours that you find the magic. Read about our meet up here

People have been more than kind in Idaho. In the town of Salmon a guy called us over to this bakery and gave us tasty croissant sandwiches! Later while having dinner at Bertrams Brewery a few customers asked about our trip. When we went to go pay our bill it had already been paid. Oh yea, if you are in Salmon checkout the Sacajawea Inn, great theme rooms!

Two days outside of Salmon, ID I got a call from my friend Tom (Toasted Toad)! He’s been camping, fishing and helping hikers/bikers all around Montana. Since he was heading back to Colorado we decided to catch a ride. Plan change!

We spent a fun three days traveling back. First visit to Jackson Hole! Camping in a cool back road spot in Yellowstone and in between mining towns in Colorado. I got a bit tipsy at the Yellowstone campsite. Fireball and red wine will do that. We stayed in a hotel in Rawlins and ran into hiker Fun Size! It’s good to know most hikers that hiked Colorado are just entering Wyoming. With luck we can get through Colorado then flip up and be around other hikers.

The CDT is a lot of isolation. Flipping north meant not seeing hikers on trail, and only one in town. I’m kinda a social person so this wears on me.

It’s gonna be rainy going through Colorado at this time, but that is way better than snow. So off to tackle the mountains again!


I can’t thank Tom enough for hauling us ALL the way back to Chama, NM. It was a fun road trip, thrift store stops and sightseeing and catching up with a friend.

For me this journey is not just about cranking out 3000 miles as quickly as possible. In the end it’s about the experiences and a lifetime of memories.

Pep talk

With a month to go it’s time to kick the training up a notch. Actually just get more outdoor hours. Up to this point most of my training has been in the gym, with short hikes outside. I feel like I’m in pretty good shape now that I got my running back up to 4 miles. That’s 4 miles on the treadmill, I don’t run outdoors. I’ve tried, it’s not my thing.

So I got some extra weight in the ole backpack, blu and I are headed out for some 20 milers. (yes i just randomly named my backpack blu!) I have a really good training loop that has flat stretches, hills and I haven’t done the whole loop in awhile. San Diego has had quite the wet winter, which has kept me indoors. That and my favorite area tends to flood.

In other news I got my maps this weekend! They are huge 11×17 color maps. The bulk of it along with my other gear sent me into kind of a panic. Maps, resupply, gear….Oh my! The enormity of it all was a bit much for me yesterday. Reached out to some friends who reminded me… not about the WHOLE thing….it’s one step at a time.

So I took a break and spent the afternoon yesterday on the treadmill watching the Iowa State Cyclones win the Big 12 tournament title!!

“There is more story to write,” he said. “That’s what I told them in the locker room. Stay humble. Do the right thing, and let’s get ready for next week.” – Steve Prohm ISU coach

Great advice coach……thanks for the pep talk!  Go Cyclones!!! Go Me!!