Rob took me to the airport and the flight was ordinary and smooth. Took a train from Denver to Golden, CO where Nathan, Twinkle Toes and Guthrie live. From the train station I walked to a nearby parking garage where Nathan had left his car with the keys hidden near it for me to take back I his house and to the store since he won’t be off work for another 5 hours or so. He’s putting me up for tonight and is taking me to the trailhead tomorrow morning. I drive to the store to get a few last minute items like a lighter, knife and deet. Then I went to check out a hiking trail in Mount Galbraith Park that Twinkle said I should check out. I walked around marveling at the familiar faces of western desert plant life that I had seen in the Arizona and Pacific Crest Trails. I thought about how this morning I woke up in my bed in West Virginia and am now, just hours later, walking around in a desert canyon in Colorado. After about 10 minutes of looking at sego lilies and prickly pear cacti a thunderstorm rolled in and I rolled out.
I fell asleep at Nathan’s for a while until he and his girlfriend got home. We caught up on what we had been up to since we last hung out and had a Coors which is brewed about 3 blocks from his house. We coordinated with Twinkle toes and he picked us up to go to some fellow thru hikers house for dinner. Aroo, Cactus, and some of their friends are starting a thru hike of the Colorado Trail the day after I start so they were having a going away party of sorts. Many other thru hikers were there as well including Bigfoot who I crossed paths with several times on my Pacific Crest Trail hike in 2014. We drank beer, played corn hole and talked of our trail friends for a few hours until it was getting late.
We met up with Guthrie back at Nathan’s house and chatted with him about his job working on the Continental Divide Trail and improving sections. It’s good to see old friends. We all plan on seeing each other again soon at Twinkle Toes wedding in 10 days! Tomorrow morning the walking begins! I’m feeling super excited.