Day 19: A Colorado Trail Love Story

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July 19, 2017

Today, we got the chance to do a short day. 

Short day as in less than 15 miles.

The morning was absolutely beautiful watching the sunrise as we packed up camp! I made sure to pull out my phone for some pictures.

Colorado Trail: Segment 19

Segment 19 of the Colorado Trail is 13.7 miles long. This segment’s most reliable water source is Cochetopa Creek. The first view of the creek is beautiful surrounded by large meadows. The creek’s current was pretty strong, but the horses did good crossing. There was a rock structure with a steep incline that was very muddy, then another water crossing right after. The trail then starts a very gradual climb out away from the creek. 

Now, I cannot go into talking about our day without mentioning about our new friend! 

When we started out this morning, we met a thru-hiker, Mississippi. A young, handsome guy hiking the trail. There was no way we were going to miss the chance to play matchmaker. So Annie and Mississippi… totally ship it!

We crossed paths with Mississippi a few times on trail. When we saw him again at Cochetopa Creek, we employed the plan of giving him Annie’s phone number. 

Although, I am probably embarrassing Annie again, this story is very important because this is how Annie got her new trail name! 

Previously, we had been calling Annie – Straight Up! This was pretty much her catchphrase. She would say “Straight Up” ALL the time. So naturally it became her trail name. 

That was until today! When we crossed paths with Mr. Mississippi. We were all chatting after that creek crossing, when the simple question was asked “Where is everyone from?” We all answered normally, but Annie all up in her feelings answered in the most Texan accent: “WAAALnut!” 

That instant we all knew that was her trail name. Her real trail name. And she earned that one. 

As Mississippi walked off down the trail, we held in our laughs until he was just out of sight. We all busted out laughing at the way Annie had said “Walnut” that we about fell off of our horses. It was one of those stories we will never forget, but it gets better.

As we arrive at Eddiesville Trailhead, guess who’s there…  Mississippi! We were doing so good with playing matchmaker, there was no way we were going to stop. We quickly left the two talking without giving Annie a chance to avoid conversation.

We found a nice place to camp not too far from Stewart Creek. There are actually some stock pens in this area. They are a bit hidden. If you take a left from the trailhead parking lot, there was a sign in the trees a little bit down the road to the left. There are only two, which was not enough for our group, and the pens were short in height.

After getting our camp sorted out, I ran up to get Annie’s horse, Zeus, from her to untack him and let him off to graze. It was a very hot day, so Lissa, Devan and I decided we were going to take a dip into the cold creek. When I was walking back to my tent, I noticed Ragan was tying up Makani while the other horses were nowhere in sight. Ragan had been in camp relaxing, when the horses decided they were going to go on their own adventure. All of the horses were happily following Dazzel as she led them down the road past the trailhead. Makani was in the back (and she was hobbled), so Ragan grabbed her lead rope and tied her up. 

We quickly threw our shoes back on and started up the road to get the other horses. Thankfully, Annie and Mississippi were still up near the parking lot chatting when the horses passed. They quickly caught the horses and were leading them back by the time we started making our way down the road.

Eventually, Annie’s parents showed up for their last resupply with us. We cannot thank our trail parents enough! A huge thank you to them for coming and supporting us! From all the support, extra food, transportation into towns, and the list goes on… we couldn’t have done this ride without them. Thank you!

Tomorrow, we have a big climb up toward San Luis Pass. We are resupplied for the next two days before Devan’s father comes to Colorado to help us for the rest of our ride.

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Young women promoting courage, tenacity and grit. Relive our 2017 trek across the Colorado Trail and follow along as we prep for a ride on the Pacific Crest Trail in 2021.

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