July 9, 2017
Yesterday was full of adventure, so today felt like a “calm day.”
I want to start hiking more, so I started off the day leading Makani for the first few miles. Typically, I would hike the downhill switchbacks, but I really wanted to start hiking some of the climbs as well. Me hiking more would give my horse more breaks from carrying my weight on trail.
When the trail starting going uphill, it became obvious that my horse thought I was hiking way too slow, so I decided to try to tail her on the way up (holding on to the horse’s tail while going uphill). Makani had never been tailed before, but she did not have any issues with me holding onto her tail. She did great following the other horses up the trail, the only problem we ran into was when she decided the grass on the side of the trail was more exciting and would suddenly stop to grab a few bites. Other than that, I was really proud of my horse! Tailing really does make climbing the mountain trails so much easier.
Segment 10 of the Colorado Trail is a 13.1 mile segment. We finished the whole segment today and continued onto Segment 11. We were planning to camp at Herrington Creek, which would bring our mileage for the day to 16.4 miles.
The trail today was really nice. Maybe we have gotten used to all the rocks – you know, since it is the Rocky Mountains – but really, the terrain in this segment was great.
For hikers, a popular add-on to their thru-hike is the fourtneener, Mount Massive. Standing tall at 14,428 ft, Mount Massive is the second highest summit in Colorado. When we passed the sign that pointed in the direction of Mount Massive, Devan joked about heading that way for our trail. I have never hiked a fourteener, but one day I would love to take on the challenge. We even thought about using a zero day to hike a fourteener, but chances of actually having time to do it was very unlikely.
Segment 11 of the Colorado Trail is a 20.1 mile segment. To get to Herrington Creek, we had a little over three miles to go.
Not much happened today, but the segments we rode were great. The horses are doing amazing, and we finished fairly early enough in the afternoon to allow a lot of time for the horses to graze. Tomorrow, we are planning to ride over 20 miles – finishing up Segment 11 and heading into Segment 12.