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MM 854.6: Flew to Durango in the early morning and hitched a ride down to Pagosa Springs. First man who picked me up was a man named Herbert who was part of the Ute Tribe. He wanted to let me know that if I saw eagles in my experience, it was a sign of protection. He also mentioned there has been a few Bigfoot spottings near Durango. He dropped me off a few miles from the airport and said, “May God bless you.”
Second man who picked me up went by the name Eli. He was a miner in Silverton back in the 80’s and mentioned how he found 15k worth of gold which would now be the equivalent of 300k. He was also a mountaineer who took people out into the snow covered mountains and taught them how to survive blizzards and navigate themselves in the wilderness if they were to get lost!
I dropped off some homemade ribs for Ypsilon at the motel he was staying at. We missed each other as he was resupplying on the other side of Pagosa Springs, so we planned to meet up along the trail at some point. While at the motel, I checked out the hiker box and nearly cried. I felt as though I was home again, in my element. It humored me to witness how easily satisfied I was. I freaked out over a fuel canister that had maybe 4 boils left along with a packet of peaches and cream instant oatmeal.
I began to hitch up to Wolf Creek Pass and a woman ecstatically pulled over when she saw I was a thru-hiker. She made room for me and asked if there was anything I needed. I said I would super appreciate a lighter, so she drove me to her home to get one and gave me a couple of fresh apples as well.
Her cabin was located at the base of the mountains beside the river and I felt so happy that she was blessed with such a sacred space to call home. She introduced me to her husband who made intricate canoes in their basement. He didn’t advertise himself, he simply enjoyed creating and if someone felt called to purchase one, he was open to it, but he preferred to prioritize it as a passion.
Him and his wife appeared to be in their mid 50s and I found it really honorable to see how happy they were in each other’s space. They have been married for 5 years now, both being previously married. Destined to meet later in life, they were able to manifest their dream life.
She drove me up the mountain and told me how in the year 2080 Colorado was going to look like Arizona. I said, “Hm. Interesting.” The guy who gave me a ride prior asked if I believed in global warming and I said nope! I told him I took what I heard on the mainstream media with a grain of salt and that I didn’t believe much of what we were being told. I believed in magic and that the world was coming from my own imagination. I believed in miracles and a change of perspective.
I cannot describe the joy I felt being back on trail. It felt as though I was away from the mountains for months, but it was only about a week. I tuned into the feeling of sweat building on my back, the music of my footsteps dancing through the dirt and rocks… no one around me… I felt joyousness, as though everything in the world was aligned… as though I couldn’t be anywhere else but where I was. What a dream, to say the least.
And then, my sock got caught as I was climbing over a blowdown and I fell face first into the dirt. My glasses nearly broke, my legs bled after I got stabbed by a branch and I thought to myself, yep, would still rather be doing this than anything else.