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MM 1387.7: A few days ago, I got back on at the Herman Gulch Trailhead. It was interesting to witness when I was in a state of love, how the entire world around me appeared to come alive. Everything became more bright, vivid and vibrant. People appeared to be smiling more, joy radiated from my inner surroundings and new beginnings were welcomed.

A part of my mind experienced a sense of sadness around the perception of parting with my tramily. Our journey for the summer had ended and I was apparently missing them. The CDT welcomed me back with rain and cold weather, causing a feeling of melancholy to come over me.

I walked through a burn area just north of Grand Lake and felt fond of the metallic ash that coated the trees. Dispersed in the area were a plethora of wildflowers that sprouted in an array of colors.

From the moment I awoke, it was raining and hail started to creep in. I still had to summit a pass that was over 12,000’. Honestly speaking, my goal on trail was to have fun and sometimes I enjoyed walking through thunderstorms, however this time I was not feeling any part of it. I was also not the type of chick to pressure/force myself to hike just so I could get a continuous footpath while simultaneously feeling miserable.

So, I skipped the pass and got off trail at Willow Creek Pass Trailhead. I hitched a ride into Steamboat Springs and arrived at Rabbit Ears Motel for the night. I got settled in and dispersed my gear throughout the room so it could dry. I walked around town, spun a wheel and won some CBD gummies. Then, I raided a hiker box, ordered myself some hot food and journaled in the cozy room as it poured rain outside.