My alarm went off at 5am bright and early. Wrote in my journal until 5:30am and got up. Tried to be quiet while I was packing up to not wake anyone else up but Mike, the tour guide, was already up to get coffee and breakfast started. A few of the guys were out and about by the time I left at 6:45am, my earliest start yet.
I had decided to skip breakfast to save time and get rolling. Said my goodbyes and thank you's to whoever was up and left. The sun was just rising and it was pretty beautiful. Still a bit dark out but there was just enough light to see the trail.
I knew I had to ride 38 miles to finish today so had to keep a fast pace. I was happy that the first 8 miles were pretty flat and ride-able. It then started to sprinkle so I stopped to put on my rain gear and decided to cook up some peach crumble.
From here it rained off and on as I continued up for a bit eventually getting above tree line. The trail stayed above for a bunch of miles and it was pretty chilly but I kept pushing on. I wasn't going to let a little rain slow me down or dampen my spirits.
I made it to the top of my last big climb (or so I thought) and was happy. Stopped for a few seconds to take in the view and take a quick video and kept on moving to stay warm. I could start seeing the lake below and the trail was a bit too wet and steep to ride so ended up walking down most of it.
Met a lovely older couple doing a day hike. The guy has a website with 5,000 photos of wildflowers and they were very friendly. The trail-head and end of segment was just around the corner.
This meant I was about to start the last and final segment of the CT! Yahoo!!! 18 miles done for the day and 20.5 to go with most of it being downhill.
Smashed the first few miles and it was super fast, fun and flowy with a few technical sections. Made it down to Junction Creek which it followed for a mile or so. Then came the uphill...
On the map and elevation it didn't look like it would be that hard of a climb. But as I continued up it seemed to take forever. I eventually gave up for a second and took a nice snack break. I had been pushing hard today so I needed this.
Got some energy in me and made it to the top. Now it was 10 miles of all DH to the finish. I decided to crank up my music and see how fast I could do it and with the least amount of falls. After 6 miles I was totally spent. It was pretty technical in sections and took a lot of energy and concentration to stay on but I was loving it.
Was so happy when I saw Gudy's Rest. She is the one lady that not only came up with the idea of the CT but actually made it a reality. She kind of reminded me of that one lady that had given me that $20 back on my first day ever of street performing who changed my life forever. I want to personal thank Gudy for all that she has accomplished for without her there would be no CT and I wouldn't have been able to have the 21 day incredible experience that I just had. I think it's pretty amazing how just one person can change the world for the better.
Decided I would take my last break here soaking in the beauty of the entire CT and reflecting on the trail. Got a little distracted when I turned on my phone and saw I had service. It was 6pm so sent a text to my friend Amy stating I was 4 miles away and should be there soon. I also had a voicemail from a reporter of the Durango Herald so called him back and left a voicemail stating I would be at the trail-head around 6:30pm.
Said my thank you's to Gudy, the Colorado Trail and the Universe for keeping me safe and for letting me have such an awesome time. Then I was off for the last 4 miles, again mostly downhill.
The last few miles I stopped and put on one of my favorite songs on repeat, "Jubel" by Klingande. This made me not only go fast but put a few tears of happiness on my face.
Pretty soon I came around a corner and there it was. The finish along with Amy, her dog Ivy, a reporter and photographer. Wooooooo Hooooooo! I was officially done and the first person ever to complete the CT on a unicycle. That's something no one can ever take away from me.
The reporter asked a few questions but not as many as I would have thought. The photographer asked to take some photos so we did. The article made the front page of the Durango Herald and turned out to be a good story. Check it out here.
Now it was straight to Carver's Brewery where I knew a free ice cold beer was waiting for me. Several times along the trail different hikers told me that anyone that finishes the trail can get one free beer at Carver's. They have a beer called the Colorado Trail Nut Brown Ale so it's kind of fitting.
Once at the brewery, guess who was there? All the crazy nutty mt bikers that I had camped with the night before. They all congratulated me and it was fun running into then one last time.
I was still super stinky so decided it would be nice to go back to the hotel and shower before dinner so that's what we did. By the time we made it back to the brewery the bikers had left so it was just Amy and I.
This is what my feet looked like before cleaning up.
Ordered a big old burger and a few more beers. Delicious! It just happened that the MN Vikings were playing their first game of the season so as we ate and drank I watched the game. They ended up losing and the bar was closing so we headed back to the hotel where I slept like a king on a nice comfy huge bed.
A few days later Colorado Public Radio called me up and did an interview that turned out pretty well. You can listen to it here.
So in conclusion I would have to say this would be in the top 3 things I have ever done in my life. It was much more challenging than I had orginally thought, mainly due to all the elevation gain and loss. I was very lucky with the weather and it was nice being by myself with no distractions for 3 weeks. I learned a lot about myself and also learned to not only forgive people in my life that have hurt me but more importantly to forgive myself. I'm so excited for whatever my next adventure may be...probably spending the winter in Colorado being a ski bum! I want to thank anyone that has read my entire blog and made it to the end. It took me a lot of time to write this plus upload all the photos and videos (over an hour for each day...so that's like 21 hours!). Life really is all about love and laughter so get out there and enjoy life!
I will be posting more blogs in the future so please check back to see what I've been up to. Peace & Love -Jamey