What I learned From The Hike.

Hello Friends!

I will be direct. I made 20 something of 35 miles on my proposed day hike from Pueblo, Colorado to Fountain, Colorado and called in for a pickup.

My All Trails App recorded the distance at 22 miles,my fitbit recorded 20.8 and a drive from point A to point B showed closer to 26 miles.

You can see the trail I completed and the splits recorded here.

Jul 27, 02:48 PM

https://www.alltrails.com/explore/recording/recording-jul-27-02-48-pm-94aef38?p=-1

I began my hike at 0508 hours to gain as much distance as I could before it became hot. Per the instructions of a former drill instructor and overall bad hombre, E.Diaz, I took a break to adjust my gear at 0608 hours. One thing I learned quick is that you listen to the soft spoken man. He knows what he is talking about.

Not This. E. Diaz Is The Silent, “Soldier, you done messed up kind.” Much Scarier In My Opinion. (I have no military service, but I know what gets my attention. )

Here is his advice.

If you look at my splits, I took a pace of 3 miles per hour. It may have been a little faster If I had gone 25 to 26 miles so I did pace myself from the 4MPH stride I am accustomed to.

Sunrise was beautiful in the semi arid desert. There is a unique draw to the mysterious plains that makes me come back time and again.

I found it humorous that this old car was just before the maintenance sign.

It was necessary to walk through a part of Pueblo County I understand to be called called Belmont.

The people of Belmont were expressive in the decorations outside their houses, but were not so expressive in thier kindness to strangers.

Near here, a middle aged woman smokong a cigarette in her bathrobe let her German shepherd out on me. I spoke calmly to the dog and let it know that it would be a bad decision to bite me. The dog seemed to instinctively know something was up with my calmness and walked away. (I have a contingency plan for aggressive dogs.)

Thank you middle aged woman in bathrobe smoking a cigarette! You made an excellent first impression to this visitor to your fine community.

The picture below is a house titled, Redneck Paradise. It is hard to sew from this distance, and I wasn’t taking any chances getting a closer shot.

I initially planned on starting my hike closer to the center of Pueblo, Colorado. I was told the East Side is dangerous at all times of day. After all the hateful stares in Belmont, I think those in the East Side may have been more relaxing to encounter.

I took a break to adjust my gear as I felt a throb in my foot. I pulled off my shoe and noticed that there was a small piece of fabric missing in the exact same spot as the pain.

I utilized leukotape on my foot. There was no blister so I assumed it was a calcification that needed to be walked out, which is painful. A day later, the pain was mostly gone so It probably was something that needed walked out.

At this point I knew I would not complete all 35 miles.

I hiked out of Belmont and was relieved to find a watermelon house. It appeared abandoned, but was a refreshing sight.

From here on out, it was cholla and cactus.

Here and there was a gourd or two. I have tried them before and they are bitter. I do not think they are edible. I am sure they were utilized by North American Indians as storage containers. They are relatively durable.

Here are a few photos of my trip.

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At mile 17, I realized I made a grave mistake. Roads are designed for water runoff to either side making a slight slope away from the center to prevent puddles. I had been walking on the left side of the road to see oncoming traffic. This made my right leg offset just enough to wear down the effectiveness of my knee. I stopped and put a brace on and it seemed to help a little. Walking on the other side was not an option as I discovered that Subaru lovers like to test their cars at high rates of speed on Overton Road.

I saw a lot of these at high rates of speed, making walking with the traffic dangerous.

I took several long breaks to try and recover. They seemed to help and I made decent time. I did notice that I had hit “the wall” at this point where your body switches energy sources to fat burn from carbs.

By mile 20, I had drank 2 of my 3 gallons of water. I could not seem to drink enough. I was sweating profusely and my urine was dark. I remembered that when I was on a keto diet that I needed a lot of electrolytes to function in ketosis. I had brought no salt or electrolytes. The more I drank, the more I wanted to vomit. Not once do I remember the wind blowing. It was hot.

Nevertheless, my morale was high. It was a personal challenge. I knew going in that I might not complete the trip and may have to call for a ride. This was a push to the limit.

I sang loudly “I’ll stand for Jesus”, “Give me that old time religion”, and made up marching cadences on the fly.

In all this dryness, It was a beautiful reprieve to see flowers in full bloom.

Sobering reality hit me. Life is short, and fleeting.

As I walked this difficult road, I watched this bird fall from the sky. By the time I walked up to it, insects were inside it’s beak looking for moisture. I thought of my own life and what I should be doing with it.

My body broke before my spirit did.

I don’t know who to credit for this photo. Let me know if it belongs to you.

My pulse had been at a consistent 117 to 118 beats per minute the duration of my trip. I stopped sweating, began brathing heavily and my pulse dropped to 104. I self diagnosed heat exhaustion.

I immediately stopped and pulled out my umbrella to shade myself. The wind began to blow. Thank you Jesus. I needed that. I used about a quarter gallon of water on my neck gator and T- shirt under my button down shirt.

I did not want to waste my water so I used my sawyer squeeze as a squirt bottle. I rested for a while and tried to drink. Every swallow made me want to vomit. At this time, I called for a pickup in a half hour. I felt like a quitter and walked 2 more miles to prove to myself that I had grit. About an hour later, my ride arrived.

Looking back, there were a few things I could have done different. I carried 25 pounds of water because I could not confirm a reliable water source other than Fountain Creek. Due to it’s history, I would only filter water in the worst of emergencies. I should have brought Gatorade, salt, and sugary beverages to slow my descent into fat burning mode and dehydration.

Had I drove the route, I would have known there were stock tanks for livestock along the way. Given the hospitality of the ranchers, They may have run me off. To be honest, If I knew what I was going to go through first, I would never have done it. I think I could have plowed through this trail if I cached supplies along the way. That is almost cheating to me.

All things considered, I enjoyed the challenge. I would not recommend this trail to the inexperienced.

I would like to thank all the friends and family that encouraged excellence in me on my journey. You are the best in the World. Yes, that means you.

Author: The Storyteller

Don't count the lions. It will make you afraid and slow you down.

69 thoughts on “What I learned From The Hike.”

  1. Very good. You did your best, which, as you know, is all anyone can do. Grandpa Kasten told me one time, “All what a horse can do is try.” I had never heard of Belmont but I will be sure to avoid. They probably don’t get too many “Sitters” hiking through, though. The whole thing was worth the picture of the watermelon house, though.

  2. You are FAR more courageous than I!!!! The watermelon house is funny. Too bad about the hostile town!

    Given your descriptions, I’m glad you finally called for a ride instead of risking heat stroke in the middle of nowhere!

    1. Walking is good for clearing the head. Be careful as to the voices you listen to when you walk. Think wholesome thoughts as you go. It is what I strive to do. Have a beautiful day, friend!

      1. I dont understand very well , I find some things in your words… if I understand well you are an idiot , Friend … My psychiatrist is betwween schizofrenia and bibolar disorter . She said that she will think and she will decide . The only voices I hear is from a team of idiots … I have to read smthg which will calm my ill soul ..
        Listen the birds .I will bring America in greece you can export crazyness ..
        A little pinguin in your yard play in your swimingpool

        Ok I understand this year we will have again 20 degrees under zero.
        Normal winder
        I have earthquakes ,typhoons,fires
        I am survivor

        Listen after destroyes you can t hear nothing you just watsch no volume

  3. Well at least you made it most of the way!
    Sadly, though, I couldn’t really see your photos. Only a tiny sliver of the photos would show up and there would be a white box where the rest of the photo should’ve been.

        1. I put a small amount of space between the photos that were bunched together. It is a heavy infornation post and may take a few minutes to load up properly.
          Hopefully the spacing worked.

  4. Nephew, thank you for sharing this adventure with us and the lessons learned. This helps me and others (I’m sure) to embrace challenges or obstacles that come our way (we are all living in a tough one now, right?) with a positive attitude that says, I can overcome this, but there will steps I (we) need to take to face the challenge. If I miss some of the tools (Prayer, etc) needed to help me endure, there will be regrettable consequences. You have also shown us that we can pick ourselves up and try again, equipped with the tools we missed the first time, to achieve a better outcome. And finally, you have shown me (us) how important it is to help as many people as possible along the way (sharing the experience, preparation, and lessons learned). Well done, nephew!

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