Up well before dawn and started hiking by flashlight. It wasn’t so much that I was anxious to finish as that I knew I wasn’t going back to sleep and might as well start hiking.
There had been a substantial rainstorm during the night, and the lush wet vegetation overgrowing the trail soaked my shoes and pants well before sunrise. A fit ending to a very wet hike, I suppose.
I hiked quickly and efficiently and was soon at Gudy’s Rest, a pleasant overlook dedicated to Gudy Gaskill, one of the visionaries and founders of the Colorado Trail. This seemed an appropriate place to express some gratitude – to the Colorado Trail Foundation for making the trail possible; to the hikers I’ve shared the trail, a camp, a whisky with (especially Willis, Reid, Mark and Veronica), and the kind operators of the hostels along the way – the Fireside Inn, the Colorado Trail House, Ravens Rest and Blair St. And most of all to my wife Cathy, for understanding my need to keep hiking farther.
Thank you, thank you all.
The trail end itself was anticlimactic. No monument or marker, just a plain metal sign in the parking lot saying “Colorado Trail”. I touched it, and was done.