Epilogue Colorado 2015

Trip Sampler
Overall, we got a taste of everything on this trip! 

-Staying at a hostel at 10,000 feet
-Hiking 14ers of the Colorado Rockies
-Backpacking and camping up to 11,600 feet
-Class 3 hike to a 14ers
-Camping in ghetto campsite
-Multi-pitch rock climbing up to 9,000 feet

I will never put someone else's need for lower, split-trip costs over my health, ever again! I learned the hard way when I agreed to this trip. We flew out of Boston Logan on a Saturday and was climbing a 14er the very next day. With Asthma it was tough breathing for me....and I wanted so much to summit more peaks on the trip but didn't get to. Next time I will budget to play tourist for a week or so, even if I'm on my own to do so...... and then climb/hike.

Physical Therapy
I had bruised my left knee badly before my trip to Colorado and for 4 weeks leading up this trip, I was in physical therapy twice per week. It paid off as not once did my left knee hurt at all. I did wear my neoprene knee braces but only when backpacking in and out of the South Colony Lake campsite. With a heavy backpack I wanted to make sure my knees wouldn’t give out.

Hygiene & Sanitation
Since we spent 5 days in the wilderness, that meant no showers. So I used baby wipes to keep my lady bits clean so I wouldn’t develop any Urinary infections. And I used Rinse-Free Bath Wipes for sponge bathing. As with hiking and climbing, I brought along a large Ziploc bag packed with sandwich-sized Ziploc bags and packed all my wipes as well as my tissues out in them. The Ziploc bags also come in hand for packing out dirty/wet laundry.

Guidebooks for Hiking & Climbing
In addition to the Colorado’s Fourteeners: From Hikes to Climbs by Gerry Roach, I highly recommend bringing along your Colorado climbing guidebooks if you plan to climb. Don’t have any? No worries! Stop by the REI Flagship store in Denver and you’ll find many local guidebooks there. For the Leadville Climbing guidebook, you can either buy it at Leadville Outdoors store (http://www.leadvilleoutdoors.com/) or online at: http://www.blurb.com/b/6246553-40-minutes-from-leadville-notes-on-rock-climbs-nea

Backpacking Food
Mountain House, Alpine Aire and Backpacker’s Pantry are the three brands of backpackers foods I brought with me on this trip. Although these brands offered tasty meals, they didn't offer any single-serve dinner meals. I ended up wasting several meals and had to carry them out. There are other companies that make backpacking foods as well. Jeff brought along meals he purchased from PackItGourment.com. And Kevin II brought along Salmon from PatagoniaProvisions.com 

Checked Baggage
One 65L backpack, one 25-35L day pack, and climbing, hiking, camping gear - I fit into a large, ultra-light, wheeled-suitcase keeping the weight for Southwest Airlines under 50lbs. Originally I was going to fill the backpack and use it as "checked bagged" but I didn't think I could adequately protect it. Plus, packing it in a suitcase with wheels was easier for me to tote around. My second piece of luggage contained all my clothing and toiletries under 25lbs. It's also on wheels but since it's small, I just put it atop my larger suitcase. I also had a small carry-on that contained some clothing, reading material, plus food and water bottles.

Friendly State
The Coloradians are super friendly people. While walking through Leadville, I always got a smile and a hello from the folks out walking. Some folks even strike up a conversation like you’re old neighbors. That’s what a small town feels like.  I found it easy to strike up a conversation with the locals.

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