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Day 84: 10/16/17  Durango to the woods!

Miles: 23.2 Steps: 44,907 Vertical gain: 2,847 ft. Liquid consumed: 121 oz. Wildlife: Cattle, that’s really all I think I saw other than some humans. Faith in Humanity:Roby, you’re awesome. Thanks so much for letting me stay 2 nights at your house. Great getting to know you, hope we can stay in touch! Well, I woke up and although it might be nice to stay longer, I need to keep on moving along. I did sleep in a bit though and hit the road at about 9:15 I wanted to comment about my pace: it has slowed! Haha. It seems like I had a blistering pace until Northern CO but since then I have been going much slower. A couple times I’ve thought how I’m going too slow, blah blah. The reality is: this is a super long trip. While I do need to be very cautious about finances I also really need to listen to my body and stay healthy! I also need to have fun! I was offered a free condo in Winter park: why not stay a few days and enjoy it? Why not go to the ALDHA-WEST Gathering and get incredibly inspired by other thru hikers (it was amazing!). Why not take some days off immediately afterwards with my friend from the AT? Why not take a few days since I had Giardia and go to the doctor(this one I could have skipped, but at the same time I’m glad I didn’t just continue on hiking sick). Why not take a day off in Durango is my ankle is sore? So many times I feel like I should be going fast. The reality: I don’t care about my pace! Sure I want to finish (badly!), but I also love people. It’s so fun to see what someone’s life is like, what their town is like, and so much more. I love exploring towns and hiking. So why not do both when I can? Anyway, I had low expectations for today. Turns out; today was a great day on the road! First 3 miles had sidewalks and the rest of the day had huge shoulders the whole way. Much lower traffic too, so I finally got to put my earphones in and listen to some podcasts. Good times. Very good, honestly! 12 miles in was a convenience store. The very same convenience store that ultimately led me to living in CO for 8 years!I rode a bicycle to that store and met a couple who agreed to store my bike for the summer and drop me off at the Colorado Trail the next day. So great! Thank you! I wasn’t really all nostalgic or anything when I was there, but it really did have quite an impact on my life I suppose. Interesting... A few miles past the store and I made it to National forest! There’s free camping and even a dirt road that parallels the highway for a while without adding mileage! Perfection! Excited to meet my hosts tomorrow and really hoping the Riad shoulders stay wide! Another great day!

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