Day 216-Parkview Mountain

CDT day 44-Miles Hiked today: 33

CDT total distance traveled: 1545

Total trip miles: 6425

Avg temps: 70s

Injuries: hamstring Achilles

Pain: feet, hip bruise

Exhaustion level: high

Favorite meal: Tuscan soup
This is really hard. Today was really hard, but I loved it. I have been hiking since before the super bowl. Of the 216 days I took 2 off to travel and 4 to rest between trails. It been quite the amazing and difficult way to spend the better part of a year. As I climbed above 12,000 feet today I was reminded how grueling and amazing it can be out here. With a substantial amount of climbing left to the top of Parkview Mountain the trail disappeared and it was time to just lean into the steep grade and take it one step at a time. When I reached the fire tower at the top the view was incredible. It may be one of last times I have such an amazing unimpeded view with the forecast of thunderstorms. The backside and climbing down the ridge was incredibly difficult. Imagine an average ski run. But instead of snow there are soccer ball sized rocks carefully balanced on the steep grade. The only way down is to pick a route through the shifting rocks and try to stay on your feet. I fell just twice but did manage to suffer a pretty good bone bruise on my hip. Luckily it’s the type of bruise that only hurts when you get up in the morning or stop for an extended period of time (luckily I don’t do the latter). Between the climb up and the more draining climb down I was done as far as my energy went. I pushed as hard as I could to end the day and salvage some mileage before making it to Grand Lake tomorrow but it was a very grueling day.