~Sunday, October 11, 2020~
Another gorgeous Fall day and happy to be spending our month here in Colorado so outdoors we go. We heard great things about the Colorado Trail up to Gudy’s Rest. And we’re happy to be bringing our furry friend with us today. Colorado seems very dog friendly as we prefer to bring her along with us everywhere we go.
First stop….Subway sandwiches then only 3-½ miles from the main avenue in Durango, we meet our trailhead. We learned most of the thru hikers start their journey in Denver since the elevation gain is more gradual. The first 23 miles starting in Durango, goes from 7,000 feet to 12,000...so not as desirable if you’re not acclimated. Jeff and I have been over 5,000 feet for weeks now, so it wasn’t too bad. Right when we got on the trail, we met a guy who looked real happy to be done as it looked like he’d done the whole 500 mile journey. About ¾ of our way to Gudy’s Rest we met another thru hiker and his dog who also was elated he was about to complete the entire journey. Most hikers take about 4-6 weeks to complete it. He said he did the whole thing in 20 days. Amazing!! Man, these guys are hiking late in the season.
Our 8-mile round trip must have been 14 for Sadie as she meandered through the forest, down into Junction Creek, running ahead, then running back to us to check back in with us.
We saw quite a few people along the way, also with friendly dogs. It was quite windy with the Fall leaves whirling around which added to the already lovely scenery.
We stopped at the footbridge for some lunch before continuing up the steepest part to Gudy’s Rest. Gudy’s Rest is named after Gudy Gaskill known as the “mother of the Colorado Trail”. It’s said that this high spot was her favorite place to sit and think. We enjoyed it for the spectacular views (well worth the climb) and a place to enjoy a few snacks before turning around.
When we returned to the car, we were pretty wiped out. The original plan was to walk around Old Town Durango after the hike, but instead decided to drive through to check it out to see if we wanted to spend some time down there tomorrow (we leave Durango on Wednesday). The answer is yes.