Day 32 6/18 – Welcome to Colorado and Father’s Day

Day 32 6/18 – Welcome to Colorado and Father’s Day

Day 32 6/18

Saratoga Wy to Walden Co

67 miles

Welcome to Colorado! This is the 5th state now. That’s exciting to me. Progress on a map is just a fine line drawn in a color. But being able to count off the states you have passed is a tangible thing, sometimes more tangible than distances. Bookends to a journey.

Climbing up out of Wyoming wasn’t terrible. It wasn’t really anything except more of the scrub land I’d become so used to since leaving Yellowstone. The air got thinner, and it became harder to breathe slightly. Everything all day was over 7kft. It was noticeable on the long climbs. Heart thumping a little harder in the chest. Eventually though I got to the sign.

Entering Wyoming was anticlimactic. I had just passed the Yellowstone sign and the Wyoming one was a tiny thing off to the edge of the road. Colorado made up for that. It almost screamed “you’re here!” to me.

I made it into town and checked in with the sheriff for the city park Campground. Then I called home.

Because today is Father’s Day.

My dad and I haven’t always seen eye to eye. Or necessarily gotten along 100%. I think that’s pretty normal, especially with teens. There’s that ongoing struggle for power and the teens self-assured righteousness. It leads to some pretty epic confrontations. I was no different. Possibly worse. My mom likes to say the aliens took my away at 13 and brought me back around 23/24. I don’t think she’s altogether wrong sometimes.

My Dad is a pretty smart guy though. And somehow he managed not to lose his shit with me completely while I was at “that age”. And is I grew older I realized that yes, he’s smarter than I am sometimes. And has had life experiences I haven’t had and that yes, his advice may be worth a fair bit.

I’ve grown older and the way I interact with my dad has changed. It’s not a power struggle but an acknowledgement that while we both may have different ideas on something, they are both coming from valid places. When I got excited to go hike the Appalachian Trail dad was worried about safety while I worried about adventure. Later I worried about finishing and he worries about helping me achieve that. 10 years ago I would have shoved the help away, because “I knew better” – now I take the help because I’ve learned it’s just that – help. It’s not saying I’m not good enough to do it on my own – it’s just a little help.

When I started planning on this trip Dad was worried again, and the farther I’ve gone I’ve seen he’s right to worry. It’s not me doing dangerous things, it’s that sometimes things happen despite all the planning or safety you have. Last week a TransAm tourer got hit by a car in CO and is in the hospital. He’ll survive but he won’t be the same. A TransAm Racer got hit by a car a died several days ago. That could have been me. And I get why he’s worried. But he puts that worry away, doesn’t try and tell me not to go. Instead he tries to help, to prepare and support. It’s out of love.

So Dad. I love you. Thank you for your help through all these times, even when I was too stubborn to realize that’s what it was. Thank you for being there and being always willing. Happy Father’s Day – I couldn’t have done these things without you. I got into the state of Colorado today because of that help. Thank you.

Love your son always


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