Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Daily Belly Button Lint in Colorado

After a long and difficult year I'm back in the United States. As many of you know already, I won't be returning to Kuwait anytime soon for a number of reasons. I'm still processing the whole episode in my mind and I'm not quite sure what to make of it all. Kuwait has been a very interesting place, and I'm going to miss many good friends I've made there. I've learned volumes about a place and a culture that is very often misunderstood and misrepresented, and as time goes on I'll be reflecting on these things. After spending some time outside Kuwait, I should soon have the energy, perspective, and the license to reflect on everything I've seen and observed.

But for the moment, I'm busy, preoccupied, and very excited with my next big endeavor: thru-hiking the length of the 470 mile Colorado Trail. Close friend and all around cool Dude David Hanson and I will be setting off from Roxborough State Park sometime in mid-July. The trail begins in Waterton Canyon or Roxborough State park in Southwest Denver. The trail crosses the Contintental Divide four times , Lost Creek Wilderness, the Collegiate Peaks, the San Juans, and the Grenadiers. It finishes just outside Durango, Colorado, in the Southwest corner of the state and a world away from where we started. Hiking the entire length should take in the vicinity of 40-50 days if we include all the 14,000 foot mountains Dave and I would like to climb. Needless to say, planning is turning out to be significantly more daunting than I initially imagined.

At the present time, I'm in Phoenix crunching numbers and going over details with David about the hike. While we're not going quite as light and fast as I'd like, I genuinely think we're putting together a VERY good plan that should make for a VERY enjoyable hike. I'm personally quite thrilled. While I did quite a bit of enjoyable hiking, skiing and camping in Japan, I always missed the intense encounters with the natural world that I experienced regularly during my time in college. This absence of wilderness and nature was only exacerbated in the intense urban landscape of Kuwait. A long commune with God's creation in my life is long overdue and I'm excited beyond belief to be able to do this with a close friend.

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