Day 5
This was the day that we had been dreading: the climb back down the mountain and back into reality. The hike in took about 6 hours, and the same hike out took right at 3. But we wanted it to last forever. We spent the time reminiscing about the last few days, reliving the best (and sometimes scariest) parts of the trip. We knew that the end of the trip was inevitable, but nevertheless we wanted it to keep on going. As we approached our cars, I was filled with a mix of emotions. I was so thrilled to have had such an exciting, relaxing, tough and peaceful trip. I was sad to leave it all behind. I was anxious to get back home and see my two boys. I was nervous to check my phone for the first time in 4 days, as I had never been away from my business for that long. I was dreading the long drive back home. I was sad to leave the company of my wonderful cousin and her awesome dog. And I was hungry. Man, was I hungry. Both for a rich, home-cooked meal and even more for the chance to do it all over again.Until next time Colorado. Until next time.

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This is the story of an epic Colorado Adventure that almost never happened.

My cousin Jessica and I had been talking about going on a backpacking trip in Colorado for several years. Each time it came up, however, life seemed to get in the way and we would postpone another year. This year, 2011, was different. We were determined to make it happen this time. We recruited Jessica’s sister Kelly and my stepdad Kevin to go with us, and we began planning. As the time to leave drew near, both Kelly and Kevin backed out for various (and worthy) reasons. Honestly, I kept waiting for the call from Jessica to tell me that she couldn’t go either, but the call never came, and it looked as if the trip was actually going to happen. Then one of my employees quit and I tore a muscle in my leg. Both things came within a hair’s width of derailing the trip, but I found a replacement employee and gave my leg some time to heal. I wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of the trip this time!

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