15 Sept 2015

Greetings, Gatherer's at the 35th HikaNation Reunion.

Congratulations to those of you who participated in, and particularly those of you who completed, the HikaNation route!

I participated briefly in the HikaNation for 2 days hiking and one night camping in eastern Colorado. This was a very meaningful experience for me at the time, as well as now --in remembering one of my best hiking experiences.

I met Monty at his camp trailer at Walsenburg, Colorado on an early Saturday morning in late September 1980, probably the 20th, having made tentative arrangement to so meet up. Fortunately all details worked out well, as we were both at the designated location and time. I remember the welcoming greeting from Monty. But also the crowded travel trailer, with all the various "piles" of belonging to various hikers. We quickly loaded up in his vehicle and drove a fair number of miles east of Walsenburg, onto the prairie. We soon met up with the HikaNation group, had introductions, and started hiking. The route was flat for awhile, then started to be a little rough with gullies. A stop for lunch ensued, then an afternoon of hiking, then a quiet evening of camping.

The next day was more of the same, occasionally past some old ranch buildings in the shallow canyon, along a bit of a waterway if my memory serves me correctly. Some nice conversations were had, a few photographs taken (I still need to look them up), and good-byes said. Near the end of the day Monty transported me back to my car in Walsenburg, and I drove a couple hours back to my home in Canon City, Colorado.

So it was a rather uneventful hike, but quite meaningful as I knew it was a national crossing of our great land, the USA. And the continuation of a movement to promote hiking and backpacking nation-wide. As well as the beginning of yet another long distance trail we can all enjoy.

So with that start, I have been a long-time member of the American Discovery Trail Society, and have certainly enjoyed that membership and each newsletter edition.

And I'm proud to say I had the privilege of helping with Eric Seaborg and Ellen Dudley's 1990-1991 scouting trip for the American Discovery Trail. On a bitterly cold mid-December day, I organized "the half dozen cyclists from Canon City" who provided "a big boost" to "our morale," and who led the scouting team down the narrow gravel often one-lane Shelf Road which dropped 5000 feet in 20 miles. And I arranged with the city's Mayor and wife the overnight stay for the team, of which Eric writes "That night we were ensconced in luxury at the French provincial home of Rosemary and Wes Carhartt, who volunteered to put us up sight unseen." (from their book American Discoveries Scouting: The First Coast-To-Coast Recreational Trail, page 173-174).

Sorry, I won't be able to attend the 35th Reunion. Have a great time!

Don Potter, MD
Bellevue, Washington
Spanish Peaks, near Walsenberg, Colorado

HikaNation Reflections