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Trail buddies

Do you have a best friend? A greatest fan? A trail buddy? Someone to endorse your craziness? And all that wrapped into one person? Well, I do, and her name is Diane.My dear wife has been all these things to me through the years, and has been supportive of my harebrained ideas and activities. She said, “You go boy!” to the dream of climbing all of the 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, even if that meant she’d be alone for as many as 11 weekends for a few summers, with young children at home. Diane has also been my trail companion countless times since we were married, first in California and then in Colorado, though that wasnít her favorite activity. She did enjoy hiking ó the forest walks and the above-timberline big vista views ó but more, she just wanted to be together. And she knows how much I love the wilderness outdoors.Diane even hiked 350 miles of the Colorado Trail with me, in selected segments, until the trail got the better of her knees. It was fun to have her with me on the very first segment in Denver, as well as the final section in Durango. One section was 21 miles long, and Diane never complained about two blisters that grew to the size of fried eggs on the bottom of her feet! The next morning, I had to give her a piggyback ride from the hotel room to our SUV.Lest you think I’m sounding pretty selfish about wanting to do my own thing, you need to know that we did have an agreement: Diane would hike with me; Iíd go shopping with her. I got the better end of the deal, I think. Shopping with me meant having to hear my endless complaining about yet one more product aisle, one more store, one more hour of just “looking at things.” She would have to keep me going by allowing me to chomp on a variety of snacks along the way.Yeah, now that I write this, I do sound kinda selfish. But I am thankful for my trail buddy.

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