New book chronicles Colorado Trail hike – The Durango Herald

Left to right: Curry, Milo, Zephyr, Emmet and Andrea Lani celebrate the completion of the Colorado Trail at the Junction Creek trailhead in Durango. (Photo used with permission from University of Nebraska Press)

‘Uphill Both Ways’ reviews the ultimate family excursion

This reporter’s family members are no strangers to epic road trips: Every year during spring break, we load up the car and head west, usually stopping to camp in Utah , shopping and getting tired of Vegas quickly, and dipping our feet (and the rest of us) in the Pacific Ocean.

However, we’ve never hiked the 489-mile Colorado Trail from Denver to Durango like author Andrea Lani’s family did.

The hike is the subject of Lani’s new book, “Uphill Both Ways: Hiking Toward Happiness on the Colorado Trail,” which was released last month. It chronicles the experiences of the family: Andrea, her husband Curry and their three sons Milo and twins Zephyr and Emmet, and like the vast majority of family excursions, the group has fun, fights, reconciles and eventually grows closer. on the track. .

Andrea was born and raised in Colorado, moving to Maine to attend college. She met her husband there, and that’s where the family lives. And it wasn’t her first time on the trail either – she and Curry first hit it in 1996. So for her, hiking the Colorado Trail was kind of a homecoming, she said.

“The best part of the ride was definitely sharing the experience with my kids and watching them grow and develop in really amazing ways,” she said. “And being able to spend time with them in my kind of homeland. That kind of closeness that we were able to establish as a family.

Milo, Emmet, and Zephyr cross the Continental Divide near Georgia Pass. (Photo used with permission from University of Nebraska Press)

And with the good also comes the not so good: Lani said that in addition to some disagreements, there was also the challenge of walking that long. “I guess the hardest part was just that it was still really hard physically for me – I have really bad shin splints – just that it wasn’t as easy as I wanted it to be.”

“Uphill Both Ways” is also a kind of history book. Lani weaves together facts about the region – historical, ecological, geographical and familial. She also includes illustrations she drew along the way of plants, insects and small birds she encountered on the trail, smaller parts of the bigger journey, one of the lessons she wants readers to remember the book.

Andrea Lani’s new book, “Uphill Both Ways,” is available at Maria’s Bookstore, 960 Main Ave.

For more information, call the store at 247-1438 or visit https://bit.ly/3JZdyXs.

“I really think a big thing to remember is that life doesn’t end with kids; adventure is always possible. It doesn’t have to be on such a large scale, but it doesn’t have to be just chores or daycare errands and carpools and that sort of thing,” she said. “Another – the illustrations in the book, I wanted to draw attention to the very small things, it’s very easy to get carried away with the big views and just the spectacular grandeur of Colorado and the Rocky Mountains, but the little details like the flowers and little birds and bugs and it’s all a whole other world of incredible beauty and detail and then kind of a balance between appreciating the wonders of nature and understanding that there’s a lot of damage there -down, thinking about what we can do to mitigate this to some degree.

Are you thinking of registering your family for the hike? Lani said she recommends it, but if a 489-mile trek with her family seems a bit too much, there’s no harm in aiming a little lower, like just getting out and camping.

“If a family thought they wanted to try a long-distance hike, definitely,” she said. “But even doing something a little out of your comfort zone, like a night hike or if you’ve never been camping, absolutely every family should go camping; kids are just made for camping, they love the land, they just love being outside, it’s a wonderful experience. But if someone had the opportunity, the means and the opportunity to take a longer trip with their children, and had enough experience to be reasonably safe, absolutely.

The family reaches the highest point of the Colorado Trail below Coney Summit. (Photo used with permission from University of Nebraska Press)

It’s been a few years since the hike – the boys are now 20 and 16 – and when asked if she would do the trail again, Lani laughs.

“I don’t know. I would really like to go back, I think I would like to go back and spend more time in one place, like really exploring, maybe walking somewhere to a base camp and exploring a area unless you hike for miles, and maybe see some areas that I don’t have a lot of experience with,” she said. “I don’t know if another longer, longer hike only a week or two is in my future, but never say never.”

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