Chocolate Pocket, Caribou, Yeti Legs, Journey Man, Songbird, Caboose, Fully Loaded, Wingit, Nasty Noodle, Yard Sale, Double Dusty, Clean Slate. These silly names are just some of the trail names I have come across.
A trail name is a silly nickname given to or created by a hiker that they go by on trail. It’s a little easier to remember if you met a guy named “Loner Boner” than if you met a tall guy with a beard named “John”.
Trail names have quickly become a large part of trail culture. Leading up to the Colorado Trail I wondered if I would get a silly trail name. I wondered if there would be a funny story to go along with it and who might give it to me. I went 485 miles without getting one. Each day I would meet new people who would ask me my name. My response was always just “Megan” and then I would say “I don’t have a cool trail name yet, at least nothing that has stuck.”
One group of hikers I leap frogged with for a few days attempted to give me the name “Tiger” since I was from Missouri. I don’t really care about college sports so I didn’t stick with this name, although when I was around this group they all referred to me as Tiger. On my final day on trail, within the last mile, I finally got a trail name.
I woke up at 4am with 14.5 miles to go. I got started by 5am and by 9am I sent a text to my parents letting them know I had about four miles left of the trail. They drove out to Durango to pick me up and I figured four miles would give them enough time to drive from the campground to the trailhead. Little did I know they had gotten to the trailhead around 7am and were already hiking up the trail to meet me and finish the last few miles with me! Just after the four mile mark I put on a podcast, took a bathroom break, and was ready to cruise out the last bit of the trail. That’s when I saw them up ahead of me. Mom, dad, Willie, and Waylon were waiting for me. I ripped out my headphones and ran to them with my arms out wide. I didn’t expect to, but I cried as I embraced them.
I began telling them about everything from the people I met to my favorite spots on the trail. Even though I had a few miles left I was over the moon to finally be with my family. Since we were close to Durango there were a lot of day hikers. Some would say hello as they passed and others would stop for more small talk. One man stopped and asked me “Did you do the whole thing?” I was excited someone had known about the trail and I replied “Yes! In 29 days!” He thought it was awesome and asked if I did it alone. We talked about some sections of the trail since he was going to do some later this year. When the small talk was over he said “Well, you’re one bad ass girl!” There is was. After all that time I finally got my trail name, B.A.G.