Announcing the 2024 Colorado Islands Project

I am pleased to announce my summer 2024 adventure, a sequel to the hikes of the Colorado-X in 2020 and 2022. I will select five places in Colorado which are geographically identifiable, such as a mountain range, plateau, basin, or city. I am looking for fellow explorers to join me for a one-week hike across one of these islands. You must be physically fit, curious, and creative. We will work together on our respective creative projects which might be a magazine article, photo essay, documentary, art, or music.

Give me a call. Consider that Gandalf has knocked on your round hobbit door.

The Places

Ideas thus far include the Uncompahgre Plateau, Grand Mesa, Colorado River somewhere, Piceance Basin, Sand Wash, Yampa River, Flat Tops, Gore Range, North Park, Elk Mountains, the Denver metropolis, Monument Ridge, Republican River, Rush Creek, the Arkansas River east of La Junta, Wet Mountains, Johnson Mesa/Mesa de Maya, and the San Luis Valley. Other ideas?

One thought is to explore places my parents Myron Wood and Nancy Wood photographed and wrote about in the 1960s-1980s. That includes many of the places listed above and we would see how they have evolved over 50 years.

Fellow Explorers

I am seeking a wide range of creative people to join me, one per island, if the fit is right. You might be an established or aspiring writer, storyteller, singer, musician, painter, or filmmaker. You need to possess a deep love of Colorado or be willing to succumb to that, and appreciate everything from millipedes to a thunderstorm.

I need people who see the world differently than I do; thus I welcome ranchers and farmers, people with disabilities, sturdy Wall Street types, Indigenous, people of color, LGBTQ, those living unusual callings, young or old. I need humans who are adaptable and enjoy meeting everybody without exceptions.

You must have recently hiked at least 8 miles with a 35-pound pack, preferably a few days in a row. If you are especially creative and curious I may lower the requirements (terrain permitting) to a 10-pound pack and we will day hike and jockey cars. You need to be okay with plan changes, mishaps, and rolling with unexpected opportunities.

Give me a call. Consider that Gandalf has knocked on your round hobbit door.

Completing the CO-X 2022: Expedition Stats

I backpacked 739 miles from the NE to SW corners of Colorado in 2022, completing an X of my home state after walking the first 732-mile SE-NW diagonal in 2020.

CO NE-SW diagonal expedition stats 2022:

  • 739 miles
  • 55,300 feet of elevation gains
  • 70 hiking days, 50 solo
  • 70 nights: 42 in tent, 17 homes, 6 hotel, 5 in 4Runner
  • Route was about 1/3 dirt roads, 1/4 trails, 1/4 paved roads, and ranch two-track
  • Total time from start May 20 to end August 30 was 103 days to walk, rest, plan, scout, transport, resupply food, cache water, and gain landowner permissions.

Hiking routes 2020 SE-NW and 2022 NE-SW across Colorado

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Announcing May-August 2022 CO NE-SW Expedition

India hiking to get fit for 2022 diagonal

The “other” Colorado diagonal kept calling my name after I completed the SE-NW diagonal in 2020, so in February 2022 I got jazzed up and started endurance training and route planning. In mid-May I will start hiking from the northeast corner, near Julesburg, and follow the sun southwest, hopefully arriving at the Four Corners monument near Towaoc in early August.

Follow my 2022 adventure! Sign up for the e-newsletter (coming soon) that will go out once or twice a week with summaries of wild doings and links to longer blog posts. Or follow my posts on Facebook or Instagram that will also link to this blog.

Raise money for wildlife. I had dinner with Colorado Governor Polis a few weeks ago at an event sponsored by the Logan County Cattlewomen. Polis asked who I was doing the hike for. Good idea, Guv! I am now doing the hike as a fundraiser for Audubon Rockies, a great fit with my hike’s focus on nature and water. And I love birds. Look for the launch of the fundraiser in early May.

Become a FIDE! Friends of India’s Diagonal Expedition (FIDE) are folks who help me out along my journey. Let me camp in your cow pasture or backyard. Arrange to resupply me with food or water or provide a ride into town. Keep me company along the way by hiking even a little ways with me or saying hi at dinnertime. Just let me know you’re coming.

Use my contact page to reach me, or Facebook message me.

The 2022 Colorado diagonal transect of Colorado. I will hike near this red line from the northeast to southwest corners of my square state.

Colorado Sky Islands and Vermillion Basin 2021

My friend Chase and I backpacked for four days in the NW corner of Colorado, a land with more mountain lions than people, the nearest gas station 50 miles away. We encountered wild horses, rattlesnakes, pronghorn, deer, horned toad, rare flowers, stunning scenery, Native American rock art, and fossil algae balls.