The Colorado Trail is a beautiful but brutal mistress. It does not believe in switchbacks, instead preferring to charge directly up calf-quaking inclines before immediately plunging into toe-bruising descents. Lofty passes and plateaus summon the angriest of hail storms while gullies and canyons swelter with mud and moisture. So if you’re the masochistic type, you’ll have a really excellent time out there.
Battling 230 miles of the trail last summer, I emerged with myriad aches and pains and a distinctly Frankenstein-esque gait. My pal Ricardo suggested I cap off the trip “in the most Colorado way possible” by getting a CBD-infused massage. Realizing that my aching musculature could serve as a map for every mile of the Colorado Trail, I made an appointment that day.
As part of the LoDo Massage Studio’s “Mile High Massage” service, I opted for a full-body application of “extra strength” 100-milligram CBD lotion. My masseuse announced her presence with a large glop of the cream, frosting my back with an aromatic blend of arnica, peppermint and juniper, leaving me feeling like a fragrant slab of carrot cake. She worked the lotion into my skin and allowed me to bake under a hot towel before my back dissolved into a gentle buzz of floaty nothingness. “What is a back, anyway?” I thought to myself. “I am but a happy head with no torso.”
I wasn’t high, of course. This was just the result of the ingredients performing their beautiful anti-inflammatory chorus. While I marinated in the absence of pain, the masseuse bravely continued with my ravaged feet and overworked legs, using a combination of Swedish, sports and deep tissue techniques. I twitched at certain pressure points, but eventually fell completely under the glorious CBD spell.
By the time I flipped over, I was nearly catatonic, a dopey grin pasted on my blissed-out face. Stumbling back into the sunlight, I loped around in a state of ultimate relaxation. Back at my friends’ house, I gushed about the experience, feeling like a tall pile of cotton candy, a sweet weightlessness suffused throughout my once-weary bones.
While the experience was transcendent, its true magic wasn’t revealed until the next day. I could no longer map the trail via my aches and pains, still subdued by the CBD infusion. Instead, I could focus on the way the trail lingered in my heart and soul, which is, of course, the ultimate high.
Image by Shawnté Salabert.
This article was originally published in RANGE Magazine Issue Eight.