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India's Diagonal Expedition of Colorado

Photo Credit India Wood

August 30, 2022

By Tammy Coulon

Let me introduce, India Wood, a Colorado native, born in Colorado Springs, as a teenager moved to a family cattle ranch near Limon, now married and residing in Boulder for 20 years.

I met India on her hike across Colorado. She is on her last thirty miles of a seven hundred thirty miles, three months trip this year. When I asked India if there was a cause or purpose for her hike, she was happy to share.

It was the year 2020 and India had turned 53, in-between jobs, felt like she was going nowhere, and wanting to do something that she thought she would never do. She thought walk, walk or hike an X across the state of Colorado. India took out a paper map and drew an X across the state. looking at topographical maps to see the best way to navigate.

She then put on a GPS for her travel. Showing all the private ground that she would need to get permission from landowners when needed or navigate around. Always being mindful and respecting property owners. During this hike India is also raising money for the Audubon Rockies Society.

India started the first part of her X in May of 2020 from the Southeast corner to the Northwest taking three months and around seven hundred thirty miles.

After the first part of her journey India wrote a book including photos of her trip called " Going Diagonal " and is currently looking for a publisher.

India started the second leg of the journey on May 10, 2022, at the northeast corner, above Julesburg, headed for the southwest, Four Corners Monument. Using topical maps and GPS coordinates. Being ever mindful of her surroundings and respectful of private property. Due to harsh terrain or several private lands connected, some detours had to be taken along the way. During the hike India always plans ahead whether it be dressing fully covered, always walking with a purpose and concentrating on her surroundings at all times. Food, water, bears, predators and listening to her body when she gets sore or tired are ever present on her mind.

On flat or downhill terrain India would hike an average of 12 to 14 miles a day. When hiking vertical climbs of three thousand feet she cuts back to about 9 miles a day. India walked the Pitkin trail twenty miles east of Gunnison to Lake City, then on to Silverton, Rico, down the Morrison trail over Hay camp to Bear Creek. Hiking the trails, setting up camps as she went and just taking in all of the beauty of Colorados diverse terrain, foliage and wildlife.

When it came to hiking on asphalt, India had to get different shoes for comfort. She walks facing traffic, watching each car and prepared to go for the bar ditch if needed. India had a small Colorado flag on her backpack, but engineered a larger Colorado flag on a pole, to make herself more visible to oncoming traffic. She has enjoyed meeting people from all walks of life with different views, whether politics, religion, city or country folks. Trying to educate about our water resources, conservation, community naturalist, being a good steward of the land and animals. India wants to be fully present for every mile and taking photos to log her journey for writing a second book.

While taking her lunch break, we each shared life stories enjoying the peaceful down time.

India shared her husband is a contractor in South Africa. He had just finished a fifty-six-mile race called " Comrades " with a personal finish time of eleven hours twenty minutes. India also shared that when she goes home it feels strange and she has to change her mindset from survival to everyday task such as vacuuming the carpet.

On the last two days of her hike there will be a camera crew following along to make a documentary film for the " Five Point Film Festival" in Carbondale, CO.

Left to right Tammy Coulon, her sister Jan, and India

India plans on ending her hike Tuesday, August 30, 2022, at the Four Corners Monument and has invited friends to share in a celebration of the journeys end.

Facts about India's hike:

  • The highest point was 14,022' above sea level, which was 10,418' above her starting point in NE Colorado.

  • By August 10, India had completed 564 miles with 32,000' of vertical hiking.

I feel very blessed to have gone out of my comfort zone and approach India. Such a courageous and strong person to fulfill her dream. I have to say a very remarkable lady.

Photo Credit India Wood

You can follow India's journey at

Photo Credit India Wood

Congratulations India!

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