The Story Behind The Colorado 54

Mountains, Water, & The Colorado 54:

an invitation from Second Mile Water’s CEO, Travis Ramos
We all have moments that we look back on and know that they changed the course of our lives. In October of 2002 – during my sophomore year at Oklahoma State – my roommate roped me into climbing a Colorado 14er with him over fall break. It was Mount Harvard, and while we miserably failed the climb, something real was ignited in me that set the path of my life on a new trajectory.

You could call it wanderlust, or perhaps a newfound thirst for adventure, but whatever it was, I was hooked and less than a year later I found myself hiking in the Himalaya of Southern China. And over the course of eight months of doing so, my middle-America worldview was blown apart.

Yunnan, China, 2003

I remember hiking alongside kids who had no shoes. In the snow.

I remember falling asleep on the dirt floor of countless houses, curled up next to the dying fire trying to stay warm. I remember the destitute poverty in which these people lived and the keen realization that, although I’d spent much of my childhood living in a run-down trailer house thinking I had nothing, I wasn’t poor at all.

And I never was.

No matter what, we always had enough to eat, the chance to go to school, and the intrinsically American opportunity to work hard and make our own way in the world. Despite our well water sometimes coming out of the tap brown, we didn’t live in real,oppressive poverty like I saw in China. I realized that without access to basic necessities such as clean water, there is no way out for people who are living in real poverty.

Two years ago Second Mile Water was founded to bring a permanent end to water poverty in the developing world through inspiring people to social action.

Ending water poverty is at the core of what we do, but we also wanted to go beyond that to helping people here – people like me and you – live a better story.

As an organization, we live at the intersection of finding what makes you come alive and how we can have a positive impact on the world through doing it.

We want you to not only tell stories about the time you ran that marathon, but the four families in Nicaragua that you helped get clean water by doing so. We want you to tell stories around the campfire of the epic mountain bike challenge you did in Moab, and the six families you helped to receive running water in the process.

Our first push in what we’re calling “Impact Adventure” is an unprecedented event called The Colorado 54. The Colorado 54 is 24-hour adventure event taking place on August 8th where climbers across the state will be ascending Colorado’s 14ers, attempting to collectively summit all 54 of them in one day.

Taken from Mount Harvard, 2002.
When I was 19, hiking Mount Harvard altered the course of my life – ultimately landing me where I am today. And now, with your participation, together we can have a huge impact on the lives of over 1,000 families in Nicaragua. The Colorado 54 could become the biggest crowdfunded outdoor mountain event in Colorado’s history, and I want you to be a part of making it happen.

I can’t wait to hear about the time you climbed a mountain in Colorado, and that when you scrawled your name in the peak register it didn’t just mean you made it to the top, but that you made it possible for two families to get access to clean, safe drinking water.