The Colorful Personality of Colorado

There were fires to the west and the San Juan National Forest was elevated to Stage Three fire restriction; no access.  With these developments happening the day I returned to trail, I was forced into an alternate that took me through the small town of Creede.  All the while, seeing weather reports filled with thunderclouds as storms were being predicted ahead of the tropical storm that was also making its way north. 

Flowers among the haze from the nearby fire.

The first couple days back on trail were filled with haze from the nearby fires.  After going through Creede for a resupply on Friday, I learned what was left of the tropical storm was moving in and would hit sometime on Saturday.  Stormy skies lasted two days and the rain was sporadic.  On the first afternoon of the storm, I took my lunch break in a privy, keeping the door propped open with a rock, to keep myself and my bagels dry.  

No lightning during this storm, thankfully.

The landscape was open and rain could be seen falling from miles away.  Trail moved smoothly below feet as the sun sat hidden behind dark clouds of omniscience.  The rumble of thunder was rarely heard off in the distance over high mountain peaks.  During the second day of the storm, rain fell from the late afternoon well into the evening.

Underneath the clouds there is no sun available to tell the time of day.  Thus, time is the day, measured in hours, miles and breaks.  No morning.  No afternoon.  No evening.  Only a constant grayness that contributes to easier hiking and slightly gloomier thoughts.  

Been lovin’ these views. Especially in the sunshine.

The next morning came with clear skies and a bright, warming sun that slowly dried my wet rain fly and damp tent.  All along the trail, hikers were participating in the same post-rain ritual.  Although a lighter rainfall than expected, the forest glows with the recent precipitation and the greens look a more radiant green in the sunshine.  Summer solstice is tomorrow; the longest day of the year.  Sunny days will hopefully continue while monsoon season quickly approaches.  Thanks for reading!  Peace and love.

Sunrise at 12,000 feet; cold temperatures throughout the night and damp quilt in the morning — worth it.

“The greater our dreams, the more terrible our nightmares.”  —Edward Abbey

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