August 23, 2013
Before Arapaho Creek to somewhere on the divide
24 miles (+bonus)
Today was a hell of a day. It started off innocently enough with clear skies and mild temperatures, but things would not remain that way.
The fits miles of the day were nice enough, up a little and then down to the creek before once again ascending to the divide. The trail then meandered along the divide for a while and I caught up to Bert, who had left town a little before me yesterday. Just after passing Bert, I apparently made a wrong turn and ended up going the wrong direction. By the time I check the GPS I was already 2.5 miles from the trail and therefore not in a good mood. I made my way back to the trail (2.5 hour detour total) and proceeded to hike in the correct direction this time. After another few miles and a decent climb to get back on the divide after dropping down to get water, ominous looking clouds started to take over the sky. By this time I was already on an exposed ridge and so did my best to pick up the pace in order to make it over the high point of the ridge and back down to lower ground with trees before the excitement began. It was a tough climb to the lookout on top of the peak at 12,300' but I made it before the weather hit. Not too long into the descent off the ridge it started to thunder and rain. The rain increased in intensity off and on and I was drenched in no time. After hiking another couple miles and dropping more elevation the weather was not improving and I was getting cold so I decided to set up camp at 5:45. Way early under normal conditions, but the way things were it was the smart thing to do. As I lay in my tent the lightning-thunder gap got as close as 3 seconds away (about 0.6 miles). The rain is still falling as of 6:50 so I don't think I'll be going anywhere the rest of the night. There is still an occasional rumble of thunder but the lightning seems to have moved past. This is the most rain I have seen since the first week up in Glacier NP. I suppose it was only a matter of time.