September 9, 2013
Bear Creek to Headwaters of North Fork Pinos River
About a mile into hiking today I entered the Weminuche wilderness. This continuation of the trail through the San Juans certainly did not disappoint. There was an air of mystery about many of the peaks this morning due to clouds shrouding the tops of them. At one point as I was descending along Valencia Creek a peak rose in front of me looking as if it might go on forever. There is certainly a different look and feel to a place when part of it is hidden from view. Something a little wilder.
Around noon I stopped to take a break as well as air my tent out a bit to see if it would dry from the rain that fell off and on throughout the night. Sure enough, even with cloudy skies my tent was drying out quite well. I was about to pack it up when it decided to rain. So instead of packing up I ducked inside to wait out the shower. An hour or so later things seemed to be better and my tent was almost dry again so I packed up and moved on.
After another good bout of hiking, including close up views of 'The Window' and Rio Grande Peak and descending along the Rincon La Vaca Creek, I was about a mile from where I was going to take a break when all of a sudden the sky opened up again and let loose. I ran to take cover under a tree, but as the intensity of the rain increased I decided to set up my tent again. After crawling inside the dry confines I again waited, this time 45 minutes, for the thunderstorm to pass through.
I was able to get in a couple more hours of hiking after the second squall before setting up camp in some trees a few hundred feet below the exposed divide. Based on recent events I fully expect another onslaught of rain before morning. Needless to say, I am sick and tired of all these Colorado thunderstorms! I do love the mountains, but enough is enough, get me outta here! I am ready for the lower elevations and more rolling terrain of New Mexico even if it means having to deal with warmer temps.
And in the meantime I am really looking forward to the hot springs at my next stop in Pagosa Springs. Definitely in need of a mental recharge.