I'm back in Colorado Bend State Park this morning. (May 17)
I know - been here, done that - many times - But in my defense, though fully vaccinated we're being pretty slow, OK - really slow, about coming out of COVID mode, (This was obviously before the June data that showed, despite the Delta variant, excellent news for those that are vaccinated and not so good news for those that aren't.) The Van is already past-due for an oil change which (shudder) will require interacting face-to-face with other people, (This park is only 3 hours away limiting the miles required) and time for squeezing in one last trip before the summer shutdown (due to high heat and the hoards of school-free vacationing families) is running out fast.
As for the weather today - Don't let this sunrise photo fool you.
If I turn around the sky looks a whole lot more foreboding, the high river tells of lot's of recent rain, and the forecast for the day, in fact the whole week, is pretty iffy.
It's definitely a Tilly and not a straw-hat kinda day.
But that just encourages me to hit the trail this morning for the most popular destination in the park.
Because of the crowds it attracts it's been years since I've made it down to Gorman Falls, but with today being a Monday with a near 100% certainty of rain, I'm going to take my chances and see if I can sneak down there while there's a high possibility of solitude.
There is a trailhead only a mile and a half from the falls, but I would actually have to drive The Van to get there and you know me. Instead I leave The Van where she is and set off on foot the long way-around.
Which has some of the local residents asking "What the hell are you doing here?!"
OK, this sort of over-reaction hurts! I mean I know I'm not the prettiest thing out here, but I did brush my teeth this morning so was this really called for?
On my way up the river towards the falls
I do make note of several potential shelters, though visibility is such on my way back that I can't find them again.
But maybe that's not such a bad thing since I'm not really designed to be squashed flat when the ceiling falls in.
Throw in a little sun and it would look kinda idyllic wouldn't it?
But after a lot of recent rain these spiky bad-boys
drape their overladen selves over the trail where they claw at the legs of those foolish hikers.
But with a lot of fancy footwork, and more than a few pain-driven expletives, I make it to this bridge.
Last time I was here a massive chunk of the adjacent oak was laying in the middle of it and I had to sidle my way past. It's obviously been cleaned up now and there is no apparent damage to the structure.
From here I'm only a few tenths of a mile from the falls, but not only is the horizon out there, along with the increasing frequency of distant thunder, fore-telling the accuracy of the forecast,
a couple of those tenths are a bit of a challenge as the trail drops down
to the lush, junglely base of the falls,
where I encounter another solitude-seeking hopeful already there. (She had passed me earlier on the trail, which isn't surprising considering my generally slow pace.)
I leave her to her solitude and wander off upriver a little ways to locate a decent lunch-spot.
Eventually she has her fill, or maybe the ever-approaching grumble of thunder has something to do with it, and I'm able to move down to the viewing platform
for my own moment of solitude.
OK, here ends the photos of today's hike, because now the thunder is right on top of me, the rain starts falling, I tuck the camera into a dry-bag and then into the pack, pull the rain-cover over the pack, and don my rain-gear, because I can tell by the leisurely approach of the thunder this morning that this is a slow-moving system and is going to be on top of me for a long time, especially since we are both going downriver.
You remember my rain-gear from a few trips back?
Well I've had this rain-suit for years and it's always done the job well. But shortly after wrestling it on today I notice that the rain is really cold. I mean cold enough that I can feel it slicing right through my rain-jacket and shirt to chill my arms.
But after less than a quarter-mile and some epic thunder-claps I figure out something is seriously wrong here!
My arms are cold, my legs are cold, I can feel the cold running down my socks into my boots and - well damn-it! What the hell is going on?!
I used this rain-gear a few months ago and it worked just fine, now, after just a few minutes in the rain I am completely soaked!
Granted it is epic, wind-whipped curtains of rain, but still!
One of the reasons I bought this particular rain-suit long ago was that it was made out of recycled milk jugs.
Despite it's origins, the process resulted in a soft, comfortable fabric that is waterproof.
Up to a point anyway - - -
|Not me - Just some random guy off the internet|