Colorado Trail – Day 37
September 10, 2013
Miles Hiked: 20.3
Total Miles: 449.2
Segments: 25, 26, 27
Miserable fucking rain and fog all day. That’s about all that needs to be said. No visibility in the thick fog/clouds. Everything is wet, even clothes and things inside my pack. Damn near froze. Shoes and socks soaked. Worst day yet. Lott passed me and went way ahead since I was being very slow. I caught him by dark since I just kept moving to keep from freezing. Can’t use my trekking poles because my hands get wet and very cold. If it does this again tomorrow I’ll be struggling to survive.
When I finally stopped moving to set up my tent for the night is when I really got cold. I remember shaking and struggling to tie the knots on my hammock. I almost certainly was experiencing the start of hypothermia. It was also extremely disappointing to not be able to see more than a few feet in front of myself. I’m sure many amazing views were hidden in those damn low hanging clouds. As awful as this day was, I learned a lot for future hiking. Most importantly, waterproof shoes and gloves are a must! I had spent 36 days on the trail with only the occasional rain which tended to be very refreshing; however, on this day it literally rained all night and day and night. I didn’t learn it until after I finished the trail, but this rain was part of the widespread rain in Colorado which caused the historic levels of flooding in Boulder and other areas of Colorado.
I often think back on this day wondering if there was anything I could have done differently. And short of holding up in my tent for 2 days, there really isn’t anything I could have done different with the gear I had. Days like this are just part of the danger, excitement, and freedom of long distance hiking… worth it.