It rained off and on all night but stopped by morning. The sky was gray though and soon enough it started pouring again. I’m above tree line for a long stretch in this section and the cold wind was merciless without anything to impede its course directly into my face. My umbrella was useless in the gale so I trudged on.Trying to read trail maps in this weather was awful, and markings were few and far between. The rain let up in time for lunch, but soon after, another storm blew in. thunder and lightning crashed and soon were directly overhead, only a split second between lightning strikes and thunder. I was cold, wet, and miserable. Without a doubt this was the worst day of the trip, maybe even of any trips. I couldn’t see anything but sleet and muddy trail. This was the San Juans, the best part of the CDT and all I wanted to do was get out from these horrible surroundings. Dreading an exposed, wet camp I day dreamed about the shelters along the AT where one could get out of the elements for a night. I knew from my maps there were not even any trees ahead to hide under and my spirits sank so low I was cursing.But then.. I see a cabin over there! A quick detour brought me to two old log cabins and I burst inside in a flurry of rain. Found a notebook register and learned these cabins are used by hikers all the time. I found a shelter! It was only 5pm, but no way was I going out into that freezing sleet. One cabin had a loft and sheet metal roof, so I moved in and donned my warm clothing. Dry! Dry! What luck, what perfect timing! The hail bounced off the roof and thunder boomed around me but I was safe in this old wooden structure. I write this by candlelight, tiny nubs of old wax left behind by the last visitor. To describe my gratitude for this cabin after such a bad day is impossible.
- Starting Location: cold in the San Juans
- Destination: talk about ‘trail angels’!