Tuesday, July 10, 2012


July 7

The drought here has ended.  I at least pray the rain ends the reign of fire in Colorado's forests.
That's about all I want to say about today, but I have a job to do - diligently giving more information than you want - and I shall perform this duty.
McClure Pass was first on the agenda.  I always like getting the uphill portion of the program out of the way early when the energy level is still high.  The elevation at the top was only 8900 feet, which shows you how far I dropped yesterday.
After McClure I fell even further, passing a series of bicyclists furiously pumping their legs in an effort to reach the lofty heights i was descending.  They were mainly Europeans, and many commented on the heat, their pasty complexions wilting in what would be described as a cool April day back home.  Further on I was privy to a wildlife blooper reel.  I caught sight of a doe sipping from a roadside creek.  The animal noticed me watching and attempted to flee over a tall fence.  Clang!  Team Doh has failed the equestrian jumping event.
The joke was on me by the afternoon.  The previously blue sky exited the scene abruptly and was replaced by malicious-looking clouds.  A drenching soon followed.  I was certain the initial volume of precipitation could not continue.  Thirty minutes later I conceded the error.  An hour more and I was willing to give up and hitchhike.  To where?  Anywhere dry.  Unfortunately, Hollywood has filled our brains with images of dangerous psychopaths picked up in a raging thunderstorm.  Rescue was not forthcoming.
The weather conditions were perfect for landslides and the landscape was equally as suited.  I was jolted out of my self-pity on a couple occasions by the sound of rocks falling from the cliffs above onto the road.  One was as big as a softball.  
I sogged onward to Paonia State Park, where I found a shelter to escape the incessant downpour.  Ironically there were no water pumps, but my neighbors were a kind family of five with a case they were willing to share. Matt and Brenda also gave me a couple hours of human companionship, which my spirit was in dire need of at the moment.
I set up the Half Dome underneath the picnic shelter and spread out my soaked clothes to dry.  Not a pleasant day.  I need Little Orphan Annie to sing me a song.

19 miles/2807 total miles

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