Cloudy with a Chance of Smiles

 

I waited around all day on Friday for my new shoes to arrive, but the UPS truck didn't show up until almost evening and a cold front blew through at nearly the same time. I decided to camp out in Warner Springs one more night which was a good decision. The cold front brought rain and wind to the lower elevations but snow, hail, sleet, and sustained wind to the higher terrain. Several other hikers a few miles from town retreated back to town because their lightweight shelters didn't withstand the stormy elements.

At dawn I packed up in the wind and rain and headed north. Shortly after leaving town, the clouds parted and the sun appeared even though the wind and the rain persisted. Where the end of the trail met the horizon a rainbow faintly materialized, and as I hiked towards the horizon in my new shoes I knew the rainbow symbolized a bright future head.  The skies remained overcast and the temperatures hovered in the upper forties which was the perfect hiking conditions. The cold prevents long drawn out breaks and the clouds reduced the amount of water I needed to haul to get from one source to the next.  For the first time since I started, I didn't feel the afternoon sun drain my energy, and my legs seemed less irritated with my new shoes, but with less than twenty miles it's hard to fully assess the shoes. Let's see how they feel over the next hundred miles or so.