Sunday, September 11 God Takes Good Care of Us

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

SUMMARY:  The weather report for today was for “very cold, with rain and snow” but the morning was actually warmer than it has been lately. Clouds were moving in though, and at our morning snack break, we did get snowed on for about a minute. Then the sun was back, for several very pleasant hours.

I was really enjoying the fall colors, the many pretty mushrooms, and beautiful moss by the trail. Then back came the clouds and rain and cold. By our afternoon snack break, we’d reached an important junction (I should mention we’d turned off the CDT to do a shorter route) and wow! A ranger cabin!

So we sat on the porch out of the rain to enjoy our snack, then onto the new trail we went, climbing up into the mountains. We passed a (hunter?) camp with a big white canvas tent. Nice! Then the trail really began to climb and the rain turned to snow. Whoa!  No way did we want a rerun of what happened before!  We turned around and went back to the big white tent; no one was there– and that’s where we are camped tonight, with me saying, “God, thank you for taking such good care of us AGAIN!!”

DETAILS:  It actually wasn’t too awfully cold this morning, and hooray, everything (tent, gear, etc.) was dry.  One of the downsides of tent camping on a really cold night is the condensation that builds up inside the tent.  Not last night!  As we packed up, there were a few clouds, and more coming in.  We eyed them suspiciously–the weather report for today was “Rain and snow.”  But at that point, everything still looked good, weatherwise.

We started hiking, eager to reach Spotted Bear Pass and the beginning of the Ley alternate route.  As we walked along, I was thinking and praying about several things: 1)Please NO snow when we need to camp and 2) A good campsite if the weather turns nasty.  At our midmorning snack break, we were sitting by the trail (it was contouring along a mountainside), when it started to rain, just a little bit–and promptly turned to SNOW!  But only for about 2 minutes, then it stopped, and the sun came out again!  We breathed a sigh of relief, put on our packs and kept going.

I have to say that the CDT here is very pretty–there are very big mountains with deep valleys, the trees are just beginning to show some fall color, and along the trail are all kinds of fall mushrooms, fungi and lichens.  The mushrooms especially are so pretty, and the moss is amazing.  The trail itself was muddy in a few places, but basically very nice.

Finally we reached the turnoff for the alternate route, and wow!  I need not have worried about missing it–Elusive had kept his promise and made a nice big sign out of sticks, that read “SB ALT” with an arrow pointing to the left.  The “alt” trail was obviously well-used, only a bit overgrown in places, so we were able to hike right along.

At lunch time, we found a pretty spot to stop; the sun was shining and it was warm and pleasant.  It was actually very relaxing break, and I began to think that maybe the weather forecast was wrong.  But once we started hiking again, suddenly the blue sky disappeared and the rain began.  Oh well.  Rain we can deal with.  But in the back of my mind I was thinking “What about snow?”

Just in time for our mid-afternoon snack break, we reached the junction for another trail that would lead us back to the CDT, and there was a cute ranger cabin, with a PORCH!  A dry place to sit and eat and rest out of the rain!  I told God how grateful I was for helping us get here at just the right time.

The new trail headed back up again, though not steeply, and it did involve several shallow creek fords.  Oh fun–cold, wet feet!  The rain continued, though it was not a heavy rain.  At a bit after 4:30 or so, we passed what appeared to be a hunter camp–a big white canvas tent, with a tarp that provided a sheltered area in front of it.  We said, “Wow, nice!” and continued on our way.  The trail had changed to switchbacks up the mountainside, and we kept going till 5:00, going up and up, when suddenly the rain changed to SNOW.  Oh no!  According to the map, we had 3 1/2 more miles of climbing to do, and then after that, the trail would stay “up high”.  If there was snow down here, no telling how bad it would be farther up.  We decided it would be foolish to go on.

So we looked around for a place to camp (two hours early, but given the conditions, we felt it would be for the best), and there was nothing.  We were on a mountainside with lots of fallen stuff and no flat places.  “Why don’t we go back to the white tent?” I suggested.  “I know that means going backwards, but we know it would be a good camping place.”  Fixit agreed, and we turned around and headed back down.

Along the way, we met Elusive coming up.  He had also looked at the white tent.  We told him we were going to stop early and camp there, and he hesitated.  We urged him to come with us–there was plenty of room–but finally he said, “No, I’ll go on.”  (We found out later that he had quite the adventure camping that night–because it was snowing fairly heavily, he actually built himself a little “tent” of branches, etc. and set up his own tent under that, so he was somewhat protected from the falling snow.  Wow, what a guy!)

We reached the white tent and went inside, out of the rain.  Brrrr, it was cold, though!  The hunters (or whoever it was) had a stove inside the tent and folding cots, etc. but we did not touch any of their stuff, and instead set up our own tent INSIDE the white tent.  The ground was pretty lumpy (bunch grass) but we managed, and crawled into our sleeping bags, listening to the rain falling on the roof of the white tent.  I thought back to this morning, when I was asking God for a good, safe place to camp, and all I could say was “Lord, this is WAY above ‘n beyond!  Thank you so much!  You sure do take good care of us!”


Leave a Reply