But that doesn't stop me from getting in a hike.
|Ridge trail junction (and still dry!)|
That's why I have raingear! (After spending all that $$, I don't want it languishing in a closet after all)
So, despite the less-than-stellar forecast, I decided to make a mid-May trip up Hardy Ridge, I'd heard the wildflowers were blooming and was dying to check it out.
Although I left my house in dry conditions, it didn't take long for the rain to catch up. Driving through the Gorge, it battered my car in windy sheets. I began to have second thoughts..... Just how badly did I want to do this hike?
Bur the weather cleared up upon my arrival. I quickly got my gear together and hit the trail, hoping to finish before things got wet again.
|Bushes intrude on the trail|
Of course it didn't take long for distractions to slow me down. First, it was a lovely patch of white daisies. Then some vibrant orange paintbrush. The cloudy, wet conditions were perfect for photography!
Overcast skies made already bright colors pop.
And the raindrops on petals and leaves made these lovely subjects even more interesting.
|Vine maple leaves|
I trudged uphill along an abandoned road for a couple of miles until it intersected with a proper trail. This path zig-zagged steeply through a lush forest. Near the top, I began to pass by colorful patches of wildflowers.
There was lupine, purple penstemon, yellow wallflowers and vivid orange paintbrush.
|Trail through a flower garden|
All were dripping moisture from the recent rainstorm.
|Lots of color!|
Nearing the first major trail junction, I began to notice droplets of water beading on my jacket. It appeared the brief dry spell was ending.
When hiking, I carry my DSLR camera in a fanny pack around my waist. Since this fanny pack isn't waterproof, for today's hike I'd wrapped a large garbage bag around it. Photography was kind of a chore, unwrapping the bag, taking the camera out, getting the shots, returning it, and repositioning the garbage bag.
But when the rain started up, I was darn glad I'd brought that garbage bag.
|Raindrops like look jewels|
I managed to get a couple more shots of drippy leaves and blossoms before the rain began in earnest.
Although my Canon 7D is fairly waterproof, I didn't want to risk damaging it. So I wrapped that garbage bag good and tight around the fanny pack. But the day's photography wasn't done yet - oh no.
|No views today|
Because I still had my little GoPro! With it's waterproof case I could continue to record images of this foggy, wet day.
Finally reaching the ridge, I was disappointed to find it cloaked in heavy fog. There would be no views today! However, I was able to capture the weather on a short video.
|It's getting thicker.....|
Although I'd intended to hike all the way up to Phlox Point, about halfway across the ridge, I decided to turn around. It was rainy, windy and cold. My clothes were soaked from both the rain and from brushing against soggy vegetation. My boots were so wet they squished when I took a step. Huddling behind a small bush, I quickly gulped a bite of lunch. Then, retracing my steps, I headed back down the ridge.
I always like loop hikes, so on my return I followed the trail proper as it snaked through a dense forest. About halfway down I passed by a large rock shaped like a boot that was perched on an old tree stump. Supposedly a well-known local landmark, I snapped a couple of shots for posterity.
Then it was a long, wet downhill trudge to my car. The rain began to fall heavily and everything on me that wasn't well covered got totally soaked. Boy was I glad for that garbage bag protecting my camera! For a cheap plastic bag, it performed admirably.
After not seeing a soul all day (another advantage to hiking in bad weather) for the last two miles, I was followed by a couple and their dog. Arriving at the trailhead, I joked that we were the only people crazy enough to be out here in this weather.
|Soaked to the bone!|
Once home, after a hot shower and dry clothes, it was time to view the photos from the day. Although not great for hiking, the foggy wet weather produced superb lighting conditions. I discovered many images I liked. My wet hike had been vindicated - it was totally worth braving the inclimate weather!
Moral of the story - don't let a little rain stop you from getting out on the trails. You might just see something wonderful.