Under the Horizon
The last hour of hiking had been pure misery. Head down, one foot in front of the other, wondering if I’d ever dry out. Rain jackets, pack covers, waterproof boots all have their limits. Unless the rain is light or brief, eventually water will soak through. Hiding under a boulder did not work as the wind changed direction. The views I had enjoyed on my way up to the Grinnell Glacier had vanished, and the trail was now a stream. But suddenly the light began to brighten behind me. Sunlight made its way across the turquoise lake and spilled across the landscape. I hurried to get around a bend in the trail to prepare for the inevitable. It was one of the brightest rainbows I’ve ever seen. This type of rainbow is really only possible in the mountains. Since the height of the sun was still over 42°, the rainbow was below the horizon. But because I was at a higher elevation looking down the valley, it was visible. This was the only longer trail I had time for during a brief visit to Glacier National Park. Sometimes it’s the miserable hikes that are most memorable.