cloudhiking - maps and adventure guides

Site Links


Contact Us









Friends' Links

Appalachia & Beyond

Family Wilds


Marking My Territory

Outcast Hikers


506 Summer Stories
Stormy Wrangler

approaching storm

While camped at Glacier Basin Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park this last summer, there were a series of intense afternoon thunderstorms that roared through the area. One of the storms damaged my tarp poles, pulled out stakes, and collapsed the tarp to the ground (see Kelty Adjustable Tarp Poles).

After the storm passed, I was outside my tent checking on damage when a wrangler (the guide) and a small group of clients rode their horses past my campsite. The Glacier Creek Trail was less than 100 feet away from my tent.

The wrangler stopped to talk about the campground and give his spiel. He proceeded to tell his group, 'he loved to ride by the campground after a little storm and see how many campers did not know how to set up their tents.' He was looking directly at me and my collapsed tarp as he spoke, loudly.


horse on a trail in RMNP


I know that he was just trying to be funny and make the trip more enjoyable for his clients (with hope of getting better tips); but I didn't like it. The group soon rode away into the sunset and I returned to my task of drying one tarp and setting up another, the Megamid.

The next afternoon, I was sitting outside as a storm approached. I quickly began securing the Megamid and tent when the storm hit. The thunder was so loud it shook the ground. Out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving on the trail.

Looking up I saw my wrangler friend from the day before. He and three riders were caught in the storm. AS the thunder boomed and lightning cracked, he was straining to control his horse while his clients were just holding on for dear life.

I did not want anyone to get hurt; but I must admit I wanted to yell; 'I love to watch the trail as a little storm approaches, just to see how many wranglers do not know how to predict the weather!'

I didn't really say anything. I was not trying to get tips from anyone, so I didn't have to try and be funny. I just watched the chaos of the greenhorns trying to gain control of their horses and the wrangler needing to be three places at once. Of course, I did make sure that the wrangler saw me watching.

Storms in the mountains are violent and often times fast moving. Many folks do not seem to respect the dangers of thunderstorms. They are not married to my wife, Amy. In all endeavors always respect the weather. Know how to predict the weather and then when and where to take cover.

Happy stormy wrangler trails


Name (required):

Comment (required):

Please Introduce Secure Code: