Thursday, November 25, 2010

Rain Returns

I awoke first thing in the morning and saw a big black cloud directly overhead. I quickly packed up my things and started hiking. The winds began to pick up and rain appeared to be falling to the west. Good thing this storm waited until morning to reach me or else I would have been soaked since I didn't set up my tarp the night before.
I was treated to a morning rainbow in the desert valley, which followed me for a couple hours. Again, the temperature seemed to fluctuate all over the place, depending on the speed of the wind or how much sun was out.
By mid morning, the storm reached its peak in ferocity and lasted until about noon. Unfortunately, I was hiking through a very exposed section of the Lagunas. Rain was falling completely horizontal, and I estimated the wind to be blowing 40-50mph. It was brutal. By noon, I started to get scared because there was simply nowhere to pitch a shelter as far as I could see. The vegetation was all about waste high offering little to no protection. I was starting to get hypothermia it seemed, I could barely move my hands. With the wind the way it was, my tarp probably would have been torn to shreds If I tried to somehow set it up on the trail. Usually the act of hiking keeps one warm no matter what, but the wind seemed to be whipping my body heat away from me, leaving me with chills.
Thankfully, a spot finally emerged, and I set up my shelter behind a bush about six feet high. Sure enough, shortly after I set up my shelter, the storm abated. I chose to stay in my sleeping bag for about an hour to warm up, and then hit the trail again. The rest of the afternoon was chilly, but I had great views of the desert to the east.
Happy Thanksgiving!

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