Miles: 569.9 to 596.6
Not long after we’d set up our tent, chewed on a few last minute snacks, brushed our teeth and zipped up our sleeping bags, the wind started.
And not just any wind. An angry wind. Wind that tried all night, hours on end, to push us off the mountain. I’ve never seen or heard a tent move like that. It whipped the poor thing. I’m really quite surprised it never came apart. The only visible result of the whole night on the tent was some fraying of one of the guy lines from the 30-pound rock I had to put on top of the stake to keep it from coming out of the ground.
Speaking of which, I’m also surprised it took until 4 a.m. for one of the tent stakes to come out. Not surprisingly, it was one of the structural ones, so that also brought the tent down with it.
And lastly, I’m surprised we didn’t just get up and start hiking after the tent fell. Although, we did consider it.
Once we did get moving, we had to spend a couple of hours hiking in the Super Wind before we got to a point in the trail with some trees to act as a break. It was awful. A few times I was seriously worried I would get knocked off my feet and end up somewhere down on Interstate 58. I don’t think I’ve ever hiked in wind that strong, even on Mt. Washington in New Hampshire, which boasts the highest recorded wind speed on earth. I get why someone installed hundreds of wind turbines along that corridor.
The rest of the morning was slow moving. We didn’t get much sleep with the noise of the wind, so I know that slowed me down a lot.
I don’t generally get hangry. I get fatigue-gry. Even two consecutive nights of poor sleep and I hate all of you.
Poor Richard has to deal with my basic loss of emotional control at least once every time we go on a trip that lasts four days or longer. I have a feeling on the PCT, it will happen more than once.
We lunched at the only water source we’d see that day and met some new hikers.
Right at the end of lunch, the clouds that had been threatening rain all morning let loose. We grabbed for our rain layers and threw the rest of our stuff together.
We set off through the rain to try to put in another dozen miles and find a tent spot sheltered from the wind.
We did find that spot. However, the rain from lunch came in waves over us for the afternoon and about an hour before we stopped, it set in for the night.
While we stayed dry in our sleeping bags, everything else got wet. The condensation on the inside of the tent would spray down on us and our stuff whenever a new droplet would land on the outside of the tent. I had to sleep with my face in my sleeping bag to keep from getting splattered constantly. But, hey; no wind.