A Lesson Learned

Below Gunsight Pass (1893.2 R)
Day 110 – 8/9/17
Miles – 22.5
Total miles – 1685.7

We slept well, nestled in a small stand of trees. First thing on our minds was what does the sky look like this morning? With apprehension, Mama Raven peeked out. The sky was clear in the direction we will be hiking. Our hopes for good day of hiking raised to new hights. We did not want a repeat of yesterday’s storm.  Most of today, we hiked down along the side of the Green River. It was about 16 miles to where we left it. We hiked along cascading water falls, through meadows, and along two big lakes. It was quite pretty. About midday, the clouds built up and it began to rain.  We put on all our rain gear and headed out into it. There is nothing more dismal to a long distant thru-hiker than hiking in rain. Snow is better than rain, because you do not get as wet. It simply is not pleasant! On top of it, rain really slows us down. By the time we reached our turn off, the sun was out and all was right with the world once again. Leaving the Winds behind, we started up a 1,000′ climb and we made good progress. The views from the ridge were wonderful and there were wild flowers galore! Wide flat green pasture land with the Green River glistening in the late afternoon sunshine as it meandered through the valley below us.  We pasted a number of old abandoned farm buildings. We dropped into the valley on the other side and stopped at a bridge at the bottom. Thunder could be heard down the valley. We decided to go up a mile and look for a camp. The thunder was on the other side of the ridge so we went a little farther. Then the thunder was right over our heads. Lightening and thunder was bursting out all around us. We did not dare go up in higher to a mountain pass with no trees on it. Instantly, the rain started to pick up. We needed to find a spot to set up the tents right away.  Bling found something that would work. It was a little small for both the tents to fit, but we could not afford to be too picky.  In a tight little place, we worked on pitching our tents. Rain and hail pounding down then all hell broke loose. A layer of hail covered the tents before we could even get them up. Big rocks in the ground prevented the tent pegs from going in. The tents were too close together to put the guide lines down. Bling had to dig in the mud with his bare hands to fit tent pegs into the ground. Tent pegs were getting dropped and we could not find them. Our umbrellas were set aside and we became soaked from head to foot along with all our gear. We needed both hands free to setup the tents. The sky was nearly black except for the constant bursting of lightening and thunder directly overhead. Somehow, the tents got up. It was not the best tent pitching we have ever done, nonetheless, they got up in a difficult situation. First Mama Raven got in the tent, then Whisper and Bling and finally Papa Raven. Everything was saturated with water, even the floor of the tents. We found anything dry that we could to dry with.  The one good piece of news was that the sleeping bags were somewhat dry inside of the plastic trash bags. Also our town clothes in a zip lock bag were dry too. It felt good to get out of the soaking wet clothes and then into warm sleeping bags!  Pap Raven cooked dinner in the vestable of his tent.  It felt very good to eat warm food.  Meanwhile as the night went on, so did the flashes of lightening, lighting up the night sky followed by the terrifying loud thunder. The rain and hail continued. It was a very nerve racking evening!  It has rained hard for at least three hours now. We hope it stops soon. Our lesson learned was, we should have stopped at the first sign of rain, then we would be a lot dryer right now.

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