Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rice Field Shelter to Bailey Gap Shelter

Saturday, 5/9

AT Miles = 16.4 / 649.1
Other Miles = 0 / 28.7
Total Miles = 16.4 / 677.8

Water. The theme for today was water.

A series of storms rolled through last night. Storms with wind and rain and lightning and thunder. Five storms came through while I was in my hammock last night. The first one had winds coming in such a way that they lifted my tarp straight up and allowed the wind-driven rain to lash straight into my hammock. Fortunately that one didn't last too long, and my sleeping bag as a water repellant outer shell. After the rain I just wiped it down with my bandanna, and it stayed dry.

The other storms all woke me up, and there were some exciting moments, but for the most part I stayed dry and comfy, with the exception of some spray driven in under the tarp by the winds.

I left camp at 8:30 and at 9:00 another storm came through and got me soaked, but once it passed I dried out quickly.

There was LOTS of water on the trail today. Many, many sections of trail were running in several inches of water. It is amazing just how much raiin fell last night. After a few hours of slogging through water, things really got interesting when I got to what is usually a small stream that one would hop across on a coujple of rocks, but today it looked more like a white water river. It roared like the Colorado River pouring through the Grand Canyon (editor's note: the author has no idea what the Coloroado River sounds like going through the Grand Canyon. Please forgive his flights of fancy)

There was nothing else to do but take off my boots and socks, put on my sandals, and ford the raging stream. It was challenging and fun, but doing it with nobody else around is a bit uncomfortable since there is nobody to help if anything goes wrong.

There was also a couple places with blown-down trees where I had to take my pack off and crawl under dragginbg my pack behind me.

Then after lunch, there was an even bigger and deeper stream that had to be forded.This one had water up to my thighs, and it was nearly waist deep on some shorter hikers.

So I am at the shelter with a bunch of other hikers. It is raining again. There is so much water the ground all around the shelter is flowing in water. I am really happy I use a hammock and not a tent. I don't have to worry about trying to find a spot that is both level and dry.

I will be retreating to my hammock soon, and read my book and listen to the radio, and leave the overpacked shelter to the shelter dwellers.

Allen Freeman

1 comment:

Phollower said...

A night around a soggy shelter is one of the top reasons I'm going to do the hammock thing. Keep walking!