Friday, February 24, 2017

Day 19: Rain! Thunder! Lightning!

Karolina and I woke up with clear, blue skies. Gorgeous! But Karolina reported not sleeping very well during the night with all the rocks underground. We hadn't set up camp at a nice, flat piece of ground, but rather in a boulder field which gave us quite a few good-sized lumps under our sleeping area. So she didn't sleep well and would feel tired all day.

That boulder doesn't look too stable, does it? =)

One thrilling moment for Karolina was when we stopped for a break and a hummingbird flitted around. She'd never seen a hummingbird before! Unfortunately, we weren't able to get photos of it. Much too small and fast. I couldn't tell you what kind of hummingbird it was--they all look pretty much the same to me--but it was a fairly typical-looking hummingbird that got Karolina very excited. *nodding*

Later in the morning and into the afternoon, ugly clouds started rolling in. We took another snack break at around 3:00, near where we finally rejoined the JMT after leaving it four days earlier. Karolina also used the time to take a short nap and then it hit: a sprinkle. A light sprinkle started to fall.

We had a choice to make. We could stop for the day right then and there. It was fairly early in the afternoon--only 3:00, after all--but if we set up camp immediately we could get out of the rain and stay dry. If we continued on, we might get drenched.

We had not yet reached our minimum distance for the day, though, and we didn't want to start falling behind schedule on our first full day back on the trail, so we decided to risk it and keep going.
We picked up our heavy packs and moved on, cutting our break short.

The sprinkle continued going for about 15 minutes before tapering out, and I was almost completely dry by the time we reached Grouse Meadow--our goal for the day. It still looked like it could rain at any moment, though, so I set up my tarp and within minutes, the rain had started again. I'd gotten it up in the nick of time! Karolina set up her tent nearby, but joined me under the tarp for dinner since there was a lot more space under my tarp (even with two of us) than in her tent, and she could safely cook dinner from under my tarp which she couldn't do in her tent.

And that's when the rain started coming down hard, with lightning and thunder cracking through the sky. BOOM! Yep, we finished in the nick of time.

The rain eventually tapered off again, and the thunderstorm passed by. After dinner, cleaning up, and writing in our journals, Karolina headed back to her tent for the night fairly early--ready for a good night's sleep that didn't have a lot of rocks poking at us from the ground.

A proper campsite! =) That's my tarp in the background while Karolina's tent is in the foreground.
Sunset from Grouse Meadow, adjacent to our campsite. Beautiful!

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