Day 54 - west tRough creek to forest road
May 20 | SOBO Miles 1171 - 1192
We got rained on majorly in the night, but set out nonetheless at the usual hour this morning. The path was soggy and foggy. Overgrown bushes called for the need to bushwhack through wet foliage, and I got soaked in the process. To boot, the sun decided not to make an appearance, which meant my solar panel was useless. I strode through the morning squeezing the life out of my 5% phone battery.
Respite came at lunch, right after crossing the McCloud River. There stood an awesome bridge, and on the other side, a large clearing where the sun was just beginning to peek through the clouds. We seized the opportunity to dry out all our gear and I was able to harvest another 10% worth of battery charge from the sun as I munched on some Honey Bunches of Oats.
The afternoon held a surprise for us–this time in the form of unforeseen snow. Again, we were breaking trail, as there were no previous footsteps in sight. As we climbed upward through the forest we traversed some dubious snowbridges that hid underneath them many tiny creeks, all raging from snowmelt. We avoided any splashdowns, but we were about to get soaked in a different way as rain was in the forecast.
The camp spot we’d planned on was a dirt forest road under some power lines. But when we arrived, the road was completely covered in at least 3 feet of snow. The sky loomed angry above us, and we were completely socked in with fog. Right as we found a tiny dry spot with space for our three tents, the downpour began.
The night brought torrential freezing rain, snow, sleet, and hail, all of which collected on the walls of my tent, causing it to sag inward dramatically and forcing me outside to shake the precipitation off and adjust the guylines intermittently. To boot, condensation from my breath against the frigid outside air caused my tent to create its own little rain shower inside. Tiny puddles pooled around my sleeping pad like an icy moat. All my gear was absolutely soaked.
It was a night none of us would forget, and as the morning light began to peek through, we realized that had just been the beginning...