On to the High Ground

Day 26
“In the early morning rain,
With a dollar in my hand,
With an achin’ in my heart,
And my pockets full of sand.
I’m a long way from home,
Lord I miss my loved ones so,
In the early morning rain,
With no place to go.”

Early Morning Rain by Gordon Lightfoot

After getting a ride from Crazy Mike back to the trailhead, we were joined by Bob, trail name Bob, who was also thru-hiking. Bob started the same day that I did, but had skipped the snow section, and also had to leave the trail for a funeral.

While the day started clear, a massive thunderstorm built quickly and headed right for us. We were in a high open area and made a beeline for a small group of trees. Golden, Wildflower and I set up our tents near, but not in, the clump of trees. Bob decided to just go with his raingear. The storm hit with tremendous force. Lightning was hitting all around, the wind was fierce and the rain was coming down in buckets. The only thing that kept my tent from flying away was the pack and I still weigh over 200 pounds total. After about 20 minutes the wind noise dropped just enough that I could yell, “Hey Bob, how’s that rain gear working out for you?” I could only hear a partial reply, but if think I heard the words, wish, and tent, along with several others I won’t repeat here.

Storm on the way
Storm on the way

Once storm went through, the temperature dropped significantly and no more storms developed. As we walked ever higher, we came across a herd of sheep being guarded by two very attentive sheep dogs. It was pretty interesting watching them work the herd.

Guard Duty
Guard Duty

Early afternoon we cameĀ upon a yurt where White Pine had waited out the storm. As the sky stayed clear, we all decided to risk putting in more miles. Before the day was over, we had climbed to the highest point on the trail, over 13,200 feet. Hopefully the regular afternoon thunderstorms will hold off for another day or two. More Achilles trouble. Hopefully another one-day issue.