Monday, October 10, 2011

Stormy Weather

After setting up camp on the Death Canyon Shelf, we noticed something coming in the sky.

Those isolated thunderstorms I mentioned earlier?  They were coming for us.

Let's review some safety tips for hiking/camping during a thunderstorm:
  • Stay in a valley or ravine, avoiding ridge tops or summits
  • Stay in a wooded area with uniform trees, avoiding an isolated tree
  • Get below timberline!
Let me remind you where we setup camp:
  • On a canyon shelf, the opposite of a valley or ravine
  • We were among about 2 trees
  • We were right along the timberline
Basically, we were not very safe where we'd set up the tent.  But, it started pouring, thundering and lightning striking, so we stayed put.  After over an hour of intense storms, the skies cleared and we had survived.  We had an early dinner as we were afraid the storms would return.  A chipmunk had the same idea.

We turned in early and awoke to this view from our tent:

Andy took in the view.

Then we set out for a day full of ups and down.  Literally.

Still trying to get around those mountains you see off in the distance.  We hiked down into that valley and then up over the ridge behind us in the photo.  This portion of the trail lay outside of the National Park, so the trails were not as well kept.  We came across one particular stream crossing that had been flushed out.  After hiking upstream for about 10 minutes, we were finally able to find a safe spot to cross.  We successfully forded the river, and no oxen were lost.  Oregon Trail, holla.

After we hiked up that ridge, we had to hike down to Lake Sunset.  We enjoyed lunch while soaking our achy feet in the frigid lake.  Then we had to hike up over the ridge you see behind the lake in the photo above.

 A look back on Lake Sunset as we climbed the ridge.

At the top of the ridge lay Hurricane Pass, so named for the blustery winds that tried to knock me over. 

Finally, we got up close and personal with the Tetons.

Grand and Middle Teton.

After taking in the views for awhile, the wind finally blew us down the trail.

But we still had to go down to get to our camping spot in the South Cascade area.

We passed some waterfalls on the way down and finally set up camp.

In anticipation of more thunderstorms, our tent was setup below treeline, in a valley, nestled among a lot of trees.

So of course it didn't rain that night. 

However, that didn't mean I slept well.  Being below treeline means your also in bear country, so I awoke to every noise throughout the night.  And although no bears came, some wildlife did invade our campsite and startle me awake the next day.

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