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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Storm's a-comin'.

Day 88 9/8
Mileage 18
Camped by Kerrick Creek

Around 10 last night, I awoke, thoroughly confused, to the distinctive, ominous feeling of rain hitting me through my tent. I fumbled around in the dark for a while and finally got my tent fly up. The rain promptly stopped. I grumbled for a while and fell back to sleep. At quarter to one I was awakened by a torrential downpour and the distant sound of thunder. I counted the time from the flash to the bang, and it seemed to be less than two miles away. I saw another flash and before I reached three seconds, the thunderclap was echoing all across the valley. I hunkered down deeper in my sleeping bag, as if it could offer more protection against firey light night death. Another flash. Before I even remembered to count, I could feel the ground beneath me shaking through my sleeping pad from the raw power of the thunder. Huddled in my tent, I tried to pull all my limbs onto my pad, just in case the ground near me got hit. Not that it would have helped much. After what felt like hours of tempest, the worst of the rain subsided and I drifted uneasily back to sleep. I slept until morning came, when I was again jolted out of sleep by rain on my tent. During a lull, I stumbled outside my tent to grab breakfast from my bear canister and saw Kyle. "12:30 departure?" He asked. "That was my plan" I responded. I was able to finish eating before the rain returned, and I began to pack my pack in my tent. The rain continued on and off throughout the morning. The soaking wet trail, meandering through pines, made me nostalgic for Maine. Large boulders and roots in the path reminded me especially of the AT. We opted to take an alternate route by Tilden Lake, adding a mile or so to the day, but we had heard the scenery was fantastic. We were not disappointed. The lake was almost warm and totally deserted, save us. We recreated there for a good hour and a half at least, then meandered down a meadow at the bottom of a swell canyon until we rejoined the PCT. We walked up a big hill, down a big hill, then back up a big hill, then back down. Saw a rubber boa and some more sobos! It's clear now, so hopefully this storm rubbish is over, but then again, it was totally clear when we went to bed last night, too.

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