Sunday, October 8, 2017

Big Bend Storms

North Face 2-man tent on the hill.

When I got zipped into the tent and laid back on the sleeping pad and turned off the lamp, I could see the tent being illuminated slightly by the distant flashes of lightning.  Then I could hear the faint but constant clashes of thunder that rolled on and on.  It was still warm enough that I was pouring sweat.  The tent flaps were open, so as the storm approached, the advancing front’s wind caused the temperature to drop and I began to cool off.  Within a half to three-quarters of an hour, the tent began getting pelted with huge, pregnant drops of rain that sounded almost like small hail.  The flaps were zipped closed.  Within minutes, the full fury of the storm was on me.  The wind was about 40 mph and the rain torrential.  My North Face 2-man tent has been very reliable, but I guess if enough water is applied with the force of a fire hose, something will get through.  I wasn’t really getting wet, as much as just harassed by a driving mist presumably blowing under the fly and through the tent’s mesh. 

The storms were inspiring and lasted a good part of the night.  Each wave of storms lasted about an hour.  There would be a pause, and then the next band would be on me.  Only the initial squall penetrated the tent.  The remaining rains stayed outside where they belonged. 

Later in the night when my bladder woke me, the storms had passed, and the near-full moon illuminated the tent to make any artificial light unnecessary.  It was now cool enough that I had to pull my tee-shirt back on.  It was still too warm for even my summer sleeping bag, but I pulled my sleeping bag liner out of the pack.  With my legs just tucked into it, it was perfect, and I dropped back off to sleep.  (More on the sleeping bag liner later.)

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