Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lessons: Check the weather.

Had a wild first day back in US! After flying into Boise early Tuesday morning, I grabbed my uncomfortably dry kayak gear and headed to the North Fork of the Payette, with whitewater jedi, Nick Murphy. We had a great day ripping down the amazing waters of the NF, which are still mostly white. Around 6, I decided to send to the Sawtooth mountains for an impromptu solo backpacking mission. I blindly drove up a road to the mountains, which soon led to a trailhead. I hiked in the direction that looked most attractive. Several hours later, just before sunset, I arrived at Sawtooth Lake. I found exactly what I was looking for, gorgeous scenery in the heart of the Sawtooths. I enjoyed the beautiful clear sky and slowly fell into peaceful sleep. Minutes later, I awoke to a flash in the distance, it quickly approached and within 10 minutes I was engulfed in the most severe lighting storm I have ever experienced. I quickly packed my things and set my sights for lower elevation and shelter. However, I was unable to find the trail in the fury of the storm. I huddled in a ball with my seemingly small and torn tarp and waited for the storm to pass. Lighting crashed above me in every direction followed by hail, powerful winds, and downpour. It was one of the most incredible things I have ever seen in nature, but absolutely terrifying. I wish I had the courage to pull out my camera, but it was not the first thing on my mind… 20 minutes passed, the storm cleared and stars filled the sky once again. I laid out my saturated gear and fell asleep. I woke to a handsome sunrise and a motionless lake.

It was an incredible experience, but I might check the weather next time…….

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