Swirling and whirling like the inside of a tornado, the wind shifted directions constantly throughout the night. At times our tent became a wind tunnel, inflating the tent walls like a toy balloon as the wind whipped through it from head to toe. At other times the wind attacked from the sides, driving rain under the tent flaps and slapping the tent walls against our sleeping bags.
The storm raged throughout the night. A growing flat light was my only sign when dawn finally arrived. Reaching for my water bottle, I spotted a light brown, widow-shaped spider nestled behind it, sharing our limited shelter from the storm. Unable to identify our visitor from among the many other spiders with similarly shaped bodies, I ushered him outside with the side of my water bottle.
I tried to sit to pack up, but the wind kept slapping the tent wall against my head. Hunching over, I slowly stuffed our wet gear into our backpacks. Sierra headed down the trail on her own while I packed up our sopping wet tent, along with an extra pint of rainwater.
Shivering, I set off down the trail into the biting wind and driving rain, bush whacking for the first quarter mile through the wet, prickly shrubs that has overgrown the trail. Eventually the rain stopped, but the mountains were still shrouded in threatening clouds. We decided to head into town at Scissors Crossing. We'll be drying out our gear and back on the trail tomorrow.