Sunday, December 28, 2008

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

I heard but two rumbles of thunder overnight, leaving me with hope that it would be a clear morning. As of late Kobie and I have been getting up by 6:30 as sunrise it right around seven, but today a persistent rain was falling. By 8:30 it was more of the same and Kobie and I hadn’t yet spoken a word, so we were both thinking the same thing as we sat in our tents waiting for a lull in the rain.

We have been quite fortunate in one regard on this trip as for the most part we didn’t have to set up or break down camp in the rain. As the sky was unusually dark with the threat of lightning, we opted to sit the early morning out. We faced the usual problem that often arises in mountaineering: what to do while stuck in a tiny tent waiting for the weather to break. While in mountaineering it can be weeks at a time that one is stuck, we really hoped it only be a few hours for us. These days though there is technology to effectively use or kill time as you see fit: laptop computers, MP3 players, cell phones and PDA’s.

Sure enough there were a few rumbles of thunder in addition to the rain that kept us sealed in out tents. While the rain isn’t much fun, it isn’t necessarily unsafe as is lightning. I really didn’t want to take a chance. The worst thing about missing out on paddling in the morning was the utter lack of wind.

As soon as the rain stopped, the thunder picked up significantly. Kobie and I used the opportunity to survey the sky, stretch our legs and battened down the hatches in the calm before the storm.

The wait to start paddling was the worst part of the day. Will we even be able to paddle? Will we not be able to paddle? While we might be hemmed in the entire day, it is not knowing that is so frustrating. It was almost a relief as the day wore on and Kobie and I decided that we would stay put for the remainder of the day. I can think of better ways to spend a day then sitting in a tent, but with the thunder and threat of lightning I was fine with it.

In the intermittent breaks in the rain we would get out of our tents to stretch, survey the situation and talk about how we hoped the weather would be different tomorrow. Invariable though, after only a few minutes we were chased back in our tents by the rain.

We had a leisurely lunch in my tent and then watched the movie Fargo. We had intended to watch Fargo in Fargo, but we were sidetracked in North Dakota. I spent the better part of the afternoon going through all the contact numbers in my phone and catching up with some folks that I hadn’t spoken to in quite some time. I mixed it up by staring at the ceiling of my tent and even resorted to playing games on my cell phone.

By seven in the evening I was ready to go to sleep, but as I am not four years old figured I should at least stay up until eight. That was all I managed.

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