Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Last night was calm and peaceful. I slept well.
I wake just before sunrise and see the moon has risen and is shining through a few clouds to the east. Hoping for a nice sunrise, I get up and head back up to the overlook to photograph the morning light.
As I start back down the hill I notice that the wind has already picked up. It is going to be a blustery day.
As breakfast is cooking I scurry about collecting my gear, putting everything away and clipping or tying all the bags together. My tarp, pad and sleeping bag I leave out and put rocks, about as big as loaves of bread, around the edges. The mess of dry bags and stuff sacks I plop on top of the sleeping bag to hold it all down. With breakfast finished and put away, I add the kitchen gear to the heap and I sit down to watch it blow.
Watching wind isn't all that exciting, so I decide to head west and climb to the overlook to Hall's Creek Bay.
On my first attempt to reach the overlook, I start out across the valley floor into the wind, which is growing stronger, and I'm surprised by all of the debris blowing by--sand, dust, small branches, entire tumbleweeds--but don't think much of it until I start to climb the sandstone dune and stop to look back at camp. There I see my gear all packed and piled on top of my unpacked sleeping setup. And I think 'that's really stupid'. Why didn't I pack up my sleeping stuff? If a corner of the tarp comes loose it'll blow halfway to Hanksville and take everything with it. So, down I go to pack my sleeping bag, clothes, and tarp into their dry bag.
On my second attempt to reach the overlook, I retrace my steps through the blowing debris on the valley floor and start up the slick rock dune. This time I almost reach the saddle before looking back at camp. All the bags are right where I left them. I smile confidently. Then I glance at the kayak. Shit, the wind has blown it upside down! It's fully out of the water but lying at an angle such that if it rolls over several times it could be back in the water. Damn, if it rolls into the water I'm screwed! Panicked I race down the hill as fast as my sore knee can stand and across the valley floor.
When I arrive at the boat its still upside down and I can see that the bow and rudder would probably prevent it from rolling further. Even so, I right it, drag it another 15' from the water and place it carefully so that another roll is unlikely.
Exhausted from the exertion and stress, I sit down for a while to watch it blow and keep my eye on the boat and bags.