A March across Powell, 26 part 2

September 13, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

As I sit, I realize the wind is growing stronger. I try and compare it to the storm from last week and my perception is that it is now blowing steadily as hard as it was gusting last week. Yikes. It's going to be an interesting day.

After an hour sitting and watching my stuff get buffeted about and having no additional incidents, I'm confident that it's all going to stay put if I wander off. So I do...

This time, I finally reach the overlook. The view is to the south, southwest directly into the wind looking over Hall Creek Bay. The wind is fierce and steady and as I'm standing, no, leaning into it, looking at the view, I glance down at the ground and realize my nose is a full 18" in front of my toes. I have the feeling that if I just had the courage to spread my arms wide, I might fly.

Instead, I back down the leeward side of the hill and sit down behind a low rock outcrop which deflects the wind enough to make it tolerable. I sit and watch the turmoil below as sand and branches and tumbleweeds fly about. I track several tumbleweeds across the valley floor and watch them get pushed into the water on the near side of the inlet. Once in the water they slow down but continue moving downwind to the sandy spit on the other side of the inlet where to my amazement the wind is pushing them out of the water and up the low sand hill. Upon cresting the hill they quickly roll back down the other side and into the water again and slowly move across the Bay toward the marina.

In the air in front of me ravens fly twisting, banking, tucking, diving and climbing in the gusts over the valley floor. Once one appeared to be upside down for a moment. They try to land but the wind appears to be too strong and they lift off again almost immediately.

After about 45 minutes I head back to camp. I eat some lunch and with it get a healthy dose of grit.

Most of the afternoon I spend hunkered down trying, unsuccessfully, to avoid getting sand blasted.  I'm wrapped up in my paddling pats and rain shell with the face-opening narrowed down to just a slit big enough to see through so I can watch the mayhem fly by. The pelting sand is constant and occasionally I'm hit with small pieces of bushes; twice, tumbleweeds crash into my back as they roll by.


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