Kyle and I had a double-adventure on our overnight last night. We tried out hike #8 from 50 Hikes in the Adirondacks, ‘Falls on the W Branch of the Sacandaga’. The hike to the falls involved quite a bit of bushwhacking, and then there were huge rocks to climb around on at the end. And in case that wasn’t enough adventure, there was an incredible thunderstorm overnight, and a torrential downpour at breakfast time.
I didn’t take any pictures this morning, what with my phone not wanting to get soaked. When we packed for the trip, the forecast called for a 40% chance of T-storms overnight. We didn’t bring rain jackets, and I only packed one tarp for the two of us, which I did not expect to use. Around 1:30am I woke up to lots of thunder that was 10-15 seconds away. I enjoyed the flashing light and rumbling thunder for ten minutes or so. Just as I was drifting back to sleep I thought, “It would be awfully embarrassing to get rained on after such a clear warning. So I got up, hung the tarp just to the side of Kyle’s hammock, then hung straps from the double hammock Kyle had brought but wasn’t using around trees on the other side of the hammock. I figured Murphy’s Law at this point would keep it from actually raining. At 2:30 Murphy’s law failed me. I could hear rain on the creek, though I wasn’t really feeling drops under the trees, yet. I unclipped my hammock (with UQ still attached, all my hiking clothes laying over the ridgeline, and all my bedding inside it) and moved in next to Kyle. It started really coming down around 2:40, at which point I discovered that 18” of my hammock was sticking out from under the tarp. Nuts. Kyle offered to be helpful, so while I used a shirt to mop up the water that was already in, he used my pack cover to extend the tarp over the end of my hammock. And it worked!
The rain was heavier and lighter and heavier again, and the thunder came and went, but by 3:30am we were no longer taking on water, and had fallen back asleep. I woke up a few times when Kyle rolled over and bumped my hammock, but easily fell back asleep. I’m listening to Eye of the World, so I was dreaming High Fantasy all night, in a good way. Around 6 or so we got up and packed up everything except the tarp. I could have boiled water for oatmeal, but Kyle wasn’t hungry, and I wanted to get a move on so Kyle wouldn’t miss any school. Just as I was going to suggest we head out, the rain started coming down in buckets. I told Kyle I’d set a timer for 7 minutes (the timer I had used for dinner last night) and we’d go even if it was still raining hard. But within two or three minutes the clouds had rained themselves out, and we departed. By the time we got to the car we couldn’t even feel it anymore, though I did have to use windshield wipers so it must have still been lightly sprinkling. Kyle made it to his first class at 9am, so I consider this a very successful trip.