It was an overcast, misty, NE breezy, 49 degrees when I rolled out after work. The forecast said 30 percent chance of scattered showers for Friday night and Saturday morning. For those of us in north Texas, the 3 year drought-learned response to a weather forecast like that is…
Riding out to the camp site was a little head-windy, but pleasant. Apparently, I nailed the clothing selection.
I arrived at the site just a little before sundown. With the heavy overcast skies, I was rapidly losing light. So, while I could still see, I set about diligently setting up camp. I scoffed at the short-lived sprinkling rain.
Sleeping quarters were established just as it was almost too dark for a no-flash photo. With weather protection in place, I turned my attention to campfire contentment and dinner.
Maybe I was just in a nicely protected area. But it seemed like the wind relaxed just like I did as time passed. Food and wood was consumed. Dinner walked a pace just right for shifty tongues of flame and flickering light. Coyotes kicked up a ruckus, and I thought I’d hear them all night. But they suddenly became suspiciously silent.
When the food was gone, the flames shrunk in size and my eyelids dropped. With the cloud cover the temperature had only dropped to 46 degrees. I had packed well, and would be quite comfortable. It was a good night in the woods.
Rain woke me at 5:30am. It was a light rain, I was comfortable, and I figured like last night this little shower would quickly pass. It only took a minute to drift back to sleep.
At 6:30am, I woke again. It was still raining…and harder. So I pulled out my phone to look at the weather radar. Manipulating the little device from the warmth of my bag, I thought about the irony of such technology pressed to service while laying on the ground. Rain was everywhere, and some of it heavy. It was clear there would be no avoidance. I’d run out of food before I’d run out of rain. No lazy camp coffee sippin’ today. There was nothing to do but face the elements.
In the pre-dawn darkness, gear was packed-up wet. I cinched up the pull cord on the hood of my jacket, and set off for another hour and a half riding in the chilly wetness back home. With the rain dripping off my nose, I knew I’d look back to this moment on those dry, dusty, 100+ degree days, and I’d be glad for the experience.
Way to put a positive spin (pun intended) on the rainy weather.
It really wasn’t too bad. I really missed my camp coffee sippin’, and I have a mess to clean up, but I’ve certainly been more miserable in horrible heat.
Glad to see you got to get in an over-nighter. Don’t you wish you could “bottle up” some of that cool moist weather and save it for this coming Summer? We’re still getting some of that solid variety of precipitation interspersed with a few consecutive sunny, dry days.
Thanks. Guess what? It’s your turn.
I’m looking forward to my own S24O(s) this year, too. Not today, though. I’d have to build an igloo to sleep in as the snow is falling fast and blowing sideways! Spring is going to get here but not without a “last hurrah” (hopefully last) from Old Man Winter!
I am so reminded of our adventure to Mineral Wells.
You are absolutely right – come summer, we will be begging for some rain 🙂
Absolutely! I’d like to try that again!
Loved reading your post. My first S24O has not materialized yet; still in the thinking stage.
At first it seemed like maybe too much preparation for only one night out. But I learned the preparation can be minimal, and one little night can be a HUGELY refreshing getaway.
Way to go Chris! I’m beginning to wonder if I need to do one of those this summer.
Of course you do, but maybe even before summer!
Our low temperature, last night, was 8 degrees F, here in Denver. That, and the 8 inches of snow, really make me envy you your trip! Ah, well, good weather will be here, eventually…
Sounds like it is time to make preparations in Denver. But hurry, because spring is racing toward you.
Man I wish for this kind of camping soon but 30° and snow doesn’t cut it yet. But soon. Thanks for sharing.
Just the sort of trip I’m looking forward to, even with the rain. Rain…which would be an improvement over how things have been lately here; all precipitation is still of the white, fluffy variety (or, the white, icy, stinging variety).
Mike M. noticed you haven’t blogged since December. Got a little worried so had to investigate. Good to see camping season is here. (Maybe not this week though.) Hope all is well with you guys.