Road Camp (521.3) to Bonaparte View Camp (533.0)

8.7 miles

I was lying in my tent trying to get comfortable. It wasn’t easy on the side of the road. There wasn’t too much traffic but I could hear the people talk in their backyard. And then I heard something else.

Thunder. I went out of my tent and looked into the sky: it had changed a lot and the bright blue of the day has given way to some dark clouds. Better to adjust the tent. I pulled the straps of the tentfly a bit tighter and went back inside. Lying on my back I counted the seconds between lightning and thunder. Five. Then four, then three… damn that’s close! Was I in a good place for a thunderstorm? I wasn’t in the trees, next to me was a house and the electrical power line.

Boom! Another lightning strike followed by close thunder. Occasional gusts of wind were shaking my tent. Then it started dripping. Within the next hours my tentfly was soaked and I experienced the heaviest rain I had on this trip so far. And all I could do was hoping for the best. The raindrops grew bigger and bigger and louder crashing onto my tent. Then I realized that it wasn’t only water. Hail was crashing on my tent and I could hear it “ping” on my tentpoles. Would it hold up?

Wrapped into my sleeping bag I listened to the elements go wild and watched my tent standing like a small castle. No water came in and apparently my tentsite selection wasn’t too bad and so I had no puddles around. In my mind I thanked MSR for constructing such a robust tent and congratulated myself for the choice.

It took a while until the rain finally died down and I could turn around to sleep. I was hoping for some morning sun to dry my tent.

The sound of rain woke me up again. Unbelievable! It was 5 am and another thunderstorm was moving around. Helpless I lay in my tent watching everything getting even more wet. Even when the rain finally stopped there was no hope of getting things dried. I got up at 7:30 and spread my soaked gear in the sun on the side of the paved road I would have to walk along. At 8:30 things were halfway dry (except my Ursack that was hanging somewhere outside my tent during the night) and I could take off.

My plan for today was to hike around 10 miles to Bonaparte Lake and have lunch at the resort there. For camping I either wanted to go to the campground or a trail camp halfway up the mountain. The hike was easy going on roads and mostly flatish.

I arrived at the resort for lunch and dumped three Pepsis as well as a Bonaparte Blast Sandwich with Tater Tots. Another few miles and I could make an early camp.

I am worried a bit about my right foot. It hurts since days and it’s gotten worse. Or something is healing. I don’t know yet. It definitely needs some rest. After Oroville I will be hiking into the Pasayten Wilderness which means a huge food carry and a long time between towns and possible bail out options. I want to be 100% fit when I enter this area. Hopefully some days in Oroville will do the job!

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