January 5, 2013Destinations: Top of Basin
Woke up this morning to a bustle of activity all around. The word on the streets is that a storm is heading in and it looks pretty bad. Tents were coming down quicker than you could say “Jack Robinson.” (By the way does anyone know exactly what that means. What does Jack Robinson have to do with speed?) In less than an hour the campground was almost deserted. In all the frenzy we even decided to start packing up ourselves. For us, from when we start packing to when we pull off can sometimes take as long as an hour or two. This gave us plenty of time to consider where we actually thought we were going. Driving out of Big Bend was not a quick one, two, three and there you go. Just getting to the north entrance would take us an hour, and then the drive to find accommodations probably another couple of hours, at least. Then there was to consider that once we did get to an area with hotels, we would probably be right in the mix of things with the storm, along with every other driver on the road and may have trouble finding a place to stay. One thing you probably have figured out about us is that we don’t move too quickly on decisions. Maybe our sluggish decision making saved us a fate of sitting stranded in a cold vehicle along side the highway, but after packing everything up and getting ready to tear down the camper we changed our minds and decided to stick it out on top of the mountain. Sounded like the best option but we were definitely not prepared for what was in store for us.
Around 11am the first signs of the clouds started to move their way in. There was definitely an eerie feeling as the mountain top slowly began to disappear. If you have ever read the book “Langoliers” then you can appreciate the feeling. We decide to take a walk before the storm hits, and noted by Andrew’s attire you can see that there has definitely been a drop in temperature. Walking did get the blood flowing but with consequences. As the warm sweat cooled against our skin, even our bones started to feel the effects.
Back in the camper was not much better. The temperatures had really dropped and the cloud cover was so low and damp it penetrated everything from the ground up. Saying it was cold does just not even begin to describe what we felt. We were both decked out with as many layers as we could possibly create, snuggled under the massive down sleeping bag side by side, and still we shivered so hard our teeth chattered together, and that was with the generator running and our little portable heater on full blast. We even contemplated camping it out in the women’s bathroom, as it had a small space heater in there and provided at least some resemblance of heat. Needless to say it was a very early night for us.
The next morning we awoke to the most beautiful “Winter Wonderland.” It was still cold…..darn cold. But it was absolutely beautiful knowing you were on top of mountain in the middle of the desert surrounded by SNOW!