Boulder Campground, Jasper National Park
We cooked up a soup with pastina stars and chicken. Barb and I were huddled around our little stove trying to form a wind break, and focused completely on ourselves and the icy, wet wind. After a most welcome hot meal, we stuffed the dirty pot and spoons into a plastic baggy, added that mess to our food bag, and hoisted everything up into the bear cache. We vowed to clean it tomorrow. The thought of going to the river and freezing while scouring a pot was too miserable to contemplate.

Barb had the idea to take one of our emergency foil blankets and insert it in between the tent and the tent fly. “Maybe that will break some of this wind and keep more heat in the tent. We have another emergency foil blanket in case we need to add one on top of our sleeping bag the way we did in Alaska.”

After we finished this task in the driving rain, we crawled into our tent cold, mud-splattered and dispirited. We snuggled together under our covers like baby bunnies.

As I write these notes, the rain pelts our tent and the wind rattles the extra foil layer. I can hear the wind start high in the valley behind us, a roaring through millions of pine needles, a one note symphony that rises in volume as it approaches. Then the trees around us snap against each other, creak and moan as they bend and twist. The roaring overwhelms everything as it hits the tent which bends and sways while the nylon fly flaps against the tent and pulls against the pegs that secure it in the ground.

Along with the wind comes thunder and lightning. The deep rumbling starts high in the mountains behind us and rolls over us like an errant steam locomotive.

What will we do tomorrow if this storm continues? How can we possibly hike in the face of such weather here in the valley and high above in Nigel Pass where it will certainly be worse? I doubt we have the clothes to stay warm and I know the footing will be purely dangerous.