Crane Meadow! On the way to Bernard Lake

Crane Meadow was the first stop on the way to Bernard Lake. It shouldn't have been, Bernard Lake should have been, but faulty 'leading' by our guide, yours truly, led us, after slogging through some impossible areas of fallen trees, to this point, where developing weather made the decision to plant ourselves academic.

That 'developing weather' was an extremely threatening blackness to the south that simply said, "You gonna get it, bucko!" And yes, we did!

Now remember, we are in a burn area... right? Yeah, I know it looks like a forest here, but we are in a small copse of trees in the middle of many acres of standing burned trees. And just in case I should have to translate here, there are here, acres of trees simply looking for an opportunity to fall! Well, they were about to be given that opportunity. The wind began, the rain began, and the wind reached extreme purportions. And the trees, you know, those dead ones, began to fall aroun us adding a real element of 'threat' to this already concerning environment. One fell to the left, then one on our right. Meanwhile we were under the tarp watching the dead ones in our immediate vicinity to see if they were going to take a shot a removing us from the living part of this earth. 'Crash' to the left, and then again; then 'crash' to the right; have we died and gone on to that 'other place'? It certainly seemed so. But no, it gave us a good shower, some crash-bangsand then it was over. Or was it? As it it will turn out, that was just the lead-in to the real show.

All became quiet, which is GOOD! Then the participants in this drama retired tiredly to their respective tents for what was hopefull to be a great night of rest.


About 2am, somewhere near thatz, I'm not sure what, woke me up. At that point, I noticed that to the north there was pretty much constant lightning. Constant lightning? Since I had never seen that before I was amazed, but since there was no thunder, and it seemed a long ways away, who cares. It wasn't long until I DID!

All of a sudden the lightning was closer, and getting closer all the time. Soon it was all around us. Lightning, then the incredible crash of close thunder, then lightning, the incredible crash of close thunder, and on, and on, and on,... finally there was a period of silence, blessed silence, then CRASH!!!!!! the big one, the one without thunder, because it is so damn close there IS no thunder! After that there was no
one that lets you know that 'I am right by your elbow... want to see it agan???"

The rain that accompanied last evening's delights was now lying, around, and under, my, and my goat's, living spaces. The goats were standing in 2-3 inches of water (no lying down here), and my tent was the notable center of a lake, 2-3 inches deep. Needless to say, just about everything was WET! Some stuff did not dry out until returning home. My camera, intermittently during the rest of this trip, ceased to function, I am thinking due to water it may have ingested, and some of the clothes were beyond help, save the washer and dryer.

It could only go uphill from here, eh?




Not completely observable here, but my tent was floating on a lake beneath and on top of my ground cloth. First time for that one.

The goats were standing in water. First time for that one as well.

Contact: The Hiker... or the Goats!