So apparently posting that you’re in a tent with 40 mph with no explanation causes a bit of an uproar so even though I vowed to never blog about my trip, this might be a bit warranted. So yesterday we woke up at our campsite just under 10,000 feet after a night of pretty high winds. Enough wind to make sleeping difficult, but nothing too crazy. We then proceed to make our way down the ridge which wasn’t hard, just incredibly tiring since it was a constant 6000 foot decent to our planned campsite. Unfortunately everyone else had the same idea and there was no room left in the inn so we hiked an additional half mile to the next site. The wind had been strong afternoon, but we thought it would die down eventually. Yeah…it didn’t. We managed get our tents up, but we had to cook our dinner gargoyled in the dirt between a couple bushes to block our stoves from the wind. After eating and going to bed the wind picked up even more and started gusting at Ludicrous Speed. A couple people decided to bail on the site and try to find shelter elsewhere, although me and someone else in our group stayed and hoped to brave it. After a few hours of the tent making a sound akin to hundreds of obnoxious 4 year olds shaking trash bags in your ear and makes tent stakes pulling out every 30 minutes I opted to move on to the next campsite 3 miles away in hopes of a more restful spot. So here I am, midnight in the middle of the desert with stupid amounts of wind tossing me around like an abused baby doll in a daycare and finally get to this campsite only to find that it wasn’t any less windy than the previous. Meanwhile, I can see multiple pairs of eyes glowing in the light of my headlamp. They were definitely the eyes of a cougar, or a bobcat, or a liger, or April the Giraffe seeking revenge for months of media abuse. In all honesty it was probably a herd of mangy cats,m that are avoiding the foul stench that is their litter box, but the other options sound cooler. Anyway, I hiked another mile further down, this time around 2:30 am and came to another campsite with multiple people camping. Several of which I recognized from some who bailed earlier in the evening in search of more shelter. If the wind of this campsite was on a scale of Lance Stephenson to Hurricane Katrina then it would have been closer to Lance Stephenson blowing on the metaphoric ear that is the desert floor. Instead of setting up my tent and going through that rigamarole again I just cowboy camped off to the side in what I thought was a campsite, but turned out to be a gravel parking lot. The next morning I woke up to a familiar South African voice and looked up to see the rest of my group that I’ve been hiking with (fun fact, not all South Africans look like Morgan Freeman). Turns out that almost everyone bailed from the various campsites along the ridge and had trickled into the spot on the desert floor throughout the night. On the hike out we crossed paths with a local and asked him if these winds were normal. “It’s always windy here, but last night was about as bad as I’ve seen it. I could feel the house shake,” he said. “Yeah, no shit,” I thought. So yeah, as I write this as I eat a banana I found in a styrofoam box under the interstate, I have successfully concluded that I’m not dead. So yeah…yay.