Monday, September 30, 2013

Nights 271 and 272

Hi and welcome back!

Dad and I got home around 1:00 Sunday morning, so we went for our daily hike right away.  When we got back I decided to bivouac, since I was really tired and it takes a little while to set up the tent.  I slept in one of the 20 degree North Face bags, because it was a little breezy and cool.

When I woke up around 9:00 on Sunday (much later than I usually do because of the jet lag) I realized that one side of the sleeping bag lining was hot.  It was because that side was facing the sun, and the sunlight was warming the bag.  I don't usually stay in bed that late, so that's why it seemed so strange.

I planned to get up early and hike this morning, but I didn't wake up until almost 6:30, which felt like 3:30 to me.  Mom and I went all the way up the hill this evening instead.

I don't want to even talk about going back to school after spending the week in Yosemite with the Smileys and their friends.  All day I kept thinking about how last week at this time I was on my way to California.  I'd do anything for it to be then.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Nights 269 and 270

Hi and welcome back!

My dad and I are posting from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.  We left San Jose at 7:30 this morning, so the three hour layover is really our only time to post today.

Thursday night the Smileys had some friends over to the campsite and we had a big campfire.  It was the two of them, their Canadian friend Alex, Jason, who is in Yosemite on his way to Washington state, Brian and Raquelle, and the two French-Canadian guys who were stuck on El Cap earlier this week.

There were also two other people who brought a gourmet s'mores kit their friend from Hawaii gave them.  They were really good.

Nemo Moki 3
Mark and Janelle showed us the raw footage from the climb on Wednesday, and then they premiered their next 50 classics video, from their climb of Mt. Fairweather last spring.  It was probably their best video yet, and I can't wait for it to come out.  I'll send you a link when it does.

Mark was telling us stories about the Mt. Fairweather climb that weren't in the video, and he said that when the pilot came to pick them up on the glacier, the plane was facing the wrong way, so the pilot gave Mark a rope that was attached to the plane, and because he couldn't turn hard enough to get in position, Mark had to hold the rope to help him go in a circle.  Mark's impression of trying to hold the plane back was really funny.

Thursday was our last night in Yosemite, and our last in Mark's tent.  He's sponsored by Nemo Equipment, and the tent he let us use was the Moki 3.  It was actually the one they used on Mt. Fairweather while they were tentbound during a storm, and it was cool to think of all the places it had been.

It was a very nice tent.  It's four season, obviously, and it has an extra large vestibule that you can zip off if you don't need it.  It has doors on both ends, so if you're snowed in at one end you can get out the other.  There are two windows on the top, so if you are in a storm you can look outside without opening a door.  If you want airflow, you can zip in mesh doors and big mesh panels on either side of the tent, or you can open the side panels completely.

On Friday we left Yosemite, and because we drove out a different road than we came in, we saw a lot of evidence from the Rim Fire.  For miles and miles almost all the trees were black, there was no brush on the ground, and it still smelled like burning wood.

Not Yosemite
We had lunch in San Francisco yesterday, then we went to Saratoga Springs to camp.  It was nothing like Yosemite.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Night 268 and Royal Arches Recap

Hi and welcome back!

Mark's Tent (Our Home this Week)
Today's post will be kind of long, because I have a LOT to tell you about.

I was so excited yesterday that I woke up around 5:00, even though Mark said we wouldn't be leaving until around 9:00.  He and Janelle climbed Higher Cathedral Rock on Tuesday and didn't get back to camp until about 8:00, so they needed some sleep.

Sorting Gear
After breakfast (oatmeal and a sip of coffee, which was pretty gross), Mark helped me sort through my gear.  He said you want to take the least amount of gear you can, because every ounce will weigh you down and make you move more slowly.  He took out my harness bag, notebook, the plastic bag I keep my chalk bag in, my multitool, and a few other things.  It didn't look like much, but it was more than a pound. 

Mark Taping my Hands

After that, Mark took athletic tape and made tape gloves for my hands.  Royal Arches is a lot of crack climbing, and the tape was to keep my hands from getting too cut up when I was jamming them in the cracks.

Crack or Chimney?

When we got to the bottom of the climb, we had two starting options, either a crack that was rated 5.8 or a chimney rated 5.6.  I've heard that chimneys are often underrated (especially in Yosemite, according to Mark) and I'd never done one before, but the crack looked really hard, so I decided to do the chimney.

Janelle led the first pitch, which was about 45 feet.  She was actually unable to place any protection for the first 15 feet, so if she fell, she would hit the ground. She's a really good climber, so she didn't fall.

The Chimney

The first 15 feet of the pitch is just two rock walls about three feet apart, then there's a chockstone.  Above that you can place protection between the wall and the chockstone.  Then it was just a bit of hard scrambling to the top of the pitch.  When she got to the top of the pitch, she set up a belay and threw two ropes down for me and Mark.

I started before Mark, and it was hard to get started.  I had to have my left foot on the wall in front of me and my right foot on the wall behind me.  Then I pressed my back against the wall behind me and kind of balanced on my feet and pushed my forearms out to make enough pressure that I could move myself higher and then move my feet up.  When I got to the chockstone, I could rest for a few seconds.  Then it was some rock and actually a tree that I could pull myself up on to reach Janelle.

Mark climbed behind me and "cleaned" the pitch.  That means he removed all of the placements that Janelle had put in while she was climbing.

The next three pitches were 3rd and 4th class scrambling, which means we still needed to use our hands and feet to move up.  In a few places I had to "mantle."  That means I was at the top of a steep scramble, but there were no good footholds, so I had to get my hands on the top and push up.

Janelle Smiley
After the scrambling there was a finger seam that Mark lead climbed. A finger seam is a small crack that you can only fit the tips of your fingers in. I went up after him, and it wasn't too hard for me.  My hands are small, so I could fit most of my hands in.

The finger seam was pitch five, so we were about 300 feet above the ground when we got to the top.  I was a little worried that I would get more scared the higher we went, but the height always seemed the same.  I could look down at the trees below the climb and the Ahwahnee Hotel at the base of the mountain, and it didn't look like I was getting that far away from them.

On pitch seven or eight, there was a hand jam that was a little big for my hands.  I could usually put a fist in the cracks and either squeeze it to make it more secure, or turn it if it was a little wider.  At spots this one was too big for my fist, but too small for a turned fist.  I had to stick in a fist and put my other hand (open) in the crack above the fist.  Then I slid my upper hand down to make them both fit tight.  Thanks to the tape gloves, that really didn't even hurt too bad.

Mark let me clean most of the pitches, and that was a lot of fun.  The climbing we were doing is called traditional or trad climbing, because it was one of the first ways to climb with a rope.  To attach the rope to the wall, we were using cams.  These are spring-loaded devices that have four pieces of metal with teeth on them to bite the rock.  Each piece of metal is attached to a wire, and they are attached to a trigger.  If you pull the trigger, the pieces retract and you can put it in a crack.  When you let go, it expands a little bit and stays there.  The rope is attached to a carabiner on a piece of webbing looped around the cam.

Cams are pretty expensive, so you don't leave them behind.  To clean the route, you pull the trigger to completely retract the pieces.  If the person who went before you made a good placement, you can just pull it out.  If they made a bad placement, or the cam was too big for the crack, it can be really hard or impossible to get it out. Sometimes you have to leave it there.  Thankfully Mark and Janelle made really good placements, so we didn't have to leave anything behind.

Pitch twelve was a 5.10b.  In the gym I climb 5.7 or 5.8, so this was WAY too hard for me.  Most people avoid it by doing a "pendulum swing."  This video isn't us, but it shows what that's like.  The person in that video is being belayed from one side, but I was being belayed by Mark from above and Janelle from below.  Mark controlled how far down I could go, and Janelle controlled how far left I could go.  It took two tries, but I ran across the bare rock and grabbed a little lip that let me pull myself up.  I thought this would be the most fun part of the route, but it turned out to be more hard than fun.

On the next pitch we had to choose between an overhung 5.9 section, or an exposed 5.7 crack.  We picked the crack.  When I was about to start the pitch, Mark told me that this was the last hard part of the climb, which it was.  I didn't fall, but when I was cleaning the route Mark said that if I needed a good handhold and there was a cam placement above me, I could grab it and pull myself up before I removed it.  I only had to do that once on this pitch and three times on the whole climb.

Before we left, Mark also said I could call for a "power belay" if I needed it. That just meant that he would pull on my rope and help me get up the pitch.  I didn't have to ask for that, though.

The next two pitches were a mixture of 5.5 and 5.4, which is really easy.  It was a piece of cake to get to the top from there.

Mark Smiley
It's strange, because on Royal Arches there is no "top."  You get to a certain point and there's a rappel anchor you use to start the descent.  Mark really screamed when we got to the top, and I couldn't believe I'd done it!  From the first day I looked at how hard this climb was, I was almost positive I'd have to turn around early on.  Knowing that the gym where I climb has hard ratings made me feel a little better.  And once I got on the climb and felt what 5.7 in Yosemite was truly like, I felt a lot better.

The real reason I got to the top, though, was Mark and Janelle.  They knew EXACTLY what was up next, so they could tell me how to prepare for it and what kind of climbing I would have to do.  They also taught me an awful lot about how to build good anchors, how to be careful with your rope, how to be alert for rockfall, and to be alert for a rope when it comes down.

As Ed Viesturs says, though, getting to the top is optional.  Getting to the bottom safely is mandatory.  That was playing in my mind while we were on top, because we could see some clouds coming in from two directions.  It looked like here were storm clouds to the south over Glacier Point, and also to the west over Middle Brother.

There was only a 20% chance of rain in the forecast, but as I learned from the guys in the campsite behind us, even 10% can mean a storm.  They were caught on the Nose of El Capitan for two days due to horrible storms with lightning, hail and rain.  We met them as they were unpacking their stuff, and they said for awhile they didn't think they were going to make it.   A bolt of lightning missed them by only a few hundred feet, their portaledge broke, and they had to share a sleeping bag when it got too cold!

Starting the Rappel

That story was in my mind, and I was scared that we would get caught.  Mark and Janelle were both aware of the clouds, so we tried to rappel as quickly a we could.

It was hard for Mark to go too quickly, because we were roped together.  I'm not afraid of heights, but coming over the lip the first time was horrifying.  I was looking 1,400 feet down to the ground.  And because the rope had to go over a lip of rock, I was afraid it would break. The lip was pretty rounded, though, and Mark uses Sterling Ropes, which I know are really, really good.

I got used to rappeling after awhile, and once we were about halfway down I started to have fun.

My dad took the picture called "Starting the Rappel" from the bottom of the climb.  If you zoom in and look at the edge of the rock just about in the middle of the picture, the tiny dot is me and Mark.

The descent took us about an hour and forty minutes to get all the way down.  I think it was nine rappels in all, but there was also a lot of waiting. Once we got to the end of each rappel, we had to anchor ourselves in.  Each rappel point had two permanent rings bolted into the wall. We each had a webbing tether that we hooked from our harness to the anchor while we got the rope set up for the next rappel.  When it was ready we clipped into the rope and unclipped from the wall.

For some of the rappels there were ledges with sturdy trees on them.  The trees would have webbing wrapped around them with rappel rings on the webbing.  In those cases we used those instead of bolted rings.

One of the times we used a tree anchor, the rope came over the edge and knocked loose some rock.  One piece was about the size of a football, and I think it fell almost 100 feet. Mark screamed "rock!" because there was a party of three guys from Scotland below us.  We only had a split second to get out of the way, and it was coming right at us.  Mark and I jumped to the left and Janelle moved to the right.  It seemed like it would land between us, but it hit Janelle's arm and then hit her leg.

Janelle Checking Her Leg at the Bottom
I was kind of unaware of what had happened, because I was trying my best to get out of the way.  Then we realized she had been hit.  In a few minutes, though, she was ready to move down again.

On all the other rappels Janelle would go first, but on the last two Mark and I went first and Janelle limped down the wall after us.  We were really lucky.

Back on the Ground
Dad was waiting for us on the ground where he had watched the whole descent through binoculars.  He said he had seen the rock come off the ledge, but then he didn't see us for a few minutes.  He was pretty worried that someone had been hit.

My Hands after the Climb
When we got down I was exhausted. My feet hurt, my hands hurt, and I was ready to rest.  We got the shuttle to the Yosemite Facelift presentation.  They were showing a movie about the second ascent of Wings of Steel on El Capitan, and then there were talks by Chris McNamara and my friend Mark Hudon!

The auditorium was packed when we got there, and the only seats were right up front.  While we were waiting for the movie to start, we overheard someone yell "Hudon!" to someone sitting right behind us.  We turned around and realized that Mark happened to be sitting two feet away.  He's sort of a legend in Yosemite, and he comments on the blog pretty often, so it was really cool to be able to meet him.  He was a really nice guy, too.

I crawled into the tent about 10:00 and fell asleep right away.  I think yesterday was probably the best day of my life.  I definitely want to start doing some more big wall climbing, but maybe things where you can hike down the back instead of rappeling down.

I'm sorry this was so long.  Thanks for reading and thanks again Mark and Janelle!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Royal Arches Post 3 - Success!

LRC and the Smileys successfully summited Royal Arches!  I'll let him tell you all about it the next time he posts.

Thanks SO MUCH to Mark and Janelle Smiley for safely seeing him up and (more importantly) down!

Royal Arches Post 2

OK, so posting from a phone with two bars isn't as simple as I thought...

To pick up where I was unable to write more/edit, I'm about 1,000' to the left of the route, and I'm waiting for Lyle and the Smileys to emerge from behind the trees in between my spot and the lower portion of the route.

Stay tuned...

Night 267

Hi and welcome back!

This is LRC's dad, your guest blogger for the day.

LRC, Mark Smiley, and his wife Janelle are making their way up Royal Arches as I write this.  Cell coverage in Yosemite Valley is spotty at best, and I'm trying to post from my phone, so I won't be able to upload any photos for the time being.

After waking up at 6:30 and having some breakfast, Mark and Lyle sorted the gear they would need for the day while Janelle shot some video footage.  We left the Smiley's site in Upper Pines Campground about 9:00, and they roped up for the first pitch--a 5.6 chimney rumored to be the crux of the route--shortly after 10:00.

Janelle led the first pitch, followed by Lyle and then Mark.  At that point they disappeared from view.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nights 265 and 266 - First in California

Hi and welcome back!

My mom sent me this picture from the backyard while dad and I were on the plane. She said it was weird not having the tent out there when she woke up.
No Tent

We left home around 10:00 yesterday so we would have time to get some last minute things at REI and be at the airport by 1:00.  We flew from Philadelphia to Atlanta, and then we had a four hour layover.  From there it was five hours from Atlanta to San Jose.

I only slept about 15 minutes on the plane, even though it felt like 1:00 a.m. when we landed.  We rented a car in San Jose and drove about two hours to Santa Nella.  It was only supposed to be about an hour and 25 minutes, but there was an accident, and we sat in traffic for awhile before we decided to turn around and find a different route.

Near Le Grand

We finally got the tent set up and got into our sleeping bags a little before 2:00, which felt like 5:00 to me!  As I was trying to fall asleep, I realized that almost exactly 24 hours before I woke up at home and went for a last hike in Pennsylvania.  It was a LONG day.

Today dad and I left the campground about 7:30.  The drive from Santa Nella is about three hours.  For the first hour or so, it was just farmland on either side of the road, with some mountains in the distance up ahead.  Then the farmland turned into rolling hills, and that turned into pretty tall, steep-sided mountains.

The Yosemi-Tea Coffee Shop in Mariposa
We were looking for a place to get breakfast, because we hadn't really passed any towns, when we found Mariposa.  One of the people we talked to said the Rim Fire wasn't far from town, and it was pretty hard to breathe here before it was finally put out.  

Right now we're in a diner in Mariposa, and we decided to post because they have WiFi.  From here it's about 45 minutes into the park and an additional half hour or so to the valley.  We'll tell you more and send more pictures once we get to the campsite.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Nights 263 and 264

Hi and welcome back!

Last night my dad and I went climbing to get some video footage of me for Mark Smiley's video. We were going to put one of the videos on here but the files were all about 200 MB, so we couldn't upload them. 

Today I was reading an article about the John Muir Trail in one of my grandfather's old issues of National Geographic. I was looking at a picture of John Muir in Yosemite and I noticed that behind him was Royal Arches! I thought that it was pretty cool that there was a picture of Royal Arches in National Geographic.

Also today my dad and I packed up all of our clothing, camping gear, and climbing gear that we'll need for Yosemite.  We were able to fit everything into a duffle bag, a backpack, and our two carry on backpacks.

I'm going to try to post every day in Yosemite if there's cell coverage inside the park.  If not, I will post in San Francisco next Friday.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Nights 261 and 262

Hi and welcome back!

Today we made reservations at campsites in Santa Nella and Saratoga Springs in California.  Because we're flying into San Jose late on Monday (and leaving early on Saturday), we tried to stay close to the airport.  We'll drive to Yosemite on Tuesday, climb on Wednesday, explore the park on Thursday, and spend some time in San Francisco on Friday before we fly home.

We started packing all of our stuff today.  Because we were getting our clothing together, we looked at the weather for next week.  For some reason we thought the temperatures would be pretty warm, 80s during the day and 40s at night.  It's actually colder than that--50s and 60s during the day and low 20s at night.  I think it's because we will be pretty high up (the valley is about 4,000 feet).

Even though it's just late September, that means we'll have to pack down jackets and other warm gear.  I'm really excited!

Yosemite Valley: Royal Arches is the curved section on the left side

Thanks for reading! 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Nights 259 and 260

Hi and welcome back!

The other day I got an email from Mark Smiley that he had just come out with a new video on one of his 50 classic climbs.  It was about the Moose's Tooth in Alaska, and sometime this month he's also coming out with the video for their climb of the Carpe Ridge on Mt. Fairweather (also in Alaska).  The Moose's Tooth video is really cool if you get a minute to watch it.

I woke up around 1:00 on Wednesday morning freezing in my 40 degree bag.  I wanted to move into the 20 degree bag, but I felt the nylon on the inside, and realized that it was just too cold to sleep in as it was.  I unzipped the 40 degree bag, slipped it in the 20 degree bag, and waited for the inside to warm up.  I had to wait quite a few minutes until it was warm enough for me to get in just the 20 degree bag, but then that kept me plenty warm until morning.

It's less than four days until dad and I fly to San Jose.  We'll get there around 9:00 Monday night, find a campground to sleep, and then drive to Yosemite in the morning.  If anybody knows a good campground in or near San Jose, I'd appreciate it if you let us know!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nights 257 and 258

Hi and welcome back!

Our Climbing Partner
I forgot to tell you about the spider we saw while we were climbing on Saturday!  Some of us were bouldering, and I almost put my hand on a hold, but just before I did I saw there was a spider lying across it.  At first dad thought it was fake, but then somebody touched it, and it moved.

C-man didn't have a ride home from climbing, so he slept over at my house Saturday night.  Once we got home we watched The Sandlot (which is a great movie).  We both fell asleep while we were watching, but I woke up around 8:40 and went out to the tent.  Dad woke C-man up when the movie was over and he came out to join me.

It was very chilly Saturday night.  The low temperature even went below 40.  I actually wore a sweatshirt to bed, because the air and the nylon lining of my bag were so cold.

Here's a picture of the cake from Saturday. The tent had a little button, and it lit up inside when you pressed it.  There was even a silhouette of someone inside the tent when the light went on.

Sunday night was also quite cold.  With Sunday being the first day of fall, I think the warm weather is over for good.  I'm really looking forward to things cooling off!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Nights 255 and 256

Hi and welcome back!

On Thursday evening, it poured a few hours before bedtime.  Because I hadn't guyed out the back and front of the fly, it was up against the mesh of my tent, which let some of the water through the fly and into the tent.  Dad and I weren't home for most of the time it rained, but thankfully my mom noticed that it was about to storm and brought my sleeping bags in.

When I got home and went out to check the tent, there was a large puddle on the floor.  My hat and sleeping pads were soaked, so I wrung out the hat and put everything on the outside of the tent to dry (at that point it was clear and windy).  When I went out to sleep, the sleeping pad and hat were better but still wet.

I still made myself wear the hat to sleep, and unfortunately it was pretty chilly overnight.  I already had a little bit of a cold, and I woke up on Friday with a cough, too.

Yesterday a few of my friends and I went rock climbing and zip lining.  We had to climb up the rock tower, which was more than 30 feet tall, to get to the zip line.  The zip line went about 100 yards from the top of the tower to the other end of the line.

They also had some slacklines where we went.  My friend C.S. (you might remember him as the one who climbed to the top of the tallest tree in our back yard), who I don't think had ever been on a slackline before, was able to walk all the way across without a training line. He even jumped from one line to another and kept his balance!

Thanks for reading!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Nights 253 and 254

Hi and welcome back!

Here are some of the first red leaves of the fall.  We saw these on the hill while we were hiking on Thursday.

Who dung it?  Later during the same hike, we found these droppings.  We know that they're not from a dog or coyote, and I don't think they're from a deer.  They also weren't from a small animal.  I think it might have been a bear.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Nights 251 and 252

Hi and welcome back!

On Tuesday morning dad and I hiked about ten minutes earlier than usual. You would be surprised by how much difference in light there can be in just ten minutes.  When we got into the woods we couldn't see anything, but after a few minutes our eyes adjusted to the darkness, and we could see a tiny bit.

We were able to manage for awhile, until we got to the turn toward the top of the hill.  My dad said that we had
passed it, so we went back.  I used my trekking pole to tap the edge of the trail and look for the small clearing that would be the turn.  It turned out we actually hadn't passed it.  It was really intesting trying to hike when it was completely dark!

La Sportiva Solution
A couple of weeks ago when dad and I talked to Mark Smiley on the phone, he asked if I had rock climbing shoes.  I told him I do, but I'm outgrowing them, so I was about to get a new pair.  He mentioned that he has a La Sportiva sponsorship and said he could get me a free pair of shoes.  I was looking at Sportivas anyway, so he requested a pair of Mythos rock shoes for me.

When they were delivered yesterday, we realized they had sent me a pair of the Solutions, which are actually better!  I can't wait to try them out!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Nights 249 and 250

Hi and welcome back!

Greetings to the new reader from 

My birthday is tomorrow so yesterday as an early birthday present my parents gave me a slackline. A slackline is a little like a tightrope, but it's about two inches wide and it's not as tight. It came with a training line that you put above the slackline and hold onto to make it a little easier. After my hike today and after school I went on it. I have a feeling that this weekend when I don't have school I'm going to spend most of my time on it because it's so much fun.

Also yesterday our family went for a bike ride. We rode along a river on which people go whitewater rafting, but for some reason we didn't see any rafters.

We didn't see bears here, either
Taking a Picture by the River

At one point we saw a single track path that led to a little beach along the river. There we had some snacks and relaxed. 

When were about to leave J.A.C. found a rusted old railroad spike (the path we took was in between the river and railroad tracks) and kept it.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Nights 247 and 248

Black Bear and Cubs (not my picture)
Hi and welcome back!

The other night my mom was coming home from tennis, and she saw two black bears on the edge of a field. The spot where she saw them is only about two minutes from our house, so when she got home we got in the car and drove back to look for them.

We passed the field, but we didn't see anything.  We did notice a dirt road that led around behind the field, so we drove back for a look.  There wasn't anything there, though.

Going all the way up the hill in the summer means there are a LOT of spiderwebs across the trail.  My dad always goes ahead of me, so he usually gets all the spiderwebs, and he said most of them are at face level.  We've had as many as 12 in one hike, but I would say we average about nine.  We try to avoid the ones that we see, but if it's dark we wind up walking into a lot of them.

Thursday night was the lowest overnight temperature since May!  At the coldest point it was 42 degrees, which for this time of year is really cold.  Six months ago, though, I would have called that an extremely warm night.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Nights 245 and 246

Hi and welcome back!
Sunrise on Tuesday

On Tuesday we started hiking in the morning again, and we got to the top in about 12 minutes.  It felt good to hike in the morning, because it was something to look forward to right when I woke up.  I also like seeing the sun rise as we're walking.

Got Tired of this Tooth

On Monday I had a loose tooth that was bothering me, so when we got to the top of the hill on Tuesday morning I decided to pull it out.  It didn't hurt too much, which surprised me.  When I lost the same tooth on the other side of my mouth, it hurt quite a bit.

In order to hike, shower, get ready for school and be at school by 7:15, I have to get up a little after 5:00.  I've been adjusting to it pretty well, though.  It's hard waking up, but it's still easier than I thought it would be.  The first day of school (Tuesday), I was afraid I wouldn't get up in time to hike before school, but I did.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Nights 243 and 244

Hi and welcome back!

Around 4:30 this morning I was woken up by some thunder and lightning.  I tried to fall back asleep, but I couldn't, because it was so loud and bright.  After about 10 minutes, it started to rain lightly.  Over a few minutes, though, it evolved until it was pouring.

The rain continued for about 20 minutes, but after it stopped the thunder and lightning got very bad.

I got a little scared, because first there was lightning that seemed very close judging from how bright it was.  By counting between the lightning and thunder I figured out that it was within three quarters of a mile.  Eventually it started to move east, so the lightning wasn't as bright, and the thunder was quieter.

I stayed completely dry thgough all of it, which surprised me after all the rain. This afternoon it rained again, and when I checked the tent I noticed a good sized puddle on the top of the fly.  When I went inside to push on the fly and dump the puddle, I saw that under the RidgeRest was some water.

Tomorrow is the first day of school, so dad and I are going to try to start going all the way up the hill in the mornings like we used to.  Also, I'm going to start posting earlier in the day.

Thanks for reading!