Thursday, September 14th, 2017
I poke my head out of the tent in the morning to find a young couple sleeping in the dirt halfway between my tent and and the British guy's. Probably out late, drunk, and needed a place to crash. They get up and leave without a word. I say my goodbyes to the British motorcycle guy and Stan the cyclist, then I'm on the road towards Canyonlands. It's a fun drive up there, lots of twists and turns.
I flash my card at the gate (woohoo another $15 saved) and go to the visitor center, I'm all set to ask for a back-country permit but then I get a good look to the west...
Those clouds have all the trappings of a nasty storm. Change of plans, I ride back out of the park to a nearby BLM campground and get a site. I've just finished setting up camp and tightening everything down when the storm hits, and it's a doozie: strong winds, hail, and rain. I'm lucky I didn't get caught out in this on the motorcycle, it would have been painful and even dangerous.
I'm kind of surprised my tent didn't rip from the beating it took from the hail. When it subsides I get out and poke around. The temperature has dropped at least 30 degrees, everything is wet and covered in white pellets. It seems like instant winter.
Round 2 starts 30 minutes later. This time no hail, but equally strong winds and driving rain; thunder and lighting. The lighting is touching down really close. Well, this day is shot. Going to be dinner in the tent and an early bedtime.