Daily Miles: 15
Total Miles: 209
Well, we decided to head out today. Not because the weather forecast was good, but more because we were getting antsy to leave McDermitt. The motel we stayed in probably ranks in the bottom three (possibly the absolute worst) of any motel we’ve stayed at while hiking. So, it didn’t feel like we had a comfortable place (no heat with temperatures in the 20s) to stay, and we were getting tired of eating at the casino cafe.
So, after going to breakfast this morning, we decided we would head out. We packed up and left by 9:45am. When we left, the temperature was only 37 degrees, but the sky was mostly clear and it didn’t feel too bad.
We had a lot of paved and dirt road miles when we left, so we were able to keep a good pace and warm ourselves up.
As the day went on, the sky started to fill up with grey clouds and it would get windy at times. We could see it raining or snowing off in the distance, but luckily it didn’t seem to be coming at us. We did see a few flakes of snow and a few bits of hail, but nothing to actually get us wet.
After skirting around some mountains for about four hours, our route finally took a turn and we started to climb into the mountains. The climbing got steep towards the end and we got back up over 6,000 feet.
We ended up stopping early today (around 5:15pm), because we were descending to a little ravine where we could find a few spots to camp that were pretty protected from the wind. Also, if we kept going, we were going to gain another 1,000 feet of elevation and end up on top of a ridge. That definitely didn’t sound good given the expected temperatures tonight.
By the time we stopped, the temperature was already below freezing, and we don’t expect the overnight temps to be more than 25 degrees. So, our main concern for the night was to find the warmest spot possible to camp.
We got our new tent set up without much problems. As we were getting ready to head to bed, it started to snow/hail in earnest. It is nice to feel enclosed in a tent on a night like tonight. We are hoping that the tent will also keep us a bit warmer.
We are all expecting that it will be pretty miserable getting going in the freezing temperatures tomorrow morning. We all bought hand warmers in town today, so we are already planning to get those into our gloves in the morning.
The forecast for tomorrow has a chance of rain and snow, similar to today. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will avoid any really wet weather. After tomorrow, the chance of precipitation goes away, even though we still have a few more really cold nights to get through.
We hadn’t expected cold temperatures like this so early in the trip, but it looks to be temporary which is comforting.