Bye Bye Brantley Lake

Thirteen thousand five hundred and eight eight. That is double my previous high number of steps in a single day, accordingly my Fitbit says I moved six point five hour miles as well- though I never left my site (until I left my site.)

The wind blew all night, usually it calms, yet it did not calm for the last two nights. I knew the low was twenty eight and that was enough to finally make me break camp.  Part of the issue, is that I spent the first week making camp and solidifying it, yet I planned to take it all down in a day.  Even the last few days, doing as much precursor work without ‘pulling the trigger’ and actually breaking camp. I think I want a smaller camp next time..

I was up promptly at seven, made tea and checked my phone, read last nights post and wanted this one to be different.  Part is the same: I am exhausted and already starting to doze now why typing this, and part is different: I’m not at Brantley State park anymore.  Camp is packed and then I had to make two trips up to the established campground to take out the garbage, one trip with three yellow bags on the hood, the second and finally trip out of the Rocky Bay with my passenger seat on the hood, now in the dumpster. Then I stopped and took a shower.

Oh, a shower, it was a good shower. I’ve had enough dust and wind to last me a lifetime. Like I was saying, I knew the low and decided to leave.. for some reason I didn’t check the rest of the weather for today. It was windy, steady thirty five to forty all day, gust up to fifty five.  Earlier in the day, I was laughing at the wind.  These were the days a month ago that I had to hide from the wind.

Today I doubled my high step count in them. The wind did beat me down though, oh it and taught me not to laugh. At one point so frustrated by the wind, not being able to put one thing down, to be able to open a bag or the trunk to put it into, without it blowing away in the meantime.  Just when for a moment it got the best of my temper, I dropped a bag of paper plates- fifty plates, all downwind twenty yards in the blink of an eye.

Leave no trace. I can’t count how many times I cursed those words today as I chased down one item or an another.  And the tarps. Oh Lord, have mercy on me for the curses I uttered towards those tarps and the wind.  See, fabric in general is pretty thin, and I need the tarps thin to fit in where they need to be packed. However, air, air trapped inside the tarp, is not thin.  It’s actually really easy, to fold a tarp down real nice and thin, you just need to be really neat with it- just like as if you were folding anything else.

In the wind.  A forty five mile an hour wind. To neatly fold a ten by twenty foot tarp, twice. And trying to pack the trunk, while holding it open with my head.. oh Lord, thank you that it’s over.  No more wind.  I need trees, windbreak. No more wind.

So, tonight is my first night at a Walmart.  I made it out of the state park and north to Artesia, NM in time for a Burger King dinner and then the drive over to Walmart.  I just plan to sleep tonight, then head out to the ranger station in Cloudcroft first thing in the morning.

And wait to see if I hear from Blimey tonight.. he and the Kangaroo Rats were playing last night, the rats taking food from my fingers (wild Rats, not cage tamed ones!) That was really cool part of the last couple weeks, if Blimey didn’t make the jump, I might start to think about a full time pet I could adopt. Maybe it’s finally time I could get a dog (as I look around in my car and wonder where my dog would be sitting right now.) Maybe even a cat would fit in easier..

Tomorrow, a drive into the mountains.

Time to rest.

Leave a Reply