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Spotted Bear Alternate: Early in the morning, I got a spectacular view of the Chinese Wall. The light casted a deep orange glow on the crown of the wall, giving it an audacious appearance. It was a hazey day—due to some nearby wildfires—causing the mountain ranges beside the wall to look even more endless and heavenly.
Hiked over 30 miles today; felt super in the zone. I set up camp at Dean Lake and noticed myself feeling nervous. I went from camping with a big group of people to being completely alone the following night. I normally didn’t mind, yet the area I hiked through and camped at was a burn area which gave it an eerie feel.
The gusts of winds reminded me of when my tent collapsed in the basin which added more nervousness. I said to myself, “As long as it doesn’t rain, I’ll be fine.” I didn’t want to put my rainfly on because that was the exact reason my tent collapsed; it formed a wind sail and shredded my tent as it tried to hold up through the severe wind. Regardless of there being no signs of rain coming, a lightning storm formed just shortly after I got in my tent.
I felt so grateful when another thru-hiker came down to the campsite. I told him I would really appreciate his presence with me tonight and asked if he would be willing to camp with me. He said, “Absolutely!” Sometimes, it was more than enough to know that I could share a tent with someone if I got scared. It never came down to me asking, but I was very close.
The entire night, the wind whistled through the burnt trees and through the crevices of my tent. The rain pattered loudly on my rain fly as my tent was collapsing on top of me, swaying in every direction. I was convinced the stakes would rip out and the wind would lift me up. But, I was able to fall asleep knowing that someone was near. I energetically thanked him for being there with me.