Day 7 continued

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    Posted by Bison and JJ ( on July 11, 2005 at 21:28:58:

    In Reply to: Day 7 posted by Bison and JJ on July 11, 2005 at 21:26:50:

    We continued on the road, stopping briefly at Elk Creek to watch a couple of Black Bears in the deadfall. There were rumors of another bear by Petrified Tree road but we didnít see it. Lunch time found us in the Chittenden Road parking lot at the base of Mt. Washburn. We ate lunch in the parking lot overlooking Antelope Creek drainage before hiking up Mt. Washburn. There was a good amount of snow still on the road to the fire lookout and on one occasion we had to trudge through some snow pack. Every time I have been to the top of Mt. Washburn the wind has been ferocious. Today was no exception. It was really howling. Inside the lookout there was a group of about 10 people (including JJ and me) enjoying the view. To the south and southwest you could see that it was storming, rain and lighting were evident. The storms were headed towards Mt. Washburn. JJ had commented on the hike up that the only other time she had been to the top it had hailed on her. Again, today was no exception. Rain, snow, and hail pelted the lookout tower. At one point, when the weather was calmer a couple from Canada had begun hiking down the mountain. They had only been gone 5 minutes when one of the storms rolled over Mt. Washburn complete with a substantial amount of rain and graupel, but mostly lots of lightening. The couple made the smart choice and literally came running back to the lookout. They literally ran as hard as they could to get back to shelter and the woman collapsed as they entered the tower. She was fine after catching her breath, but it was definitely a scary situation for the two of them. We watched one storm after another roll in from the south for about 45 minutes before we decided it was safe to descend the mountain. When we were about a third of the way down yet another storm came rolling in and rained on us. Fortunately there was no lightening; just rain, and we had our rain gear on. We arrived at the parking lot, a little wet, but safe. This is a picture of one of the storms rolling in. I donít know if you can get a feel for the bad weather or not.

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