Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Diary Day 4: Frozen to Death in Toiyabe Mountains

Ok, I didn't die, but I came pretty close.

Last night we wandered up an old fire road called Stoneberger Canyon at about 7,400 ft altitude. It was a great campsite when we pulled in, around 6:00pm. We pitched camp and ate some food. It seemed like a perfect night was in store. 

Now, I'm no dummy. I packed a 15 degree rated sleeping bag. I even packed a fleece liner in case it got really cold. But nothing could prepare me for this...

By midnight the water in my water bottle had frozen. I was so cold I started hyperventilating... I actually thought this might be it. There was nothing I could do to get warm. On top of that I had to pee but I was afraid that if I got up I would get hypothermia for real. So, I grabbed my heavy duty motorcycle riding jacket and put that over my sleeping bag. It was the only thing that saved me. I had thermals on, a beanie, fleece liner and sleeping bag, covered by my riding jacket. I endured for another 3 hours until I could get up the nerve to pee. Then I finally fell asleep. Here's the ice in my water bottle to prove it:

While we were packing up, an old guy named Greg wandered up the road with his dog. He said he saw us riding up last night and thought we were crazy. Said it's usually snowing up here. He pointed us in the right direction for Petes Peak and we were off to find more hot springs. 

We rode our motorcycles up over the pass, through snow and beautiful trees. And finally came out at Spencer Hot Springs. This was a treat for my cold limbs. I quickly stripped and jumped in!

After our soak we headed into Austin, Nevada, for some gas and grub. We decided tonight we would find a hotel on our way to Elko... A hotel with a nice warm bed, a hot tub, and a shower... Nice. 

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