Sure, these storms are mine and they are frightening, but this tale happens to be about a real storm. Ya know, the kind that crashes a party with frozen pellets, rain bullets and an acoustical display of electrical fury.
It only takes one small decision to create a cluster fuck, and usually only clear in hindsight. I am torn whether we should have set up camp, only to have woken up to snowfall the next morning, or continued on our journey to find the unmarked trailhead to Delano Peak. We chose to continue our drive up Big John Flat road, crossing several creek crossings, before locating the trailhead. Our chance of setting up camp was waning fast. We turned around and started our descent in search of dry ground when the mountain rumbled, saying How dare you leave me!
Within a couple miles of the Cedar City exit there were a few drops of rain on the windshield. We agreed there was no chance of setting up camp before the storm. The weather forecast updated to 80% chance of rain in Beaver (yeah, we could have just told you that), 20% chance of rain in Cedar City and zero chance of rain in Toquerville. Fine. We're camping in Toquerville.
The description of Toquerville Falls reads "an oasis in the desert that is best found by truck, SUV, or ATV. The road is rocky and rough, but well worth the trip". It's hard to say what conditions rate as rocky and rough until you've driven the experience. Jeepers-creepers, let's just say the road to Toquerville Falls is cousin to Rocky Gap Road in the Red Rock National Park. Once we reached the Falls, it truly was a beautiful place to camp.
The plan was to set up our tents fast and hunker down for the night. No sooner than pulling out our tent bags, it starts raining. Fuck! Gusts of wind whirl fine dirt in the air. I lay out my tent footprint and weight down the corners with firewood. As I turn around to grab my tent bag, the winds blows my footprint away. I recover it and lay it out again, this time securing the corners with rocks. Haha! I’m smarter than the average camper.
I digress. This task is going to take some effort and so I go searching for my rain jacket.
And chase it did! All the way back to Nevada. The storm did not let up until we passed the exit to Valley of Fire, which is less than an hour from Las Vegas. I made it home just before the stroke of midnight. This camping princess sits defeated. I can feel the fine dirt between my toes and under my fingernails, as I scratch my scalp to the sound of grit. I desire a shower and a comfy bed, but first, I reach in the cooler and pull out an ice-cold beer. Defeat doesn’t taste so bad after all.