Ever tried reasoning with the wind? Here’s a tip: don’t, because you can’t.
That is exactly what I was trying to do on the trail and it was not working. The meteorologists had called it wrong again. According to them, we would have winds of 12-13 miles in the morning, 20-30 miles in the afternoon, while some areas along the coast might get up to 60 mph winds later in the day. These were more like 80 mile winds on steroids smacking me around effortlessly. Thankfully I was not hiking along a cliff otherwise the results could be disastrous.
Meanwhile, I was not the only one struggling. Birds were having a tough time controlling their flight too. Two swallows narrowly missed crashing into my head. This would make quite an interesting story for the emergency room crew. I can picture them in a break-room, “Remember the time this guy was wheeled into the hospital with two swallows impaled in his forehead?” If I didn’t know better, I’d accuse the swallows of drunk flying.
Meanwhile, snot was doing a salmon run up one nostril and sliding across and taking off for ports unknown along the other cheek. I had wisely tied the hat down but my clothes were flapping like renegade flags and the straps on my daypack were beating together like thunder. I called my logistical support team, my wife at home, to check on the weather for me. She reported that the forecast had not changed.
About an hour earlier, at 7:30 AM I began my hike in Morgan Territory Regional Preserve. The temperature at the trailhead was 48 degrees but I hoped to warm up quickly as the trail climbed. Based on the forecast, the morning would be cold but bearable, but conditions would get worse as the day progressed. A quick early hike seemed plausible.
Unfortunately, the higher I climbed, the colder and windier it got. Within minutes my eyes and nose started running and did not stop until I was safely back inside the car a few hours later. The plan was to hike a total of 11 miles along the Diablo Trail. This was going to be section 4 of 6 of the 30-odd mile long Diablo Trail. I would begin on the Diablo Ridge Trail along Morgan Territory Road and head out 5.5 miles towards Old Finley Road and turn back at the intersection of Black Hills and Sulphur Spring trails.