to the Torngat Mountains
15: Thursday, August 23
The strongest winds yet
More and more, I
feel the need to spend time alone
I get along with everyone
in the group, but I need my solitude.
The strongest winds yet came roaring through the valley from
the west today. They started as we struck camp, and mounted
as we hiked back to the landing strip some two and a half
or three hours away. Topping out on a crest became hazardous
sometimes with the sharp, sudden gusts.
We arrive at the strip early in the afternoon to find Vinh's
tent pitched on the flat. By now, the wind has made walking
on level ground quite difficult, and I notice Vinh's tent
deforming dangerously in the bluster. We hunker down behind
two huge boulders and set up a camp kitchen, waiting for the
wind to settle down before putting up our tents. The trout
fillets I cut this morning are quickly cooked on a large,
flat rock and devoured. I have never enjoyed fish as much
as I have in the past few days.
By 6:00 p.m., the wind has shown no sign of abating. We wearily
resign ourselves to pitching one tent at a time, taking care
to anchor the guypoints with heavy rocks stacked in piles.
One of the poles in Vinh's tent breaks in the wind. Fortunately,
we have a spare tent. I am extremely concerned to see my tent
deform and almost flatten in the gusts of 80 or 90 km/h, and
spend a long time adjusting and readjusting lines and fly,
all the while thinking of my four-season tent sitting in the
closet at home (idiot!). Too tired to bother with our evening
meal, Lisette and I slip into our sleeping bags and prepare
for a fitful night. The tent deforms alarmingly, and I fear
I will get little sleep.
16: The flight home
travelogue is part of the subside travelzine