I didn’t need a weather forecast. The closer to the summit, the worse the storm became. It was a balmy 67 degrees just an hour ago when I left the valley. Figgered I’d get a room in town at the top of the pass. Turns out the place was a ghost town founded in the early 1900’s. The area was discovered in 1776 by Franciscan priests on their way to California. During the Civil War a group of soldiers got caught in a snow storm and some of them died and were buried there. That’s why it’s called Soldier Summit.

The storm really picked up and turned into a blizzard. There was one gas station in town but it was closed til morning so I parked there to sit it out. Checked my supplies: blankets, couple of sleeping bags, plenty of food, propane heater, some books to read, mp3 player… (gotta have tunes…) even a little weed and some beer… hahaa… all set.

It was snowing hard by the time it got dark with a wind chill factor below freezing. It got so cold the propane heater stopped working. Great… and I couldn’t cook either. Welp, trail mix and dark chocolate to kill the hunger pangs til morning. It’s freezing and icicles started forming on the inside of the top from condensation. When the batteries on my toys froze and there was nothing to do I tried playing guitar. Hahaa… but the tips of my fingers froze up too so that was out. Wrapped myself up like a mummy and chanted my favorite mantras to pass the time. I was tired of thinking, doesn’t seem to get me anywhere. I slept for about three hours. Kept waking up thinking it was sunrise.

Sunrise finally came but the gas station was still closed. There was no way in or out until the road was plowed. I’m gonna try to never do this again, sucks being cold. That’s how most peeps die outdoors, they freeze to death. Even in the sleeping bag it was freezing. My water froze so when I got thirsty I ate some snow. Sprinkled it with orange Tang or instant coffee depending on the mood.

The plow finally came through. I was just about to go pee and the plow buried the van in four feet of snow covering the side door. Hahaa… great… and the friggin’ door was frozen shut. Oh yeah… did I tell ya… I had to pee. Gave the side door a good shove and it opened to a wall of snow so I dug a small path and carved out a bathroom and peed there. The pee turned to ice before hitting the ground and looked like little yellow ice-cubes. Started laughing my ass off and someone yelled, “Are you alright in there?”