[Update to previous entry: Lessons of the Rain.]
It's 10pm, and I've settled into my tent. I got to Camp Site Alpha about a half hour ago, and everything was just as I had left it. No sign of human intrusion, just snails slithering all over. It wasn't raining, but more rain is expected later in the night.
After a day of intermittent rain, there had been some minor water seepage into the sides of the tent, but the sleeping bags, piled on a high point, had actually dried out a little. My greatest concern was that the sleeping bags not get soaked in tonight's rain, so I consulted with the snails and we put together some technological innovations.
First, I moved the tent to flatter ground a dozen feet away. This put it within line of sight of the road, but since it was night and the road was far away, it didn't matter. In the morning, I will simply move the tent back into its protective hole (as shown in previous entry). The flatter ground kept the sides of the tent more straight, so there was less chance of pockets forming in the canvas and the water leaking into the tent.
Secondly, I put some rocks inside the tent, pushing against the walls, again to make the walls more taught and straight. (I didn't do anything about the seams pointing upward. We'll see in the morning if that makes a difference.)
Thirdly, I created a "maxi-pad" inside the tent. I know some water is going to leak into the tent tonight, so I laid down an absorbent layer of blankets on the floor. (You remember, they were the blankets I bought at the Salvation Army my first night here.) On top of the blankets I laid my small tarp, and on top of the tarp go my sleeping bags. Voila! A maxi-pad! If any water leaks in the sides tonight, it should be soaked up by the blankets (which are wet anyway) and hopefully my sleeping bags will be spared. The maxi-pad also provides me with an adequate mattress.
In the desert, the rain usually makes the night time temperatures more mild, so I might not need both sleeping bags. I've gotten inside the one that is less damp, and the other will go on top of me. I've feeling relatively cozy, and I think I'm ready for the rains.
A few minutes ago a band of coyotes passed about 50 feet from me, perhaps looking for residential cats to snatch. I didn't see them, but I sure heard them, howling to their neighbors on the next hill.
I have nothing to fear from coyotes. Even as a pack, they wouldn't mess with something as large as me. However, there is a risk they could come into my camp and steal stuff, which isn't a problem when everything is inside the tent with me. (Once, when I was sleeping in the desert without a tent, some desert foxes stole my shoes. You don't know how weird it is to wake up in a remote location, knowing no human life is anywhere near, to find your shoes missing! Fortunately, I found them scattered a few yards away.)
All seems well. I am saved by the fact the San Diego is basically a dry place, even when it rains. When the rains pass, Everything should dry out quickly.
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