Trip date: Dec 22, 2017
I woke up in the middle of the night and there was ice/frost on the interior walls of the tent. I always see this on the inside of the fly on my winter trips in the Rockies, but I'd never seen it on the interior walls before. This was probably my coldest night camping so far (overnight low around 7-8 F).
I checked outside and could see bright stars. Knowing then that the skies had cleared, I couldn't wait till morning, and set my alarm before dawn. When I woke I made my way down to the Green River Overlook in the dark.
By mid-morning there was still no sign of the plows. It seemed they would come any minute so I didn't want to wander too far from my basecamp if I had a change to head out and explore other areas farther away. I was killing time by conducting an especially thorough washing of the pot I'd cooked and eaten my oatmeal breakfast out of. I heard the sound of large diesel pickup truck behind me and excitedly turn around to see a NPS park ranger. He was out on patrol to check on anyone left in the campground (it was only me). He was probably about 5 years younger than me and looked exactly like the male detective from "The Killing" (picture directly below).
I had originally planned on heading over to "Upheaval Dome" but on the way I got distracted by a curious Mesa out in the distance which turned out to be Candlestick Tower. From this vantage point it doesn't look much like a candle stick but later I could tell how it got that name.
I wandered out on what felt like a pier (100 ft wide) and got as close as I could. From here it was really too snowy to go further out so I turned around.
After this I headed out to Aztec Butte to catch the sunset. It was still light when I got there but it would get dark fast.
Without any water in the air, the temperature really drops fast once the sun goes down in the desert. Of course, I'd heard this before but hadn't ever really appreciated it until this trip.