25.9 miles (Miles 2188.0 – 2213.9)
Wind River – Blue Lake
Brrr. I’m laying in my tent and everything is damp. The rain is falling in huge drops on my tent fly and a few trickles have even found their way down my inner screen. I remember someone asking me once on the ADT, “What do you do when it rains?” I answered, “We get wet.” I wasn’t being sarcastic, either. You can have all the fanciest gear and a great strategy to set up in rain, but if it’s coming down, the wet will get into everything. If not from the rain falling from the sky and leaking into cracks and soaking through materials, then by sweating because you’re wearing so much rain gear, or condensation.
I’ve been trying to mentally prepare myself for this weather the entire trip. Being wet and cold is the toughest combination to deal with out here, in my opinion. It can take a lot to bring my mood down, and in the past, the wet and cold combo has done it. I didn’t want to be a grump all through Washington if it lived up to its super-wet reputation. I’m happy to say, so far so good… I’m not jumping for joy about this situation, and admittedly while hastily setting up my tent in the pouring rain I was whispering to myself, “it’s going to be okay… it’s going to be just fine… I’ve got this…” but I did it without any cussing or crying, and now here I lay. I’m not dry, but I’m not soaked, either. I got set up as fast as possible, still getting some rain inside the tent. Then I tossed my entire pack inside, stripped off my dripping rain jacket and jumped in. I stripped down and dried the tent floor and my body the best I could, put on dry clothes, made some hot cocoa in my half-open vestibule, crawled into my sleeping bag, ate a tortilla with peanut butter for dinner and that’s that. I did it all as quickly as possible. Now I pray that it stops raining tomorrow long enough to dry out a little bit.
Sigh… this is hard. I’m proud of myself for how I’m dealing with it, though. I hope I can keep up the positive attitude if the rain keeps falling. I suppose this is just one more challenge for me to conquer!
It didn’t rain all day… earlier today I hiked through some pretty magical forest. I dropped back behind Tears for a while to take some photos, and I found myself stopping often, looking around and just listening. With the exception of the occasional bird or woodpecker pounding a deep pat-pat-pat on what must’ve been a huge, hollowed tree, it was completely still and silent. Trees stood like giants, looming over me high above into the fog. I didn’t get any views today, and I wondered if there were any behind all the cloud. I wasn’t too bothered, though. Looking around me, I was standing in some of the prettiest forest I’d ever been in.
It was mesmerizing. It was magical. It was misty, and it was beautiful. As I hiked on, the clouds thickened, then rolled past and thinned out, then thickened again. This continued all morning. It felt good to breathe it all in. It was like taking a refreshing drink from a crisp, cold spring. The air tasted like green, new life and smelled like damp, healthy forest. It was so refreshing.
I wish it could’ve stayed like that all day. We arrived at some amazing trail magic at a small campground around 2:45pm. Lee and LeeAnne had a fire going, hot dogs, soda, chips and salsa, watermelon, and potato chowder soup. Wow! This was amazing. We ate and visited with othet hikers until 4pm when we got back on trail. That’s when the weather turned. We hauled 8 miles to get to Blue Lake, and here we are. The wind is blowing, it’s still raining hard, and every once in a while we get a nice loud crack of thunder. My tent is holding up okay… evety once in a while I get a drip on my face… it’s just going to be a damp and chilly night.
Please be dry tomorrow!
Tonight I love the fog. It pretties everything it touches.
Thanks for reading and being a part of my journey!