It was 2:30 am and I woke, shivering, to the sounds of raindrops hitting my tent. Not only were they hitting my tent but I seemed to be pushed to the right side teetering on the edge of a drop next to my tent. I had to quickly select a tent spot and a small pad a little off trail was all I could find in short notice. I had luckily put my fly on thinking it would be cold that night. However unlucky for me, I didnt steak it out properly or attach the fly to the cross poles of my tent.
Water was rushing down on the outside of the fly which way laying directly against the tent body, thus getting anything wet touching the tent body. My sleeping bag, sleeping pad, shirt, hoody, and of course me was already drenched. I had to do the painstaking task of getting out in the rain and steaking out the tent, then crawling back in trying not to freeze in the 38 degree weather.
I forced myself to get out, get my chore done, and leap back into my tent. Little did I notice that my bare feet were covered in dirt and mud when I leaped back into the tent for safety. Everything was wet, and now dirty to boot. I put my damp wool shirt on tucked my hands into my arm pits, and somehow like a miricle fell asleep at 4am, cold wet, and pretty tired.
I woke at 6 and knew I had to get going. I laid there not wanting to move, but finally the rain had stopped and it was time. I put on every piece of clothing I had in my bag. I packed up everything and dumped the 2 inches of standing water out of my tent before packing it away wet. I had to get moving and was soon barrelling down the trail sipping on hot coffee.
I crossed the bridge spanning Chinook Pass and headed up the trail. Soon I ran into Painter who I hadent seen since the first week on the trail. We caught up, chatting about the crazy foggy weather, the fire closures, and trail life since we had last seen each other. Mid chat I saw I hiker headed southbound that I recognized as a north bounder. We stopped and chatted and he told us hee was quitting. Its strange to see someone pull the plug. There was nothing wrong with him physically, it was just the mental game. Wish just 300 miles to go, man.
After hiking up a nice hill though the fog and cold wind, I stopped off for a break and Painter rambled on. I pulled out all the gear I had and put it on a ridge for the wind to try and dry. Spirt of sun would peep though the clouds, but I didnt have much faith it would come out. After a bit I packed up and headed back out skirting the beautiful ridgeline.
Every once in a while the sun would come out and you would get a glimpse of the mountains in the distance. After trekking through the woods for a few miles I stopped off when the sun finally decided to come out long enough to be effective. Instant yardsale. Everything I had was out and draped on trees trying to dry. I took the time to cook up some ramen and chat with passing hikers.
I finally got all my gear dry, packed up and pressed the last few miles through a long nd interesting burn area towards camp. I soon met CharlieHorse who had a gift for gab and a distain for people who didnt have it together out here. He was a funny guy and we chatted on as we neared Mike Ulichs cabin. Once we arrived there was a fire inside and a few thru hikers hanging out. I chose to camp out back, setting up, filtering water and taking advantage of thew 7pm camp arrival. I was tired and ready for bed, after stuffing my face, I crawed into my tent, glad it wasn’t wet from the night before!
Painters website: Dylangillespie.com