Lunch, Day 31 *Update*
Sunday, Aug 31, 2008 02:10 PM
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> Miserable. Cold and rain. That was our lot for the day. It could have been a disater but everythihg turned out okay.
We are not heavy packers. We are not "ulter lite" packers either. Ulter lites do not even take a sleeping bag, so if conditions turn ugly they are screewed. Even so, we are very lite weight. No change of clothes for example. A tent with no floor. Ground clovers that are very thin. So we should be able to handle some "mild" weather.
It was raining and cold when we woke up this morning. After last night, we expected that. But, even so, we got a late start. And our stuff was pretty damp, if not outright wet.
When we started, it was increadablely foggy, but not raining. Lots of views of pure white. Lots of downhill. At about noon, we were very wet from the fog, and cold. We found a nice campsite with a fire ring, so we stopped and built a nice fire, and set out to dry our stuff. No sooner than we got the fire going, real rain come. We set up our tent, thinking we could wait it out, and then get back to the job of drying out.
Pretty soon it was aparent that the rain was not going to stop soon, and wantting to get miles in, we packed up and kept hiking. By the way, at this point my watch broke.
As an aside, we navigate by using the data books, maps, and my watch. I keep track of the time we pass each known location, and then we can usually place ourselves on the map by how much time we have hiked. Not only did my watch break, but our data books are now 7 years out of date. They have changed the trail significantly in this area since the data book was published. We could make all the correct turns at juctions by following the PCT logos, but we have no idea how far we need to hike to get to places, like say, the next water source. Additionaly the trail changes have, of course, make the trail longer.
Anyway, we got a good soaking during the afternoon. It didn't help, that because we had old data we crossed a river by forging instead of using the "hikers" bridge. Oh well.
We finally got to a junction that we could place on our maps. By this time we were truly miserable. It was late afternon, cold, and still raining. By the junction, there was a place to pitch a tent and a fire ring. This time it was much harder to start the fire cause everything was so wet. After almost setting Wesley on fire with a good dose of alochal, we got it going by using our camp stove as a torch.
Next, we set up our tent in the mud. Our ground covers are "permuable". Don't think I spelled that right, but it means that water can seep in from below. Before we knew it, we had rivers of mud and water flowing through the tent. And because the tent and been so soaked over the last week, and we have streached it out so tight to keep it from blowing down the seams are starting to part and let water in. Its not that dry feeling we got two weeks ago in our first storm.
Still, we seem to have managed. We ate dry food for diner. We warmed ourselves by the fire. We shored up the worst of the mud rivers in the tent with plastic bags. We are careful to stay on top of our sleeping pads which do not leak from below. We got Wesley's hammic set up, and he is squared away.
Now it's 4:30 am in the next morning. I am laying in my cozy, almost warm sleeping bag, pretty happy. It was too wet to write my journal last night or to try to get a satellite fix for the GPS. That is why this update is in the Lunch picture. It has stopped raining and seems warmer. I think we have only about 33 miles to finish Oregon.
Final note. In our misery last night, a few day hikers passed us. One offered us a ride into town. We almost took it. After we turned it down, the weather seemed to get worst, and we (Wes and I, not Ken) started to regret our choice. Now, as I write this, I hear Wes peacefully snoring away and I am looking forward to hiking tomorrow. Interesting on how things go.