Day 125

Day 125 – mile 2471 to 2499 – Decision Camp to Miserable Beauty Camp:
Put a treadmill in a walk-in refrigerator and walk 28 miles with a pack on while someone sprays you with a hose.  That’s what today was like, all day.  For the first time since the beginning of this trip, I hiked with something besides dirt covering my legs, rain pants.  Anyone who’s worn a pair of those sweat sacks know that they are a last resort only.
The rain worsened in the night, actually waking me up at one point with its violent drumming on my tarp.  Even my carefully selected location could not resist a tiny bit of flooding.  I had my work cut out for me, using a rock to dig small trenches around me and divert the small puddle forming above me before it burst its banks.  Of course, all this was done from the safety and comfort of my sleeping bag, so the situation clearly was not dire.
The rain continued through wake up time, and eventually I had to admit to myself that I couldn’t wait it out.  I had to get moving.  I packed up, keeping things mostly dry, and wandered off in the general direction of Canada.  Rain pants on, umbrella deployed, I felt pretty invincible, for about thirty seconds.  Fortunate to start the day with a climb to warm me up, I stayed dryish enough to be comfortable.  I did wish for a dry spot to rest at, though.  The relentless rain overnight had saturated the trees so that now it rained just as much under them as it did away from them.  I had the depressing realization that it might be a while before I can find anything dry again.
Just as with large river crossings, once you come to terms with the fact that you’re going to get wet, it all seems less important.  It was too cold to stop for long, sitting in the high-thirties all day with occasional flurries of snow, so I made good time up the trail, over ridges, through the clouds, stopping only long enough to get water and silence my hangry stomach.  Water sources ranged from a large puddle of rain water on the trail to Lake Susan Ann.  Eventually I figured out that I didn’t need to plan for water sources because I was literally walking up a creek.
So for all my miserable walking, I did at least see some interesting things.  Though not postcard worthy or even close to being highlights, the clouds lifted enough in the afternoon to reveal meadowed hillsides of green, yellow, red, and purple.  Bright silver ribbons of water cascading down the hillsides around me cut a sharp contrast with muted colors all around.  I even caught a glimpse of blue sky.  Hope for tomorrow.
When I reached White Pass I figured that I had endured enough for one day.  There’s good camping here and I don’t want to walk too far in these bummer conditions if things are going to improve tomorrow.  Today was supposed to be the worst of it, so I’m looking forward to actually looking at things again.  Maybe I’ll find a dry spot too.  There are a couple other hardy folk camped nearby.  I thought this might be the first day that I wouldn’t see anyone, but they ruined it.  Worst people ever!


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