Day 44 – Rain Induced Nero

Well we lived through the night. My magical ear plugs did the trick again and I was oblivious to any bumps in the night. Bob told us the air vortex creates sounds in the shelter. Sounds and voices from the marina below carry up the mountain and hit the shelter and clouds to make it sound like people are talking next to you. Not my experience but an interesting phenomenon nonetheless.

We woke up to more rain. We took our time getting ready because we realized it’s Memorial Day weekend and the post office in Damascus will be closed Monday. Thus we have an extra day. The hiking started late, after 10AM. We decided we’d hike in the light rain and reassess after we got to Iron Mountain Shelter, 7 miles in, for lunch.

Full rain gear was donned and off we went. I had to strip off my puffy jacket after an hour. Another hour down and the rain had abated completely. Hatcher and I we’re grabbing water when it started raining again around 1PM. The weather report claims it’s supposed to get worse all the way up to 5PM before slowing down. I make haste towards the shelter.

It takes another 90 minutes or so and by the time I arrive, the rain has been in full force for 30 minutes. Shoes and socks saturated. I almost didn’t care anymore at that point. Rabbit and I consider continuing on before Sip and Hatcher arrive. We wait. The longer we wait, the less keen we are on heading back out. We’re exactly 26.2 miles (a marathon distance) from Damascus. It’s decided we’ll rest early and head out for our first marathon and first 20+ mile day tomorrow. Go big or go home.

The rest of the day was filled with naps and snacks. Looking forward to better weather tomorrow.

Since today was short and mildly uneventful, Let’s talk dental hygiene (thrilling I know). I have probably had better dental hygiene out on the trail than I do back home. The reasons for this is now I’m actually flossing twice a day as opposed to just once a day back home. One interesting fact I learned, is that if you were to choose between only brushing or only flossing, flossing is more important. Flossing reaches the places between teeth, places where gum disease and bacteria live. Brushing only covers surface stains and that’s not good enough to prevent cavities compared to flossing in the long term. Especially with the high calorie junk food we’re thriving on out here.

So floss your teeth everyone and I’ll talk at you tomorrow.

Stow away in my pack for Day 45 on the Appalachian trail.



I still remember our conversation during intern year where you told us the pathophysiology of “meth mouth”. Since then Ive been obsessive about dental hygiene before bed, especially after doing meth (jokes people)! I hope things are well for you. Wish you the best, take care.

Special shoutout to Daniela and Jon (more Dentist friends)

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 2

  • thetentman : May 30th

    One of the things that you should learn while hiking in the warm rain is that after a while you can not get any wetter. At this point, you should suck it up and keep going. You will survive and be dry again.

    Nice post. Thx.

    • Derek Witteman : Jun 4th

      I totally agree with that notion. It was tramily decision and it set us up for the marathon the next day.


What Do You Think?