Everywhere I Go it Rains on Me
Thoughts and ruminations from Angels Rest Hiker Haven in Pearisburg, VA
In real life, rain isn’t such a big deal. You stay inside, you watch a movie, delay errands for day, sip a hot brown drink while staring out the window and commenting “Mmmmhm sure looks like a wet one!” *SHLURRPP*
On trail though, it’s like, a real problem. And up until this week, not a huge one. Myself and El Salvador had been lucky with mostly sunny days and had been able to strategically maneuver around the wet days. This week, however, laid such well made plans to waste.
On Sunday, it downpoured in the evening. And dumb ol’ me was stuck setting up my tent in the middle of it. Lemme tell ya, squeegeeing standing water out of the bottom of one’s tent is no fun. Status: soaked and annoyed.
On Monday, it downpoured. But all day, not just the evening. While I was mercifully indoors on Monday, the one billion percent humidity did not make for a great environment to dry anything out. Status: still moist.
Tuesday and Wednesday
Technically it did not rain on Tuesday and Wednesday. However, it wasn’t sunny and dry either. Cloudy and damp is completely unhelpful when trying to air out one’s socks. Just…so unhelpful. I can stand getting rained on, but not being able to dry out is something else entirely. I felt like Obi Wan on Kamino with its endless rain and general damp feeling.
And then the weather went ahead and downpoured AGAIN on Thursday night. As if we hadn’t had enough. The trail wasn’t a trail anymore, it was just rivers and mud and bridges that were slippery enough to be more dangerous than the trail itself. At a certain point, I just gave in to the insanity and sang “Singin’ in the Rain” while kicking up puddles.
Anyway the moral of the story is fuck rain, and I hope I don’t have trench foot.
Endings and Beginnings
El Salvador of the Glove on Blood Mountain (full name), is done. My erstwhile companion for 425 miles, nearly 20% of the entire trail, never really intended to hike the entirety. For one thing, this was never her trail – she was out here only because she couldn’t secure a Pacific Crest Trail permit. On top of that, she has a husband at home and a road fever burning for motorcycle trips back home north of Seattle. The plan was to get through the Triple Crown of Virginia with an assist from her husband and then go home.
But then, like many hikers, her body betrayed her and physically it made no sense to continue on. And now her hike is ended.
Reflecting back on the time and hundreds of miles we spent together, I feel that I learned a lot from her. How to be disciplined in stretching and taking care of my body at the end of the day. How to plan ahead for each resupply section, making sure I have backup plans and weather bailouts. How to not always camp at shelters, but camp wherever the mileage took us.
Mostly though, she is my friend. The most enduring friend and hiking partner I’ve had in trail so far. The person most likely to take a selfie of her butt on Big Butt Mountain. I will miss her.
But somehow, I won’t miss her as much as my family, who use her Instagram to get daily pics of me. This is way more painful for them I’m sure.
With every ending and parting, however, comes a new beginning. Best Friend, the football (European football, not American hand-egg) fan from Germany will be hiking with me for the foreseeable future. And this guy knows everyone on trail it seems, so I’m sure to meet others and enter the next phase.
Haven’t seen any pears, let alone pairs of pears, in Pearisburg. What a sham.
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I finally got a chance to check out your blog! (Cool Ranch and I are holed up in Blacksburg for the 3rd day in a row, so I had no excuse this time. Of course the weather has been gorgeous the entire time.) Well done – looking forward to reading more and hopefully we will catch up to you again. 🙂
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