I wake up at 3:00 a.m. Granted, I had taken half a Benedryl and had gone to sleep at around 6:00 p.m. There was nothing else to do. I was freezing cold. I needed to get out of the wind.
I had stuffed all of the clothes I was not wearing into my sleeping bag liner. I laid the Mylar blanket on top of me inside my sleeping bag liner. My rain gear was on top of me between the liner and my quilt. This method has allowed me to stay warm enough to sleep, but when I wake up twice on the hard and cold ground, it is difficult to warm up.
I’m wide awake and I know I am not going to be able to go back to sleep, so I read on my kindle–a device I use every day on the trail, and which is well worth carrying the weight. I finish my Christian Fiction Super Natural Thriller. (Christians vs. ‘practitioners’…exciting stuff. God always beats the demons in the end.)
Though I am sad to leave my characters (and friends) behind, I think about the 6 Novel series that I had downloaded at the last hostel for the bargain price of $4.99! One of my favorite authors, too! This set is by Janette Oke and is about a school teacher in the late 1800’s who moves to the Wild West of Canada to start a school there.
As I lie there in the dark, waiting for the sun to wake up, I hear the dripping, and I know what I am in for. Finally I see the dim glow on the roof of my tent. I didn’t even take my bra off the night before and I am in full hiker gear because I didn’t want to go through the pain of getting dressed in the cold! Also, my hiker clothes are warmer than anything else I have tried to sleep in.
I pee into my ziplock. What a relief! I’ve been holding it all night because it was too cold to get out of my sleeping bag! I put on my camp shoes, unzip my tent and step out into the cold, drizzly mess to get my food bag. I have already weighed whether I want to just start hiking to warm up, but no… I enjoy my oatmeal and coffee too much, and I know what a difference it makes in my outlook to start the day with a hot meal and coffee.
I break the hiker rules, and sit inside my tent (Indian-style). The flaps are secured back, and I reach way out to start my little stove. Hehe… I’m going to do the ‘no-no’ and eat in my tent! It’s my favorite thing. It’s warmer eating in my warm tent out of the wind, than at the table at the shelter. I wouldn’t do this in the evening and smell up my tent with food, but I figure I have plenty of time to air out during the day that the critters won’t smell anything by the time I set I up again in the evening when the critters will most likely be prowling.
I relish my oatmeal and coffee. I start to warm up from the inside out on this cold, cold morning. When I finish eating, I feel the urge and know I’m going to have to go soon. Things happen quickly out here in a hiker’s life in the woods–all of that activity and exercise, you know.
I had already started packing things up inside my tent before the sun was up, so I started taking my tent apart. It is wet and cold, and my fingers start to get numb. I have gloves, but they are thick, and I can’t really mess with tent poles, zippers and tent stakes with gloves on. So I suck it up and just look forward to the time I can put them back on.
By the time my tent is packed up and everything is in my pack, things are reaching a rapid crescendo. I head to the privy. A line. I patiently wait there with my ziplock full of toilet paper, awaiting my turn. I make uncomfortable political chit chat with the lady in front of me as we try to ignore the grunts coming from the guy in the privy and the poop falling in the chicken wire cage below the throne. Finally, it is my turn. What I do, I do quickly. Thankfully there is no one else waiting.
I grab my pack, and I’m grateful to finally be hiking so I can warm up! There is not much to see. The mountains are ‘in the clouds’. All day long I hear dripping and see fog. I’m grateful that today’s hike is much easier than the day before.
To Be Continued….
Note: I started to write about this post last night. WordPress App crashed and I lost everything I had written. I started again this morning. The app crashed and I lost half of it. It takes several hours to write a blog post on an I Phone. I’m spending my zero day working on blog posts. I’ve decided I’m going to go ahead and post this and do the other half as a separate post so there is less chance of losing my work. Most of the WiFi’s I have used on the trail are horrible and I have to make multiple attempts (sometimes 5 or more long attempts) at uploading. Then, there is the never-ending battle with Auto Correct…and hitting the return button instead of a letter. Ugh. All I ask is for your patience. I probably won’t even touch Facebook again this trip to town. Don’t know if I’ll have time to answer emails, either. 😣