PCT Day 22: Rain in my Brain
Day 22 6-8-2015 Sleep 2200-400
A few punchy climbs and long descents had me feeling good. Also, I was making good time. I was thinking I was finally back to feeling as close to 100% one can feel when averaging 47 miles per day. Some dark clouds had me thinking about putting on my rain gear. But I resisted and made the correct call. A few sprinkles didn’t make much difference. The trail was meandering through grassy valleys and everything was flooded. Once again, my feet were swimming. I knew it would be tough and I would have to be on my game for any opportunity to dry my feet. I passed the 1,000 mile mark and it felt good. I remember thinking damn, that is a lot of miles, only 1,650 more to go! I think that for most people, that might be hard to fathom. But everyone who has ever done an endurance event knows you just got to piece it together. My brain works like this… 1,650 miles divided by three miles per hour is 550 hours. 125 hours a week would have me done in 4.4 weeks. 4.4 weeks is one month. So only one month, damn time flies!
|No Battery, Lots of rain: the only picture I took this day|
As I made my way up Kennedy canyon and the last big climb for the day, the clouds got dark and I knew I would be treated to a light show and a break. Sure enough, crack, and I dove under a large uprooted tree. Break time. I took off my shoes to let my feet breath, but I knew there was no way I was getting them dry. I was about 36 or so miles into the day. I thought if I had to stay here for the night, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. But I was pissed, No! I am not letting this happen again. I want the miles. So, when the lightning was seemingly over, I got my garbage bag out and installed the moving shelter. I put my head through a hole I made in the bag and close it nice around my neck. Now I have a garbage bag draped over my shoulders, torso, backpack, arms and legs. I also have on my rain jacket and rain pants. I am invincible, well I feel it sort of.
Up up up I climb, warm. Almost too warm. But I am not taking off my last bit of comfort. As I reach the top, the rain had pretty much stopped. A new problem had arisen. Fog. I was completely socked in and it made route finding difficult. Then it started to snow/rain mix. Big wet flakes that melted as soon as they hit me. At one point, I headed down the wrong direction. Almost immediately realizing that I lost the trail I headed right back the way I came. At least I thought. Now I am wondering around just trying to find the trail. I wasn’t too long and I was pretty sure which direction to head. My mind was heading to a dark place. I was really just over this late afternoon/early night cold wet weather. I knew I had to do something to change my mind, get it thinking positive. But I didn’t have the answer. I reached the road and the rain had stopped. I kept walking. I knew if I kept walking past the road, even if I felt like quitting when I woke, I would not walk backwards. Therefore; I would have to walk a ways before I could actually quit, thus giving me time to really think about it. A little ways up, I found a spot under a boulder and accepted my camp for the night. I felt like quitting, but I know to sleep on big decisions.