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Monday, August 11, 2014

Welcome to Oregon, Suckers.

Day 41 7/23
Mileage 16 (+1 bonus)
Camped at Lolo Pass

Today was tough. We awoke to thunder, but no rain yet, luckily. I told the guys I'd catch up to them shortly, as I finished my preparations in camp. I promptly got lost (the signage around Wahtum Lake is, I maintain, very ambiguous). After turning around a few times, I was back on the trail headed the right direction. Then the rain began. First it was just an intermittent drizzle, then a consistent drizzle, then a really rainy kind of drizzle, then just plain rain. We think Washington and Oregon conspired against us to hit us with rain as soon as we sent home our rain gear. High winds and temperatures in the low 40s meant that we were pretty much all hypothermic by lunchtime. The cold made us pee out all our water, which seems to me is a really stupid thing to happen. Come on, evolution! What were you thinking? This made staying hydrated nearly impossible, and it was too cold to stop and snack. Of course, food is very important when one wants to produce heat, or generally be alive, so needless to say, this didn't help the situation. Well, I learned my lesson for being a dumb idiot. It was miserable. We somehow set up Peter's tarp with our claw-hands for a little respite from the rain and wind during lunch. Peeling apart tortillas without working fingers was a chore, but after I ate, I felt myself starting to warm up. We agreed at lunch that doing a high mileage day in this state was most unwise, and went another eight or so after lunch to Lolo Pass. I somehow got my tent up using only my fists, peeled off my wet clothes, and hopped in my sleeping bag. A short interval of sunshine ushered in dinnertime, after which I retreated back into my only semi-moist bastion of warmth. I'm only now feeling like my core is up to a reasonable temperature. Being cold is incredibly draining and I'm exhausted, even though this was one of the flattest, shortest days we've had. Will didn't want to hike with wet clothes tomorrow, so he hitched a ride to Timberline Lodge, our next resupply. Tomorrow calls for better weather, and I really hope it pans out. Now I sleep forever.

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