Day 42 in the rain rain rain

Last night it rained for a long time, maybe the whole night. I know because I was awake for much of it, carefully arranging things in the tent to avoid the growing puddles of water encroaching from the edges and spreading across the floor. This particular tent is not my hiking tent, but a big, spacious, older tent by Wenzel called the Sagebrush, which I would submit is the first clue it is going to be challenged in an all-night rain. Somehow before I left I managed to hide the tent Dan and I use for backpacking, so he brought this one which is awesomely large and also not seam sealed at all. At any rate, I managed to keep my stuff and my sleeping bag dry, but I didn’t sleep much. When I wasn’t moving things around the growing floor puddles, I was worrying about how much rain I’d be hiking in today.

Eventually dawn came. It always does, even in the darkest, wettest, most anxiety-provoking night. Dan and I got up to a rain-free though wet morning, dealt with our stuff, had a cup of tea. After looking at the maps and seeing the trail would be in the trees on the edges of Ross Lake, and after spending yesterday exposed to only a smidge of the lake and loving what I saw, I decided to take a boat from where we were camped to where the trail departs the lakeshore and heads northwest towards Mt Baker, five miles up the lake, so I would get a chance to see more of the lake and its surrounding mountains. Dan walked to the resort and got a ferry, and we rode up together in the shredded ribbons of clouds clinging to the peaks around the lake. It was a beautiful boat ride. He and the boat driver dropped me off, Dan and I said our goodbyes, and they left while I headed from the dock to the trail. On the boat ride over, Dan showed me the weather report on his phone: rain, in diminishing probabilities, over the next few days, starting with 60% chance for today and 50% for tonight. Today wasn’t so wet, except for the brush overhanging the trail, which came to a head late afternoon as I left the trail to take a shortcut, bushwhacking across some river banks with Devils Club towering above my head and crossing a river at a log jam that ended up with me soaked and covered in dirt. Tonight, however, the rain is here and maybe also vengeful. It’s been fierce, driving, consistent, and I’m laying in my tent hoping that it will wear itself out and tomorrow will be blissfully dry.

20130829-202543.jpgThe trail went through some groves of giant trees

20130829-202750.jpgThe trail through towering cedars and hemlocks, sided by lush ferns

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