June 24, 2011

Get wet & sandy!

Mike & I read the book Lone Survivor before we left for our hike on recommendation by Brock. So we were all familiar with the term "get wet and sandy" - used by the instructors to the men in Navy Seal training school. These Navy Seal wannabes had to literally immerse themselves in the [freezing cold] Pacific ocean then roll around in all of their combat gear in the sand. From the beginning, when rain was quite frequent, it became a familiar term to us. On the trail you can't exactly stop the rain and most of the time you don't have anywhere to go -- except North. Since I've been home, the boys have had some pretty wet days [Mike told me I couldn't have picked a better time to have bailed...and I couldn't agree more (:] And, right before I left we had one hell-of-a-storm. We'd just climbed up the highest mountain that we'd climbed in a while because for the most part our journey had taken a rather flat turn, from West VA. to PA in fact, so when we hit NY we weren't quite ready for the big ole hills that were destined to return. As I said, we'd just huffed and puffed our way up to the top when the heavens opened up and drained their contents on to the three of us. At some point, after the wetness has soaked through every.thing.you.own. it becomes fun - like being a kid again! Anyone seeing us would've surely claimed that we'd dunked ourselves in the nearest river, packs, shoes, and all and decided to continue walking. The rain wasn't bad, except that we looked like three drowned rats...the scary part was the thunder and lightning! Especially since we were all carrying metal hiking [or ski] poles. Mike and Brock were fairly sure we were going to die, but I reminded Mike that we'd been in a similar situation at Max Patch and that I was confident the Good Lord wasn't going to take me in a lightning storm. When we finally made it to the back side of the mountain and the rain stopped we literally had to wade through trenches of water ankle deep - this does wonders for already slightly moldy shoes. It also makes your feet look like prunes & the skin peel off. Thankfully we ran into a ridge-runner, who might I add, was exceptionally dry for the weather we'd just experienced. He told us that our friends Porter, Pace, & Deva had bailed on their plans for a nice dinner at the next shelter [Dreamer, Porter's wife was coming into town & was bringing "real" food!] & were at a hotel. We scurried our way down to the visitors center that was a mere 0.3 miles off the trail, spread out all of our belongings [which has quickly become a habit] and dialed up Porter. He & Dreamer graciously offered to come rescue us into the arms of a dry, warm, comfortable hotel room & we gratefully accepted. Again, these guys have the biggest hearts!

literally ringing out the water from our clothes

us being dropped off by dreamer
nice and dry after a night at the hotel in Chester, NY with Porter, Pace, Deva & Dreamer!
thanks guys (:

PS--if you still want to send something to Tyringham, MA it's not too late! The boys should be there by Tuesday, so if you get it in the mail tomorrow, it can still make it! (: Please just let me know!

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