05.17.2018

I took fewer pictures the last few days and looking back at those that I did take, there is a striking uniformity to the palette if not quite the subject matter. Spring green is on in these mountains.

When we walked out of town last, it felt much more like summer, though. It seems that I have either never experienced real humidity or I have blocked it out. Because it’s been rather a shock for me. The most confusing are the days that are overcast and cooler but equally humid. I’m a comfortable temperature but my body is sweating profusely and everything we have is vaguely damp. It’s disorienting and terrifying if I think too much about the expanse of summer in front of us. I have never wished so fervently for rain while backpacking.

Of course, it wasn’t the kind of rain that cleared the air and moved on… It was the sort that started with thunder and lightning and torrential rain that made trail tread indistinguishable from creek bed and then settled in for another day or two.

And so we found ourselves waking up in a shelter on Wednesday morning warm and dry, putting wet hiking clothes back on and packing up into wet packs and setting out with the intention of walking our first 20-mile day of this trip.

It was very wet but never really cold. Spring forests look remarkably similar whether they are dripping or not. Our feet spent 8+ hours in socks fully saturated with rain and mud. There were old football stories told and bad 90s pop songs quoted.

And we got to camp beat but feeling really satisfied that we could pull out a long rainy day and be just tired at the end of it. It felt fitting that it was our one-month anniversary on trail. There has been a long feeling of tentativeness these last few weeks, but I am exhaling just a bit more. We’re finding our way, and finding our trail legs.

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