July 23 – The Reminder

To know the wilderness is to
know a profound humility,
to recognize one’s littleness,
to sense dependent and
interdependence, indebtedness,
and responsibility.
~Harold Zahniser

Sawyer Bar to Big Lake Youth Camp – Mount Washington Wilderness
20.6 miles

Man oh man I have much to be thankful for.

As the day progressed the weather deteriorated from a light rain to cold wind with driving rain. The terrain was primarily open and exposed through lava rock and open burned forest. It was brutal with the scenery of Mordor.

Because I was so cold and wet, I decided to hike the 20 miles without stopping to Big Lake Youth Camp where my next resupply was waiting. I felt on the verge of hypothermia the entire day. I needed my Scotland rain clothes. As I walked, I concentrated on placing my feet carefully as to not fall or slip and just pounded out the miles. I just kept imagining the welcoming arms of the youth camp and getting warm and dry. It worked.

Consequently, I did not take a lot of photos.

When I got to camp there were a few other hikers that were in the same shape. The camp host looked at me and cheerfully set me up with a hot shower and laundry.

I also ate dinner in the big dining hall with 200 happy campers.

The rain continued to pour. Big Lake does not provide accommodations, but the camp director set up an empty storage building for the 8 of us to stay. So nice.

My plan is to eat breakfast with the camp at 8:30 and leave when the weather clears up.

Tonight I am reminded of all I have and to always be ready for the worse, because it will happen.

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16 Comments

  1. Snow and rain? Send some this way. 🙂 I hope you warmed up.

    • Hello Janet, I don’t ever want to repeat a day like that EVER! I just kept thinking what if I wasn’t a strong hiker? What if I feel in the open lava and burned forest? It worked out but still. Lots of lessons learned. Hot water really did the trick and time.

      >

  2. Glad you made it there safely! Hope your day today was a much better one.

  3. Wow is about all I can say! Hope things are improving.

  4. Looked knarly for sure! Glad you are in His protection. Rock on!

  5. I think nothing is as unnerving as the specter of hypothermia on your shoulder. I thank God He kept you safe! Country looks like it could be filled with orcs; glad you didn’t see one!

  6. the entire cascade range is presently experiencing the same weather system.
    I left Mt Rainier yesterday and flew out
    of Seatac. Heavy cold rains, freezing slushy snow, fog and wind soaked my descent from Camp Muir to the Jackson visitor center in Paradise. I loved it !!
    Thank god I had preset GPS waypoints to aide me.

    Add a backpackers poncho…awkward
    but it does help. You can synch it around
    your waist for a more comfortable fit.

    Send your Scotland attire to your next
    resupply. Oregon rainforest can be drenching and the trails very hazardous
    Take care .. 🙂
    try to stay warm and dry 🙂 I look forward to your next safe post

  7. the entire cascade range is presently experiencing the same weather system.
    I left Mt Rainier yesterday and flew out
    of Seatac. Heavy cold rains, freezing slushy snow, fog and wind soaked my descent from Camp Muir to the Jackson visitor center in Paradise. I loved it !!
    Thank god I had preset GPS waypoints to aide me.

    Add a backpackers poncho…awkward
    but it does help. You can synch it around
    your waist for a more comfortable fit.

    Send your Scotland attire to your next
    resupply. Oregon rainforest can be drenching and the trails very hazardous
    Take care .. 🙂
    try to stay warm and dry 🙂 I look forward to your next safe post

  8. Peak summer, right? Brrrrr! So thankful for generous thoughtful people, like the guy who thought to open the storage building.

    • Big Lake Youth Camp was literally a saving grace that day. Man oh man I think the hikers there all scared them. I have never been so happy to sleep on a cement floor in my life. The rain never did let up until mid-morning the next day.

      >

  9. Heavy duty! Talk about putting your nose to the grindstone….

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