Sunday, June 22, 2008

Misty mountain tops

I'm afraid of everything still. Last night I slept okay, but worried about hiking today. Worried about my stomach letting me down on the middle of a hike. Worried about what happens if I get sick or hurt on the trail. But I'm tring not to let it mess me up. I'm worried my rain gear is crap. We are doing plot work today, which is a huge help. I can turn around to camp if I need to. That makes me feel a lot better.

It's raining now and I'm going to try out my rain gear. I know the jacket's good. I am nust not psyched about getting wet feet.

Today we made the decision (based on the forecast) to do plot work only. We got to our site to find it was still there, with nice gusty winds, but it wasn't cold, just breezy. You could see the white clouds accumulating in the valley, a sight I always love to see, it reminds me of japanese paintings.

Our goal today was to map our plots and determine % cover. We went to work very dilligently and I quickly made a really strong and detailed map. Just as we were finishing our last quadrant, we saw our teacher jump over the rock. A few raindrops hit my hood and she said we should probably take a break because the storm coming in looked like a good one. We packed up quickly and snuck down to the trail, ducking into the cabin as the rain started to increase in intensity.

We ate lunch and then the thunder started. While most groups had nothing to work on, I re-wrote some notes more clearly on graph paper and began to replot my map, look up scientific names, etc.

As the storm waned, I got more tired. The storm broke and the groups hurried back to their plots to do work. I decided to retire to an hour long nap, which the returning rain helped with. I slept soundly and awoke feeling ready. Annie and I headed out to our plots in cool breezy conditions, took our measurements and returned home just as the rain started back up. My rain jacket got pretty damp - I apparently needed to waterproof it or something - so its now hanging and dripping to dry. When we came back we worked on our data for some more, then Annie and I made dinner (pasta with peppers and onions) which wasn't impressive but went over well. After dinner I really stopped doing work because I was tired but I did draw two landscapes with colored pencil, a media I'm only slightly familiar with (and not trained in at all). We listened as Laura read passages from letters written by a female hiker from the 1800s. How interesting and dignified/poetic her entries were.

I wanted to see the sunset but it wasn't visible through the rain clouds, so I turned back. I at least stayed dry this time.

Tomorrow's plan is to rise early and hike the peaks. We're going to try to get to the summit of Mt. Adams and perhaps Madison. We'll be out most of the morning, but extremely thankfully we'll only have day packs on. Phew. I am still a bit concerned about being so far away from a bathroom, but I haven't had any issues as of yet. Today was good and I felt comfortable, my muscles ached only mildly which let me feel more optimistic about moving around. A rainy day for rest was welcome.

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