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I was woken in the early morning hours by Robin. She said she thought it was raining outside since our vestibules were open and rain would get in. I have only had rain on this trail one time aside from thunderstorms. So I said it wasn’t rain, just debris falling from trees. Robin put her hand outside to feel the rain and it was rain. So we zipped up.
The rain continues all morning long. I stayed in my tent for the longest I have yet. We didn’t leave till 9. It was cold and miserable. A classic Pacific Northwest day. Fog covered all the mountains around us and a light mist fell. We walked through a massive canyon where silty water runs to the Sandy River with glacial melt. We had to cross on a slippery log and a crowd of folks were too scared. So I went first and then they all followed.
We had a pretty steep climb up into beautiful ancient forest. The trees were massive and majestic. Robin and I chatted lots and supplemented podcasts in here and there. We stopped for a short break but didn’t sit down since everything was wet. We pushed down to Lolo pass where we were met with amazing trail magic. Two groups of people were doing magic for us. There was a tent for us to sit in where we could stay dry. The rain was now pouring intensely. I shivered for the better part of an hour. I hate being soaked to the bone and cold. I ate food and tried to dry out. A woman turned on a propane fire and handed us umbrellas. I almost cried when I felt the warm air float up to my face and stay warm under my umbrella. We stayed there for about 30 minutes and pushed on.
I was reluctant to push on but I knew we should hike a little more. Plus, the fire had dried me out quite a bit. We did another 4.5 miles and I was shivering and numb all over again. I couldn’t feel my fingers. We stopped and setup and got inside and lit my stove to dry out. I burnt my finger hair completely off trying to dry out my numb hands. We laid and napped since it was only about 5pm and we’d only done just over 12 miles. I didn’t care. These days suck. I’d rather be warm. We made dinner and relaxed. We have a 25 mile day into Cascade Locks tomorrow. The weather is supposed to be dry and 10° warmer than today’s 45° high. Plus, we’ll descend 2000 feet.