June 17, 2016
(1432 – 1459)
I woke up a few times throughout the night as heavier waves of rain would pass over every couple hours. When I woke up at 6 it was still raining. I made breakfast in my tent and stared out at the cloud encased landscape. By 6:30 the rain had tapered to very light, I packed up and hit the trail at 6:45.
Donned in my inexpensive lightweight Frog Togg rain gear, I started my morning of hiking in the rain – my shoes were soaked by the transferred moisture from the plants hanging into the trail within the first half mile. By around 2 miles, the rain had picked up again and my rain pants developed a split in the crotch; all water that drained of my coat seemed to find the breach… This is going to be a long wet morning.
His section of trail follows a ridge and offers views back to Lassen, off to Shasta, Castle Crags and probably other places…All it offered me was the few hundred yards around me before everything was obscured by clouds. The rain did not let up. Its mid-June and the NWS forecast was for a 30% chance of rain.
I stopped for a lunch and water stop where the rain had died back to light and I was able to put on my second set of dry socks – that became instantly wet in my shoes. By this time my rain coat was stating to leak and as for my pants…they were completely soaked and ‘Significant Shrinkage’ was in full effect. I felt short changed with this cheap rain gear…(Do women know about Shrinkage?… What do you mean, like laundry?)
I had passed the two NOBO hikers that passed me yesterday earl in the morning and then 6 SOBO hikers by lunch. It seems like a fair amount of people are jumping ahead to Ashland this year and hiking back to Kennedy Meadows South to let some of the Sierra snow melt. By around 4pm I started passing tents where hikers were setting up early to stay dry. I passed 5 more groups in the next few miles which didn’t offer me good pickings on a decent campsite. I figured I was already wet, staying warm as I kept moving and wanted to make so miles today. It was not like I had any good views to distract me, so I carried on.
I had set a goal to reach Deer Creek Spring for the night and by 9pm I was set up. The rain had really picked up again that past hour of hiking and seemed to be getting heavier as I jumped into my tent.
Unfortunately, I had to pack my tent wet this morning and now the whole thing was damp. I stripped off my clothes and slipped into my dry sleep clothes and my dry sleeping back; the only 4 items that remained dry: Long underwear bottom and top, a pair of socks and my sleeping bag. Everything in my pack was damp. I forgot my liner and cursed myself for that, but thankfully I carry my clothes and bag in dry sacks.
I made dinner in my dark wet tent and listened to the heavy raindrops splatter on my tent. Every time a drop would hit it would create a light mist on the inside. The temperature was 44 degrees and the rain was not slowing down It took me about an hour to get my body warmed u, especially my feet. The floor of my tent was wet and now the top of my bag was getting damp from the mist. This is probably the closest I have come to a hypothermic situation, I counted my blessings that my dry sacks didn’t fail.