The Color of Wet

I know what you’re all going to say.

YOU: How’s your hike going?

ME: It’s been good. I’m feeling a little cheated by the weather habits though. I think out of my 18 days in Washington, 13 were rainy.

YOU: Yeah…….and?

ME: Well, it sucks to be in that much rain.

YOU: Yes, sure. However, it’s Washington. What did you expect?

ME: Less than 13 days of rain.

YOU: Didn’t you used to live in Washington?

ME: Yes, but this is SUPPOSED to be the dry time.

YOU: Uh huh, I see………..Seems funny to hear someone who knows Washington being surprised about the rain.

ME: I suppose it does.

YOU: Yup. (Long awkward silence). You should eat something.

And that’s pretty much how it would go. I got rained on lots. Eric got rained on. All the thru hikers got rained on, and commiserated and complained like champions. The water in my shoes made a squeaking rhythm that really spiced up my musical scores as I walked. The views popped out of the clouds on occasion. Which was awesome when they did. I didn’t get real low spirits either. Honestly, I’ve had 3 rainy days on the whole trail until I got here (Which is kid stuff compared to the A.T.). So it doesn’t seem right to complain. If you’re going to move to the woods for the summer, you might encounter some moisture. It’s just the way it is.

Here’s a list of some songs that rain will make you think of.

Rain Drops Keep Falling On My Head

Singing in the Rain

Rain Rain Go Away

Rainy Days and Mondays Always Get Me Down

Reign on Me

Sure I’m Glad It’s Raining (Only if you watched yourself some “Ernest Goes to ______” as a kid)

Who Stopped the Rain

Superhero by Matchbox 20 (From the verse that goes “I wonder what it’s like to be the rain maker?”)

Kiss the Rain

Feel the Rain on Your Skin

River in the Rain

And, if you’re lucky, The Rainbow Connection

Eric hiked like a champ. I met him at Steven’s pass. After about a week and a half of soggy walking, I crawled out of the woods to his smiling face waiting at the trail head. We went to Seattle for a long weekend, visited his family, saw a few of my closest, most wonderful friends, walked around the city (which was perhaps less than wise as a precursor to a 200 mile walk for Eric), and thought we’d enjoy the sunny weekend in the town. Just to return to the trail with the return of rain.

But he killed it. We were only going to do 15 miles a day. But it was 17 right out of the gate, then 21, then he shocked many when we rolled into a small shanty town of thru-hiker tents one evening. We’d gone 20 miles, and had a steep climb coming, all the seasoned hikers were saying, “No way! I’m sleeping here.” We rolled in and just talked to them through their tent walls, asking how far they thought it was to the next campsite. “Three or four miles.” They all seemed to agree. I turned to Eric, fully expecting to take of my pack and start pitching that tent and he goes, “Let’s do it!” The other hikers were all like, “Dude….you’re embarrassing me. I’m already in my tent, and you wanna keep going.” And keep going we did. Eric pulled a 24 mile day, with plenty of ups and downs, like it was nothing. The next morning, he woke me up, started my stove, and was all “let’s get moving!” while I was all, “just 5 more minutes.” He really went for it. Earning the trail name, “Gofer” which is two fold, with him being ridiculously Minnesotan and his surprising ability to just up and go for it.

That was our last day out. The sun stayed with us all day, and it was gorgeous! We had a yard sale (an event where you spread everything you’ve got every which way in the sweet sweet sunshine in order to get the color of wet out of it) with another hiker named Noah the Prophet. He’s a really nice guy, and I hadn’t seen him since May, so it was a pleasant surprise.

Eric’s knees really started giving him trouble at that point, which made me sad. He kept at it regardless. And it was a 19 mile, down-hill day into Stehekin. We made it just in time for the 6:15 bus to town, and felt good to know the comforts of civilization at it’s finest where at the other end of the bus line. The last town of the trail.


One thought on “The Color of Wet

  1. Cute letter Shayla…. Come on now,RAIN in WASHINGTON????You must have been dreaming…..ha….Sheri said it rained quite a bit while they were out there..Are you guys still in Fargo? When are you heading back to CO? Hope things are going well in Fargo.Is your Mom back home now? We certainly wish the best for ALL of you…Keep that boy in shape now Shayla,this is good for him,right Eric????It was sure great seeing you even if it was for such a short time,we ALL enjoyed your time here..Hope to get out your way once you get settled in.. Keep us up-dated……Will chat soon…Steve and Sheri’s Birthday Friday,also Dylan Crimmons, {Justins son}…Love you and Good Night…

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