April Fools! (PCT Days 1 and 2)

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They told me that it would be different this time. That it was Southern California, that it was known for its monotonous blue skies and warm temperatures. I believed them all and flew to California for this spectacular thing called sunshine.

I awoke, however, to very familiar sound. It was the pitter patter of rain splattering against my tent. Hmmm… Maybe it was leaves
or seeds dropping from the tree above me. It had been months since the last time it rained in Southern California. I crawled out of my tent and sure enough, it was raining… A light rain, perhaps a California rain? After getting 10 minutes down the trail it became a drenching rain, getting my boots (and the rest of me) every bit as drenched as the AT in Virginia had. I was totally soaked! Knowing how much California really needs the rain, I decided that I must have brought it with me as a hospitality gift. :) By afternoon the rain cleared and I go to see some of the desert. It was gorgeous!

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With the sun out, we rounded the corner and looked down on what was once Lake Morena… Now largely a swamp. California needed much more rain than I brought that morning.

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Seeing California’s great need, I decided to be an even more gracious guest. The next morning the sound of rain on my tent was a constant roar instead of the sweet pitter patter the day before. Puddles filled the roads and trails. I marveled at my amazing ability to bring rain to the desert, not just on April Fools day, but also for the follow up.;

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I lay in my tent listening to the downpour not yet 100% convinced I was ready to face the rain. Eventually the idea of hot beverages coaxed me out. I told the clerk that I thought the rain followed me from home and she said “thanks, I can’t remember the last time it rained here.”
We hiked in the rain anyhow and it really wasn’t too bad, but then the hail and sleet came…. With a smidge of snow thrown in…. It all felt laughably surreal.

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The wether for the remainder of the afternoon reminded me of New England. If you don’t like it wait a minute and it’ll change. At the End of the very wet day we were rewarded by a beatiful rainbow… Maybe southern California’s weather is on the other side of that rainbow. I guess I’ll find out tomorrow :)

Backpacking Science and Privilege: Water

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On long-distance backpacking trips we don’t take the same things for granted that we do at home and as a result we can gain some insights into our privilege and how it affects the way we hike our hikes, and pack our packs. This is the second post in a series of three in which I  discuss how science and privilege influence the way I pack my pack.

  1. Food: Our ability to regulate blood sugar levels (glycoregulation).
  2. Water: Our ability to regulate water and minerals (osmoregulation).
  3. Shelter/Heat: Our ability to regulate body temperature (thermoregulation).

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