Monday, September 10, 2012

The Time I Almost Died...

...not really.  I went backpacking for a night, and it was cold and rainy.  I was also super paranoid about animals with sharp teeth and claws, and the rain sounded like people walking outside of the tent.  

I'll start from the beginning.  My friend and I decided we wanted to hike up to Paintbrush Divide and spend the night, so we made plans, got a permit, found a tent and sleeping bags, and made sure we had everything we needed to stay alive for a night on the mountain.  We woke up the day of the hike and realized it was going to rain and possibly thunderstorm all day and into the night.  Whatever.  We went anyway.  Halfway up the mountain, we decided we were the stupidest people ever for doing this, and we were going to die.  Our packs were heavy, we were soggy, and it was hailing.  Awesome.  We kept going like the Little Engine That Could and we made it to Holly Lake.  It was getting dark, and we were tired and cranky and still soggy.  We hiked back down to a campsite that was more protected from the wind and set up camp.  In the rain.  With a tent we've never used before.  We're smart like that.  After a night of short spurts of sleep, hard ground, and cold noses, we woke up to the most beautiful morning I have ever seen.  Seriously.  

This made the whole trip worthwhile.  Waking up above the clouds and realizing that the complaining and the wet feet are not the end of the world was just fantastic.

The whole valley was socked in from the storms, and we were above all that.  We slept at 9500 feet above sea level.

Hiking back down the mountain was ridiculous.  We hiked down twice as fast as we hiked up, and we had to go back into the clouds.  It was awesome.

When we finally got back to the trailhead, everyone we came across asked if we had a wet night and that we were braver than they were.  Yep.  I'm clearly still wet.  I'm wearing a rain coat, smarty.  And I'm not really braver than you.  I slept with my bear spray and a knife under my pillow, because I was that paranoid.  I was not in the mood to talk to anyone just then.  The views all day long definitely made up for the horrible night.  It was definitely my favorite hike by far.

Seriously.  I live here.  The whole adventure was just so awesome.

After we got back, I did this:

And slept for days.  Or until I had to go to work that afternoon.  Next time, I'm looking at the forecast before I go.

No longer soggy,