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Day 195 – Climate Change

It was under 20 degrees when I woke up this morning. All my water was frozen solid and the act of hiking was not enticing. I finally forced myself up and out at 6:30 with all the layers I had. It was freezing. As I dropped down to a creek, with only a small gap in my hood to see through, a dozen elk appeared only a few feet ahead when I turned. Then I stumbled and rolled my ankle, causing them to thunder off. The creek was frozen, making it difficult to get water. I climbed the other side of the drainage and the day was largely flat after that. To put it in perspective, I had about a thousand feet of elevation gain for the day. In my biggest day, I had 13k’ of elevation gain over 43 Miles. This gentle day was nice since it is hard to squeeze many miles in shortened daylight hours of winter. Today while hiking I came to the conclusion that hiking in November is similar to when I hiked in February in 2016. As the day turned to night the elk seemed to appear everywhere. They weren’t expecting a human nearby and didn’t spook until I was too close for my comfort. The temperature dropped sharply when the sun disappeared and my headlamp died. Luckily I have a SPOT (location device) that I often forget to use, but the benefit is that there were batteries in it I could use for my headlamp. While I was changing then on the side of a dirt road I saw a rare vehicle. They pulled over, expecting I was in trouble. But, in my tiger sweatshirt I told them I was just changing out batteries. I’m sure they thought I was crazy sitting on the side of the road in temperatures hovering in the mid 20s. Sometimes I think I am crazy. I probably am.

Miles 36

Total miles 6425

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