I wake in the night to the expected rain. Not hard. Gentle and steady. The sounds on the metal roof creating an asynchronous melody. The drips from the front sloping roof creating small puddles and small splashing sounds.

I notice that I have a slight river of anxiety sleeping alone in the open faced lean-to that I don’t have in the closed 4-sided camps or in my tent. I feel exposed. Bears and Moose are out there… The boogie-man is out there… Very interesting that it doesn’t exist in the tent, which is obviously no protection at all if a critter wants something in the tent.

Perhaps it’s heightened from Carrie telling me yesterday when I asked her if she’d seen and bear or moose, that she’d heard bear wandering around in the woods around her tent one night and woke up with one sniffing her through the bug-net at the top of the tent where her rain fly was not installed. She said they looked each other in the eye and she tried to be very quiet and small covering herself in her sleeping bag. The bear walked away.
I talked with a man on the JMT last year that said he was cowboy camping (on the ground without tarp or tent) and woke with a bear smelling his neck. Said the bear had very stinking breath.
It’s not that I’m afraid of being hassled by a bear, but the awareness of being in THEIR world is preset. Sherman sometimes stops and growls and or barks at something straight out into the woods. I can’t see or hear anything. But he knows there’s something there. It’s not a squirrel which he’d be itching to chase. It’s something that he’s alerting me to and alerting it that he’s here.
Anyway, it’s raining. I have signal, but very low batteries this morning. My battery pack has died. I have another one waiting at the PO in town with food and the bounce box. The various weather forecast apps say raid ending about 10 or 2. It’s now a bit after 9. It’s 2 miles to the PO and we need to be there by 4:45, so the latest we can leave is 2. We’ll probably be there in about 90 minutes, but with the wetted mud and slippery roots and rocks, it may take much longer.
Sherman is walking a bit stiff this morning. It’s the first time he has not been his normal “let’s go!” self. Yesterday when he was on a long romp through the wood chasing some scent I heard him yelp. At the time I wondered if he’d hurt himself. He’s not limping. Just slower than normal. I gave him the treatment last night. Full brushing and full body massage. He LOVES massages. Totally zones out!
fullsizeoutput_21bdMy quilt has a velcro slit in the middle that opens to put over the head and make the quilt wearable. Today is the first time I’ve done that. Gotta say, “It’s very warm!” Sherman has just finished eating breakfast and is now curled up on my lap while I type this. We are in waiting/meditating mode. Enjoying the sounds and smells of a gentle autumn rain.
Just noticed that yesterday was the Autumnal Equinox. Let the leaves increase their rate of color change. And that Mercury has left being retrograde. Not sure what that means in the wilderness. Seems like communication between the vast array of beings in the wilderness is just fine. But then, most of it is happening at a frequency I can’t access.
I wish I had a chair! I have one from REI that I used alot while we crossed the Us and Canada. It weight a little over a pound. Turns out I don’t want one bad enough to carry one…
I receive a text from Chris in Bristol asking if I’d like a day off at their house. Bob will come pick me up. I say YES! We make arrangements. The rain stops on queue at 1pm and soon after Sherman and I start down the mountain to the road. My read of the terrain map is that it’s mostly downhill. As we start we are going uphill. Then more uphill. Then more uphill. Huh… I thought we were going down to the river, the freeway, the Post Office. After a few more ups and downs the trail starts down pretty steeply and we’re actually on a trajectory that will intersect the road.
We get to the PO about 5 minutes before Bob. This is the post office that called me when they received my general delivery food shipment to say that something is the box was rotten. I told her that there wasn’t anything that was perishable in the box. It was all dried and dehydrated food for hiking. She could smell something that smelled real bad… She wanted an hour to figure out what to do with it, because she couldn’t have it in here tiny post office for 3 weeks. It’d make her sick. By the time she called back, I’d figured out that it was the dog food. And she’d figured out how to put it in a sealed box so she wouldn’t have to smell it. I know picked up that box and when I opened the sealed container, there was another hikers box on top of mine. He’d been there 3 days earlier and they couldn’t find his food box. Someone who works at the PO part time had put it in the box with mine. A big mistake… And a minor disaster for the hiker. This is a tiny town with no stores. So, to get food this hiker had to get a ride for 6 miles to the nearest town with a grocery store. Ouch!
Turned out the woman who couldn’t stand the smell is pregnant. She said many smells are making her sick. She didn’t tell me that on the phone when she called… I had my boxes outside when Bob pulls up. Sherman is excited and dancing by the van. He’s very wiggly with Bob and extra wiggly when he gets to get in the van. We all drive back to Bristol.
It’s a bit odd being off the trail. One gets used to a routine and changes are really noticed. The biggest thing was taking a hot shower. OMG! For 2 weeks I’ve been rinsing my short sleeve hiking shirt in free flowing streams and doing a body wipe down. This is all in frigid water. I then put on the wet shirt to walk it dry. After all, it’s my only shirt… I have a sleeping shirt that’s long sleeve and warmer, but it’s only hiked in for a short while in cold mornings. I want it to be as clean as possible for sleeping.
We all had a wonderful evening. Then sleep in a wonderful bed. YUM!