Saturday, August 8, 2009

29 July 2009 - Bogashiel River

Tonight is our last evening in Olympic National Park. By early afternoon tomorrow, we should be in the town of Forks resupplying. The next day we will be on the coast in the Olympic National Wilderness.

Besides being another long day (22 plus miles), it was another scorching day. A park ranger we encountered in the park notified us that we were experiencing a record heat wave [Later learned it was the hottest few days in the history of the state]. This fits the trend of our walk considering it has been hot and sunny almost every day. In nearly 50 days, we have only encountered rain four times...even though we are camping in a rain forest tonight.

The intense heat further increases the need to supply our bodies with adequate fuel. Out on the trail, food and water has taken on a new meaning. Instead of looking forward to meals as an enjoyable affair, I now count the miles until I can load up on energy. When eating, I quickly shove as much food in my mouth as fast as I can. I do not savor anything. I just need the calories.

I don't think any of us have eaten the appropriate number of calories while hiking. We've been relying too much on our fat reserves. Unfortunately, I think I have used up too much of my reserves already. Not only that, but my body wants more variety in my food. I can't wait until my body likes food again. [Note after the fact: On this trip I lost about 25 pounds from my already relatively small body]

Rachel with a sign atop of Appleton Pass. Rachel is from Appleton, Wisconsin.

Resting by some very cold water, a huge relief on a record hot day.

Heart Lake. We didn't stop to swim, but I wish we would have.

Some little lakes/ponds in the background.

Walking along the contours.

It was so hot, a huge number of elk congregated on one of the few remaining snow piles. That brown spot in the middle of the snow pile is actually at least 30 elk.

Rapidly evaporating subalpine ponds.

Where are the Ewoks?

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