1930 – 1974
I woke up to a frigid tent. These days I can only pull myself out of my sleeping nest when I’m on the verge of peeing myself. In normal climes, I can be a morning person. But apparently I’m trying to hibernate now, or go nocturnal.
What do hibernating animals do about peeing?
When I finally pried myself up, I saw a frozen puddle on the ground. The ground froze last night, right when I was asleep on top of it. The bottle of coffee felt especially lovely in my chilly hands.
It occurred to me that today would be the day. Time to walk the walk. If I was going to try walking all night, I needed to get on with it. The forecast called for two days of drizzle. Why not skip the damp camp and just keep walking all night? There wasn’t that much to see. I wasn’t going to miss any grand views. I topped up the charge on my headlamp battery and drank some cold instant. No problem.
The thing about hiking in the dark is that I don’t get distracted by pretty views. I stopped a few times to eat. But sitting in the dark felt somehow creepier than walking in the dark. I played podcasts all night, figuring the voices would give the night animals plenty of forewarning. I didn’t see a single set of eyes. Just rain droplets. Around 3, my headlamp went dead. I switched to my phone. Around dreary sunrise, I started getting the sleep wobbles. It was still raining and I kept walking.
I kept walking all day. Once I stopped to make coffee. Every single thing inside my bag was wet. My gloves were soaked and my hands hurt. The only way to be warm was to keep walking. I gobbled some more ibuprofen and wondered what my feet looked like after 2 days inside in those waterproof socks.
Pulling my all-nighter did give me flashbacks to Berkeley days. That robot feeling the next day, how nothing feels real or solid. I set up my tent in the drizzle. It felt good to be done, but I wasn’t as tired as I’d expected.