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MM 2956.2: Today, I took a long break as I sat on a ledge that overlooked Saint Mary Lake. I observed the moss on the trees and the ripples of the water… mesmerized by the silence and symbiosis.
The clouds grew dark and uninviting. I made it down to the trailhead and got a ride to Many Glacier by a man named Gary. It poured rain the majority of the car ride. He offered me his take out pizza and a plethora of snacks.
I got dropped off and put on my rain gear. I wanted so desperately to snuggle in a cozy room beside a fireplace, but instead I went to summit a pass in the cold.
As I started my climb, I watched hundreds of day hikers come down. I felt happy for them, knowing they had a warm vehicle/hotel to go to at the end of the day. They would get to snuggle up in a heavy blanket and drink a cup of hot chocolate or cider while reading a book. I knew how enjoyable those days were and felt happy that at least some of us would get to experience it.
All I could see at the summit were dense clouds passing by and fogged up images of trees and rocks. I pushed on, however I knew there was no way I was going to summit one more pass. The rain soaked through my jacket and I started to feel shaky. I decided to find a spot to stealth for the night, which was nearly impossible since everything was steep and rocky. Eventually, I found a spot close to a ledge. It wasn’t ideal, but I figured it was better than going further up in elevation with the possibility of being more exposed.
I set up camp and felt so excited to make a hot cup of ramen to warm me up. I ran out of fuel less than halfway into cooking it. Rookie mistake. So, I cold soaked it, which made me shiver even more. I tucked myself into my sleeping bag and spent a few hours thawing.
I heard tomorrow was going to be even worse—colder—with sleet and snow. Couldn’t say I was prepared for days like that, but I knew one thing. I was excited for the challenge of being put out of my comfort zone. Being cold and wet were my two biggest triggers on trail, and now to add wind and snow. Fun stuff. It had been absolutely chilling to the bone today, but I knew I would appreciate the heat of the sun to a much greater extent than I could have ever known.