“Damnit I followed this idiot to read about hiking and such, not Disney World and Wine Failures”
You know what? Winter can suck for hiking.
I know, I know, you read my entries last year and I went on two winter hikes. One in November and one in February or something…and I had a good time despite the cold.
The weather cooperated then, it is being a raging bitch right now. First of all, last year was MILD. The heating bill last year was nothing. We barely got below freezing several times, and never below 20 or so. In January, the worst temperature I saw on my hike was 30, which is pretty mild for a hike in the mountains in the winter.
I looked at temperatures in my hiking area last night. You know what the low was? 10! Ten degrees F. You you celsius people, thats, ummm… well, google it. The high was 31. I don’t know how you guys feel about that, but when I’m hiking I at least want the high to be above freezing during part of the day. It’s hard to get water to drink when it’s in the form of ice.
I had a trip scheduled for the first part of January, just like last year. It was supposed to be between 30 and 45. Decent hiking weather… until you throw in rain for the weekend. Sure, I’m an intrepid backpacker, you say. I should be able to handle a little rain, you say.
Handling rain when it shows up unannounced is fine. You treat it like a religious proselytizer, do your best to put on something protective and ignore it. But KNOWING you’re going into the woods for a weekend in rain and near-freezing weather just doesn’t sounds like a good time, to me. Plus it’s dangerous. Ice on rocks to slip on, icy roads when you’re trying to leave, and what if it turns to snow? How the heck do you get out of the South Carolina mountains? We shut the state down when there’s three inches of snow on the ground.
We opened schools two hours late last week because it was 17 degrees… if there is SNOW, Oh Your God! You must stay home from work and school (but make sure you go to WalMart in your pajamas and buy stuff).
So, as nice as it is not having to deal with excessive heat and bugs and a lot of other hikers, Winter can really put a damper on hiking sometimes.
Not to say it doesn’t have its moments. A nice crisp winter evening with a clear sky and a full moon can be amazing. The trees are devoid of leaves, which really helps those views walking along some mountain trail. Waking up to just a little frost on the tent can be great, everything covered in a sparkling dew… as long as it gets up to 40 or so by the afternoon (and your water bottle didn’t freeze).
But 10? Yeah I’m not good around 10. Lying awake wondering if I’m slowly freezing to death isn’t my idea of fun. 20, I’m good. 10, not so much.
So that’s why you’re stuck listening to tales of the family vacation and my failed attempts at creating something drinkable. Alas, dear readers, fear not, spring is coming.