Yesterday was officially the first day of American fall (autumn), but it feels like winter has well and truly set in.
Yes, I was born in the middle of (Australian) winter, but I am NOT a winter baby. I was two weeks overdue, and Mumma ended up having to have a cesarean because I just wasn’t coming out otherwise. I reckon even before I was born, I knew I hated the cold outside.
Nothing has changed.
The highest the mercury reached today was 11’C/52’F.
The low tonight is 0’C/32’F.
The whole point of flip flopping the Pacific Crest Trail and driving up north was to beat winter.
My current shivering, shaking body is a pretty clear indication that we did not accomplish that goal.
However, colours help me not get too miserable.
As we’ve made our way south through Washington, I’ve been able to watch the colder temperatures change the land around me. Berries that once grew in such abundance I could eat enough from the bushes lining the trail to skip my lunch, are nowhere to be found now. Leaves that once had more shades of green than I thought possible are turning into warm oranges and brilliant reds.
Wearing happy colours helps too.
When we went down to Yakima last week and I picked up some tights, my instinct was to go for black. Black is the most flattering, and always a go-to for tights for me.
This time, though, I figured, “What the heck?!” and went with the brightest ones on the rack.
I knew the happy colours would make me smile.
It works: they do.
They make others smile too. I’ve received so many compliments and grins from hikers along the way, that I’m starting to think I might even stick with rocking brighter colours when I get off trail.
Getting off trail is a thought that comes up more and more, as it looms closer and closer.
Now that today is finished, there are three days left of hiking.
Three more times I get to set up my tent under the stars.
Three excruciatingly cold mornings I’ll have to leave the warmth of my quilt.
Three backcountry breakfasts, second breakfasts, lunches, afternoon teas, and dinners (with snacks in between).
Three more sunrises, three more sunsets, and a heck of a lot of opportunities in between to search for beauty, share a laugh, create wonderful memories, and soak up every drop of goodness I have left on this trail, this year.
It would definitely fit the Hiker Biker Gang mentality if we were to drag this out just a little longer.
And I don’t want this to end just yet, cold or not.