March 28 2015
In the morning the condensation from our breath had frozen to the fly of the tent. I was wearing every article of clothing in my pack and my feet felt frozen. We packed up quickly and hit the trail. The day was cold and clear. Ice curls had heaved out of the ground overnight and icicles hung from rock faces as we moved along the ridge line towards Blue Mountain.
All of the water sources were dry or half frozen, so we had trouble with dehydration. I spent the better part of an hour pumping brown water out of the mud hole water source at Blue Mountain. We landed early at the Shelter and set up inside. Moonbow and Lightning Bug had a fire going in the afternoon and we chatted awhile. Moonbow and my mom had short conversations in sign language which helped my mom feel more included. We did yoga in the shelter with Moonbow, Lightning Bug and Ropeburn, later that night we met T-storm and Quigon. Around the fire we decided to fight off the cold by thinking of trail names for people who were not named. Ropeburn suggested an environmental name for me because I was picking up trash as we walked all day. Moonbow suggested Captain Planet and we all laughed. T-storm emphatically bestowed the permanency of the name on me and my real name was not uttered on trail again for the remaining six months.
That night it was 17 degrees and windy. We all felt the pain of cold and thought twice about all the hikers who had run to Unicoi to avoid this discomfort. Quigon took out his emergency blanket and crinkled all night like a self-destructing human burrito. I wore all of my socks and my feet were still in aching.
Trail log: Blue Mountain
So cold, too cold. The kind of cold that makes you squirm, turn, moan in pain. Can’t close your hands or open them to grasp. Can’t think straight. Can’t talk, can’t eat, nothing left and there is no way I can keep this up.