Day rolls into night, rolls into day, and my skin remains the same throughout. Just one big sticky mess. I can wipe down with a wet one or jump in a creek it won’t matter, within minutes of any type of movement I’m a sticky mess. I asked local people “How do you get used to the humidity?” Their response is, “You don’t.” While in Port Clinton, I stopped in at the barbershop. No no, not you remove my beard but to charge my phone, have a cup of coffee, and get assistance to travel to and from Port Clinton to Hamburg.
As I opened the door, besides being greeted by the owner Frank and his father Rocco with the mighty hello, I was greeted with a blast of cold air that was so cold I thought I had entered a frozen food locker. Not a barber shop. Within minutes I settled in with a cup of coffee and bakery, a local guy named Steve had brought in. Rocco was in the corner fanning himself with a piece of newspaper and complaining it was still too warm.
So Frank went to the window where a fan sat and turned it on. I hated to go back out in the weather as this particular morning had started with a light mist but I had resuppling to finish.
By noon I finally had a total resupply thanks to Steve. It had stopped raining and I had no more reason to delay. I swung up my pack, picked up my poles and headed out the door. My next stop would be near PA 309 in 2 days. That’s where last year fellow hiker Crackers was picking me up for some trail magic. I charged up the multiple switchbacks I thought I would never get to the top. Around 2 p.m. I was sticky from head to toe because of the humidity and the sweat of hiking. As if I wasn’t wet enough, I heard thunder in the distance and within seconds I was hiking in a downpour. This time though, I didn’t pull out any rain gear. Why should I, it is just like wearing a sauna suit. Yes, that rain gear becomes an instant sweatbox. When my shirt, shorts, and now it looked like my boots were totally drenched. I started to regret my idea of no rain gear. I tried to find the ever-present canopy of leaves to protect me but of course it was non-existant when I needed it.
Instead, I loosen my backpack rain fly and tried to pull it up in over my head and I hunched as far over my feet as possible to keep as much rain from filling my boots. When the rain stopped, I was drenched. My boots weren’t completely wet, but would become that way within minutes of hiking through puddles and streams in the trail. Wet feet equals blisters and right now I have 10 throbbing, painful blisters.
So, back to the topic of humidity. It is ever-present. At night all clothing, my sleeping bag and sleeping bag liner are damp. My skin is sticky and it is hard to get comfortable eniugh to fall asleep. If it is material, it will be damp. If it is a rock in the trail and the sun shines on it, it looks damp. I am constantly trying to wipe the fog off my glasses and my camera lens. Yes, it is moisture in the air. Damp damp, damp, damp. I think the dampness could actually drive a person mad. I’m so grateful I live where there is, at the most, maybe 14 days of humid weather each year. For any northern Minnesotan, all we have to do is jump into one of our 10,000 lakes. But don’t get any ideas of moving North. Everyone who lives in our state will tell you, we also have 9 months of winter. Our winters aren’t for the faint of heart. I’m talking sixty below zero temps. I often have wondered why none of my Finnish ancestors, when they emigrated from Finland, didn’t go to a slightly warmer climate when they had the chance.I think I found that reason, it’s called humidity. KIITOS!