I’m Afraid of the Rain
I’ve been traveling a lot lately. In fact, I was gone almost all of October to see family and to take advantage of not being employed full-time. But, thankfully, I’m finally home now in the cooler pacific northwest, wearing my beloved fleece and drinking lots of good (hot) herbal tea. I love fall, not only because I’ve always greatly disliked heat, but also because I love seeing the change of seasons in the natural world around me. Just when you get used to it being warm, or cold, things change. It’s magical.
Not surprisingly, it’s finally raining here again after a strangely warm and dry summer in Oregon and Washington. Most days of the week seem to be accompanied by at least brief showers, and the sun is covered by a thick sheet of gray more days than not. While it gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to be reminded of my childhood on the rainy/foggy/cool northern California coast, surprisingly it’s also been a challenge to reacquaint myself with rain. After living in Los Angeles and this epic California drought for three years for gradschool and then work, I got very used to assuming that rain would never happen. On the rare occasion that it DID rain, I found that I no longer had rain appropriate shoes or clothing. My umbrella was buried somewhere deep in my closet. Drivers on the roads were worse than normal. Chaos.
So, lately I’ve found myself wondering: what is this stuff that falls from the sky?
And I’ll be honest: I’m totally freaked out about how to deal with rain now. How do you HIKE in the rain? Can you BIKE in it? What if my glasses get wet or fogged up and I can’t see, or I get cold? I’ve become painfully used to having clear/dry weather for my outdoor adventures, that the idea of rain is a bit intimidating. Sure, I’m used to cold, and I even enjoy a good chilly backpacking trip, but rain is a whole different issue. I always carry rain gear, but I haven’t really used it in years. Do people still go on outdoor trips here during the rain? Do they still take down jackets with them? Do they stay inside all season? (I have to assume they don’t). These are the questions I need to answer, since I’ve already started to avoid the activities I love because of the rain.
During the next several months, I’m really looking forward to figuring this out (but, I’m also clearly still extremely intimidated). Hopefully, the answer to my question won’t be STAY INDOORS.
Of course, if you have any pointers, tips, tricks, or resources related to outdoor adventuring in the rain, I’d love to hear them!