Heat

Death Valley, Lowest to Highest Route, 2015

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I’m a terrible singer and I suck at math and I can’t dance but I can walk through 100+ degree heat, with not so much a smile on my face, but with morbid elation. I’m not sure why I am this way. I was born in Ohio during the winter and I spent 13 years living beneath a cool gray Pacific Northwest sky.

It’s not as if I’m impervious to it. Crossing the playa in 120 degrees makes me feel like a drooly vegetable with raw feet, but are they feet or stumps now? and my mouth is as dry as the dirt I drag myself along.

You will reach your comfort threshold and then surpass it, over and over.

There is no hash tag or Instagram photo that will capture Death Valley heat. Please don’t underestimate it and proceed with an excellent sense of humor.

9 thoughts on “Heat”

  1. I don’t know how you do it Chance. I was born in Ohio (in the Fall) and have lived on the rainy side of the PacNW for 27 years and I wilt and suffer in the heat. Any tips? Oh, where in OH were you born and raised?

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    1. east of Cleveland, a town called Perry. it’s right on lake erie. With regards to the heat, just make sure you’re well hydrated and use shade when possible. try not to let yourself get overheated. having some extra water to splash on your face from time to time helps.

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      1. Sorry about the delay. I’m from Upper Arlington, a suburb right next to the Ohio State campus in Columbus. 18 years there then away to college. I’m doing the PCT next year, my first long-distance hike, and would love to talk to you sometime about gear and food. Not sure how to connect with you outside of this forum.

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  2. Granted, it was only 107º when I started my L2H hike, and proceeded to get (literally) colder and colder day by day from there to the point where I was freezing, but I’m the same way: I can hike in the hot hot heat and me happy-miserable. I just like it. We should walk together sometime really fucking hot.

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