Today is the second day in a row that's so rainy we try not to leave our tents. The water has started to splash through the rainfly a little, tiny drops dotting my carefully dry warm things. All my raingear is still soaked through from yesterday, so it's a debate whether or not to wear it when I have to dash outside. Naturally, I've also just gotten my period. And I must have dropped my Ziploc of toilet paper on my last run out of the tent, because it's not in my pocket anymore.
When it's sunny out, it's easy to swear that Southeast Alaska is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Majestic peaks rise in every direction, and the sun on massive boulders and blanched driftwood rootstocks is stunning. But it rains more than it doesn't, and that's a good time to have a cabin and a fire.
Campfires here have been a challenge, and even then, not a satisfying source of warmth. But we make them every day because a Jetboil is not an effective way to boil a pot of shrimp.
We've been pulling shrimp every day in the shrimp pot, and that is glorious. In our one little pot, we've been getting pounds of shrimp: spot prawns, stripes, and coon stripes in their three sizes. And though I struggled for hours in the rain to get a fire started yesterday, Rick and I eventually got it going because our hearts were set on paella: foraged mussels and shrimp steamed over a bed of spiced rice with peppers and onions, cooked just until the edges of the rice become crisp and chewy, sizzling in the olive oil.
You have to be careful not to breathe the thick white smoke from the ever-damp wood, but the fires can get hot once they're going. We seek out the pebbled bark of mature spruce trees to make a first steady flame: these trees dribble pitch, which sputters and sparks but burns steadily once caught, even when very wet.
My ebook flipped over and cracked yesterday in a gust of wind, so now I'm working to not drain battery reading on my phone. I'm moving slowly, beach scavenging, sitting under our shelter tarp drinking hot liquids and imagining I can steam dry my clothes from the inside that way. We'll go on a walk later and lose that illusory progress.
The forecast once said the next three days would be gorgeous and sunny. Ryan says the update now reads overcast but not rainy for all three. I’ll take it.