I went for a hike on the coast yesterday. My car is still with the mechanic, so I sent out a request for a ride, and someone from the group offered to pick me up.
It was a cloudy, drippy day, like so many days on the Pacific Coast, and it drizzled on us as we climbed from the beach up to a parking lot and then out along a cape. There were patches of mud that we picked carefully around.
No matter. I had gaiters on to keep my feet dry. I was wearing a synthetic shirt and had rain gear along, which I put on as I sat out on the end of the cape, looking at the smooth grey water, and took off again to hike back.
On the way back, one girl started to have knee problems on the downhill sections. I have knee problems on the downhill sections, too, although not as bad as hers, and so when the rest of the crew offered that she could wait at the upper parking lot while they did the steep part of the descent and came back for her, I stayed, too.
We sat on little pads on the ground, talking, for an hour, while the rest of the people hiked down and I got colder and colder. I kept adding layers. I added my sweatshirt-like layer. I added my raincoat. I added my rain pants. I added my hat. I added my gloves.
I was still shivering. I could feel the cold wet of my tank top against my back. My tank top was, of course, cotton. I always wear a cotton tank top, figuring that if I get stuck out in the woods overnight, I will just take it off and put the synthetics back on without it and be perfectly warm.
Only it didn't occur to me to take my wet tank top off while I was shivering in the parking lot. Or while I was shivering in the restaurant where we ate dinner. Or while I was shivering in my house at home.
It's like I broke my body's ability to regulate its own heat in one single hour.
Even this morning, I have been nervous about going outside. I'm still cold, even though I spent a warm night under the covers.
It is 64 degrees outside.