Washington has been rugged and wet. At this point most people I encounter question wether the border is actually within reach. Writing from Skykomish (the hitch off Mile 2,461.6), locals warn of will breaking rain and snow.
Just two nights ago I found myself entertaining their fears for a moment (only a moment).
Because of the sloppy execution of a failed burrito wrapping experiment (where I wrapped my sleeping bag within my tent instead of setting the whole tent up to save time), my sleeping bag was SOAKED. With the rain still coming down at 5 or 6 in the evening, I knew I had to get below 5,000 feet to avoid snow.
Up a couple thousand feet, down a couple thousand feet has been the theme of the final 250 miles. So far I have seen light snow at 5,000 feet. And from my experience so far, (don't quote me on this), I value each 1,000 feet of elevation at about 2 degrees Farenheit. Which, you catch the drift, can be the difference between snow and rain.
So with my wet sleeping bag, my wet tent, I was hustling to the lowest spot in elevation to settle in for a wet night. But unexpectedly, from the glow of my headlamp, I spotted absolute dryness.
In order to dry my tent I need two things:
1. An area big enough to start a fire AND fit my stuff under dry cover
2. Dry fire wood
Miraculoulsy, I instantly had both. Recognizing the opportunity, with rain all around, I started a fire right on trail to improve my situation. And next to the fire I slept.
I understand this is a big no no in the wilderness community. But at the end of the day this was about safety not pomp.
I have no shame producing fire in midst of rain.