|Photo by Beat Jegerlehner|
I was shattered by the time I reached the cabin. Beat had been able to run most of the way down the dome, but I could only manage a half-hearted shuffle. I couldn't even join the guys for the first soak of the evening because I had to huddle next to the stove, drink hot cocoa, and shiver my way to recovery. My body temperature had dropped during the descent, because after I burned up my energy reserves on the climb, my body stopped making heat. I knew I needed to eat a candy bar to stop this from happening, but I was still nauseated from the hard effort. If I hadn't been so close to a cabin, I would have stopped and put on my down coat and dealt with it right away. Instead, I just slogged along until I reached the cabin, and by then I was deeply bonked, and thus deeply cold. Really, for an eleven-mile pleasure trip it's embarrassing, but the hike into Tolovana Hot Springs turned out to be quite the epic for me ... and only me.
Of course, I was plenty grateful when I arrived at the trailhead to find the truck had fired up, no problem. It was a great trip without major mishap, a Boxing Day miracle.