If a coat says that it is breathable, it’s not waterproof. My Columbia rain jacket has served me well the handful of times I have taken it out, but it was no match for this rainforest and lost all sense of repellency within a couple days of the trip. After the first few days on our own, we walked into the Forks Grocery/Hardware/Clothing store and looked around for jackets and tarps. After a little searching and a lot of trying things on, the guys found matching forest-green, heavy-duty jackets made of pvc plastic. None of them, however, fit me. The adult small actually fit Paul quite well while women’s sizes were nonexistent and the only children’s sizes available were small and medium. The guys encouraged me to at least buy one of those cheap ponchos, but I opted instead for the roll of plastic bags I had in my car. For the next five or six days I wore a t-shirt, a plastic bag overtop with broken arm and head holes, a fleece pullover, and another plastic bag, this time with the head hole in the middle of the bag to create a sort of hood with the bag’s corners as awkward ears. It kept me dryer…but yah, didn’t really work very well.
At one point in the week we ran out of water, so on the way to one of our sites we stopped into a little outfitters store that rented gear and sold clothes and snacks. The woman behind the counter was actually from Boise and her and Chris connected immediately in conversation. Apparently she had come up here just to surf for vacation, she met surfer dude (she really did call him that) and stayed here with him when her friends left to go back to school or work. Now she lives in a house down the road with surfer dude and works at this store for her math professor who also doubles as a published women’s history novelist. She took us out back and gave us the most iron-filled well water. While our bucket was filling, I perused the jacket section and found a pretty good name brand jacket for just 30 bucks (compared to at least 100 for all the other ones). I didn’t have any money with me and I couldn’t quite tell if it was waterproof, so I left it alone. A few days later, with the boss in tow, we returned to the store and both of us bought these navy blue, Helly Hansen, polyurethane jackets. Now the guys matched with their jackets and girls matched with our own. It was adorable. Finally, just as the rain was gone, I had a rain jacket. There were really only one or two more terrible rain days to follow, but it didn’t matter, because I was protected from them.