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Grey Flannel - Warm When Wet

When you live in the mountains, you learn to dress in layers. Before there were any moisture wicking fabrics or "exercise wear" outfits, we at the Yosemite Institute wore 3 layers to stay warm. A patch for our Environmental Education Organization of a lone Jeffrey Pine atop Glacier Point was sewn onto the cotton shirts, the blue wool Woolrich overshirt, and the heavy grey LLBean Flannel jacket that were standard issue each year I taught there.

We supplied our own pants, footwear, and hats. I wore a red wool beret in the winter and a scarfs tied like a pirate in the summer. I wore hiking boots that were never quite water proof enough, called Muir Trails, that I loved. Later, in my 3rd or 4th year teaching in Yosemite, I took to wearing knee high rain boots for much of the winter time- drier feet with less arch support.

For rain gear we were on our own. There were instructors who invested in polypropylene outer wear. Me, I found a "Kool's Menthol" green rain poncho in the lost and found and would throw that over me when the precipitation wasn't snow. I usually wore jeans or shorts in the warmer months, and a pair of wool pants when it was cold. We taught at altitudes ranging from 4,000-6,000 feet, so we were on cross country skis a great deal in the winter.

Describing my outfit for my years teaching at the Yosemite Institute brings me great memories. When I finally left, I had several stacks of untouched "warm when wet" grey jackets, as I only used my original during the five years I taught there. It served me well.


Carmen Miranda