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For nearly three hours, I’d been trying unsuccessfully to sleep. It was definitely not the most comfortable bed I’d ever had—only a thin yellow and silver accordion-style pad separated my sleeping bag from the particleboard platform bunk. I had no pillow; a pillow was too much of an extravagance to haul up to ten thousand feet. But I was glad I opted for the warmer, albeit slightly heavier, sleeping bag. Even though my bed was hard, it was warm as I cuddled a hot water bottle like a teddy bear.

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