A Day in the Life
The trail is the thing, not the end of the trail. Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for. Louis L’Amour
I’m sure at this point everybody wants to know the ins and outs of trail life. No need to worry, I’ll do a “Day in the Life”
7:00 am: wake up (first couple weeks we have had cold nights, so getting out of the sleeping bag is no easy feat).
7:30 am: check to see if my bear bag is outside my tent (if someone is kind enough to get it down for me). If it’s not there I’ll grab them for everyone. We need to hang our food every night so bears dont steal out precious food and you thought hiker life was easy.
7:45 am: get back into the sleeping bag and make coffee and eat a pop tart (whoever said that Wheaties is the breakfast of champions have obviously never had a pop tart). Eating breakfast from your tent and watching a sunrise, can’t beat that, well except for the fact that it is 30 degrees outside.
8:00 am: start to pack up (if I’m in a shelter this is easier, no tent to take down). I swear I lose my spoon at least twice every day. Packing is a science. Also at this time I tape up my feet (blisters/hot spots) and hope that I’ve done a halfway decent job.
8:30 – 9:00 am: I am usually on the trail by this time. I love the early morning hikes. This is usually when I like to hike alone. Peaceful, quiet contemplation. Not a bad way to start the day.
11:00 am: Start to wonder if I smell bad. Spoiler alert – the answer is usually yes.
Noonish: Pick a good spot for lunch. The spot can range for a gorgeous vista, to a shelter, to merely the side of the trail. Lunch is usually a packet of Tuna fish, some beef jerky and a protein bar.
2:00 pm: does my knee really hurt or nah? Usually in the afternoons I enjoy to hike with other people. So I tend to find a group. We have some laughs, talk about life, what we want to gain from this experience etc. This helps to pass the time.
4:00 – 5:00 pm: roll into camp (literally). Figure out if I should sleep in a shelter or tent it. I tend to tent it. If you shelter it you have to deal with people snoring and being right next to you. So I try and find a flat spot (tougher than you would ever imagine) and set up my home for the night. At this point I tend to think about the fact that I really am homeless living in the woods. Kind of a surreal feeling.
6:00 pm: make dinner, hang out around the fire (if someone has enough energy to make one). I love to hear everyone’s stories of why they are out here. Fascinating stuff.
8:00 pm: “Hiker midnight” everyone is usually in bed at this time. My last thought of the day is usually, “man I smell bad” (half joking here, as I always smell like bluebonnets). Look through the “AWOL” guidebook and see where to call home tomorrow night. Also, see what the terrain looks like (this is key). Read a little bit (Silver Canyon by Louis L’Amour is the current book of choice) and then snooze time.
A great part of being on the trail is not having a schedule to adhere to. This is probably the only time in my life I will get the opportunity to be schedule free. The fact that you need to wake up and all you need to do is hike is a surreal feeling. The only goal is to get to Maine before Baxter closes.
I’ve omitted some other details, for example the Privy (bathroom) experiences. If anyone happens to be reading this in the morning, you’re welcome.
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Love the trail updates, Alan!
Have to laugh at the Louis L’Amour references, a favorite author of mine.
Enjoy and stay well,
Love the updates. God speed
Go Allen!! Stay healthy and have a ball!