Reflections from Day Four, Five, Maybe Six; I Lost Count

Trail life is beginning to settle into routine.

In the mornings, we wake, and we walk. That’s what’s on the agenda. Yesterday was the same, tomorrow will be no different. Next week, next month—no change.

My clothes don’t dry, they only vary in levels of dampness, or become saturated with a new liquid: rain, creek water, sweat—don’t rinse, just repeat.

After sitting for just a few minutes my legs become complacent, stubborn to resume their role as my primary method of transportation. And rather than refreshed, renewed, after my first or second or third lunch, I feel drunk, and I stumble down the trail with but two poorly responsive appendages beneath me.

And I smell. Bad. Not that I notice it at all, the stench. Not anymore. But I’m certain it’s there. When day hikers pass, I breath deep and relish the synthetic aromas of civilization: vanilla, cherry blossom, evergreen fir. I smile; meanwhile, the day hikers wrinkle their dirtless noses.

The days seem endless. Hours, miles, tick by, and the feeling of a full day’s work arrives before 11 a.m. We push on. It’s the only thing to do.

Trail life can be monotonous but never dull. There’s always something to do, and those somethings are simple: eat, sleep, walk. You get used to it. You do things without thinking. You start to love it.

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