Seriously This Smell Can’t Be Me

What I’ve learned in 400 Miles

My table and spoon in its proper place

I now know that when ya only have one spoon it’s very important not to loose it.  In my normal life, I would fling spoons around and if I needed another,  I’d just reach in the silverware drawer.  Or sometimes,  since I’m a bit of a minimalist, I might’ve been known to throw a few away.  Not out here, I would retrace my steps to find my spoon.  Funny though,  how can I loose a spoon in a 3 x6 tent?    Seriously, how can it disappear in such a small area.  Or better yet, how can I loose my socks.  They are as equally as important as my spoon.  Trust me it happens!

Repetition, Repetition  

Ready for the midnight shuffle

After five weeks of continuously losing stuff in my tent,  I have learned it’s all about repetition.  Now,  I take the sock off and put it in its right spot, which is hang it over my toes.  The cook stove always sits outside of my tent towards the right hand side.  My headlamp  hangs above my head, hiking shoes sit outside, upside down to the left of my tent.  Last thing I want to look at while I cook,  is my muddy hikers.  The crocs reside outside,  ready for toe entrance and a mad dash “Midnight pee” exit.

I have learned that everything I am carrying on my back has a vital purpose,  therefore, I must treat each item as though I need it to last a lifetime.  I hope  this lesson remains in my noggin .  Stuff is stuff, until each item is needed for survival.

What stinks in my tent

Washer/dryer minus the washer/dryer

I have to share that setting my tent up is the best.  It means I have successfully trekked a bunch of miles and soon it will be time to rest.  It’s amazing, this hotel that I lug around on my back is so cozy, I call it my “Little hidy hole.”  I believe my brain and body actually recognizes what this tent means.

I am so focused when I set my home for the night.  I have some requirements that I look for.  First,  I look for a flat, no roots, no rocks, spot and I’m here to say that kind of a spot doesn’t exist.  I’ve slept with feet up, head down, on rocks, nagging roots, and my favorite the side of a hill that allowed me to play slip and slide all night.

In my tent several things take place.  I have to cook, eat, bath, hang my laundry and make my bed.  How cool, I don’t even have to walk from room to room, I can do all this while I’m sitting.  The laundry is a bit different in AT world.  The laundry I hang are the clothes that I’ve been hiking in for 5, 6, or 7 days.

One night I laid in my bed trying to locate a specific smell.  It kind of had an aroma of moldy socks that had been left in a washer way too long.  As I hedged about in my cubicle,  I realized it was coming from the shirt area.  I seriously thought,  how do I produce this odor, it just can’t be me.

Lessons from the Trail

400 miles and I finally got it

This trail is more than just a trail.  It is constantly teaching, it’s like  the wisest Professor sharing profound knowledge.   I know I’ve read in Mathew 6 that I am not suppose to worry about tomorrow because today has its own concerns.

I am the first to admit, I am always thinking about tomorrow.  My list is usually long, and when I cross one thing off, I add something else.  I’m sure that is what many of us do, it’s called life.  For the first time,  I’m my life,  there is no list!  Well,  I suppose there could be one written.  It would say, “Hike all day.”

Living in the Moment

“Professor AT” taught me something huge in five weeks.  I now have the ability and the desire to live in the moment.  I have always struggled with this concept, I’ve always wanted to do more, and then more again.   The abscess of a list or schedule is mind boggling, and even if I tried to set one the trail decides what will happen next.  Such as today when a snake was on the trail and I had to back up and wait for it to do its thing.  Thankfully, he slithered away and I was but a second getting far away.

I believe our Heavenly Father put nature together; mountainous views,  rumbling rivers and tough hiking terrain to teach us to slow down.  For this lesson I’d like to say, thank you Jesus!  

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Comments 3

  • Seleipiri Akobo : Apr 15th

    I definitely am enjoying the lessons along with you.

  • Red Squirrel : Apr 17th

    Your opener about the spoon made me laugh! I just lost mine a few days ago and was eating with a trowel until a weekend backpacker gave me one last night.

  • Dale Pedersen : Jun 4th

    It is a delight to have just discovered an sister in the Lord who is doing the AT. I am so happy to experience the trek vicariously with you . Both my knees are quite compromised bc of injuries so actually hiking the AT is not realistic although it has wishfully, theoretically been on my bucket list for years. I really appreciate your gumption and your unique perspective. In real life, l work with precious kindergartners in public school in Virginia. Because of Covid, l have not been back home to the Finger Lakes for 2 years. Last week, sequential, daily mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde and Oklahoma impacted my heart in a very personal way. The senseless violence of the world happening on US soil along with the ongoing 100+dark days in the Ukraine are prompting me to think,” Stop the world, l want to get off!” If only it was as easy to rise from your seat on the bus and push on the corded wire to ring the buzzer. It is so refreshing! A selah to listen to your dialogue of cherishing a return to nature and gratefulness for kind people and daily manna from the Word. ?


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