Trail Ramblings…from New Hampshire!
Random Trail Thoughts
Heads up-these are ramblings. Might even sound like whining, but it’s not. Just thoughts. Thoughts about how different levels of acceptance are on trail versus ‘normal’ life.
The stank is real. We are so dirty. Even when we do get to do laundry and shower there is no way to clean your actual pack so the sun is your new dryer and sterilizer. You just have to hope you get enough sunlight as the AT is known as the ‘green tunnel’. When there is enough sun, it does a great job of baking the stank in.
New levels of eating stuff off the floor…of the forest. A little dirt never hurt. Don’t even look at my hands/fingers as they pop that next bite in my mouth.
Swishing water around in my cook pot, (which is also my bowl/plate) to ‘wash it’ after coffee or a ramen bomb dinner.
Licking my spork ‘clean’ after each use.
Showering (because I’ve reached *that* level of itchy scalp) after seven days of being soaked in sweat, rehydrated sweat, and mud, putting the same damp clothes on everyday.
Environmental paradox. Here I am fully immersed in nature, in awe of what’s just around the corner/at the top of the next mountain…annnd my usage of single use plastics out here is gross. I hate it. I have to remind myself everytime I resupply that I am only contributing to that level of waste for a temporary amount of time.
My diet has also temporarily taken a hiatus. I was pescatarian for four years before I got on trail. I started eating meat about a month and a half into my hike. I normally eat relatively clean whole/unprocessed foods and now my grocery shopping most often takes place at the Dollar General or even a gas station. I eat a LOT of processed non perishable food (single use plastic). I eat a packet of tuna almost every day and I eat heaps of granola/protein/breakfast bars. And I eat sooo much sugar and salt it’s crazy. Again only temporary, but it will be a challenge to get back on track post trail. Especially since I can eat as many calories as I want right now and have absolutely no guilt about it.
Speaking of guilt, I’ve noticed I often feel guilty about my hike. I have a couple of close family members who aren’t in great health, another who welcomed the first grand-baby into our family, my brother is getting married this month, and my besties baby who I couldn’t see much during her first year on Earth due to The Rona-is practically a teenager now, the list of missed goes on. I miss my peoples and the trail is not great place for keeping in touch. One would think when I am out hiking I have all day to call and catch up but that’s just not the case. The trail is demanding and for the most part I typically don’t have much service. Honestly, I don’t have a ton of ‘down time’ other than when I am actually hiking and when I’m hiking, well I’m focused on where my foot goes next.
Females seem like a minority out here. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of women out here, but last night I was the only chica sat around the campfire and there were nine muchachos. I’m definitely not always the only one, but one of a few seems to be the case more often than not.
Again, not complaining. Just saying.
As for the hike, we made it through Maine and are slowly working through New Hampshire. New England is so beautiful, challenging terrain and expensive resupplies and lodging, but beautiful!
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Great observations. Agree with them all. Especially the guilt part. You’re working really hard, you’re super tired, but actually, it’s not work, and you’re way away from your troubles and everyone elses.