The joy of hiker trash (mile 77-180)
Ive quickly found that experiences I would have found less than appealing in ‘normal life’have suddenly become some of the highlights of my trail experience. Perhaps it is because simplicity breeds joy or perhaps it’s because I have come into my true form as hiker trash. Here is a rating of my top experiences on trail between the past few miles.
**ive been having issues loading images so no pictures today 🙁
1) the Glory of a Bucket Shower
One of the most glorious things you can experience in life is a good bucket shower on a sunny day after walking over 100 miles. I passed the 100 mile marker about a week into trail not having a solid opportunity to shower and I was feeling it (I was in full musty stage). I walked into town quite disgusting, picked up my food at the post office, and called the community center that would close soon.
The call went to voicemail. ‘Hey my names Hannah and im just a hiker wondering when the showers will close-‘. I was wuickly interrupted by another voice on the other side of the phone. ‘Aw dude, im a hiker too and these showers are legendary. Youve got to come! Come quick! Im a new person now!’ The hiker on the other end of the phone abruptly hung up. I quickly began hobbiling back to the community center.
There is was in all of its glory. On the back wall of the community center we’re a few home depot sized buckets and a sink. I placed the bucket in the sink and began running the water to pick the perfect bucket shower temperature. I played around with the faucet for a while, stoked on all of the options that layed at my fingertips.
Once the perfect temperature has been chosen I went into one of the stalls and the back patio of the porch and proceeded to use a pitcher to dump water on the fifth coated on me.
I emerged a new person. Clean and overjoyed.
2) A Mango Feast
The hardest physical day on trail ended on the ridge of a mountain overlooking a desert in the dark. It was probably around 8:30 and I began to set up my tent in the howling wind. I was freezing and snuggled into my quilt as soon as possible. I hadn’t eaten since 11am or so and was ravenous. I opened up my food bag and began to eat everything in sight for 30 minutes. Tortillas, peanut butter, Chilli mangos, cliff bars. I would only stop occasionally when my tent had blown down ue to the wind. I feel asleep next to my open food bag, full and pleaded with the day.
I have never had a meal that good and I doubt one will ever compare.
3) A U-Turn
It was another hot day in the desert. I was sitting by a water source with some friends and then looked up at the mountain ahead.
‘Alright’, I said, ‘I’ll see you up the trail. I walked up the trail for another 10 minutes or so and then the mountain took a sudden decline. That’s a bit strange, I thought, but was grateful for the change of pace. When I looked up 10 minutes later I saw my friends who I had left, sitting ahead of me.
‘Hannah, you came back?’ My friend asked.
Apparently on one of the switchbacks instead of turning to continue up the mountain I made a 180 degree turn and walked back to the start. We burst into laughter and I was given my trail name: U-Turn.
Very rarely in my life have I felt exactly where I am supposed to be. Looking back, it seems to me that all roads have led me to this walk. My neighborhood canyon that shaped my upbringing, my communities love of adventure, and nature’s innate crucible effect on my thoughts. Each day I seem to go through a full range of emotions. I’ve had some of the most intense feelings of anger, fear, joy, and contentment in my life over the past two weeks. I have nothing but gratitude when I wake up and only gratitude as I end my day. Suffering makes life exceptionally colorful. Happiness is only real when shared. To me, this trip so far had been a rambunctious mix of the both: suffering everyday, but doing so in the company of beautiful people.
This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!
To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.
Love the trail name dude!!!! You’re killing it out there with the mileage!
What Do You Think?