Camp: CDT mile 492.4
Today was about as wonderful as yesterday, posing the same challenges and the same pleasures. It was another day of walking mesas, finding water, eating and blisters (not necessarily in that order). I have 2 new blisters from my insoles (that I’ve already worn through) and because I can’t win…but these are a lot more manageable than the last round. I think I can confirm that my shoes are too small (even though they are a size and a half up from my normal size). I’ve survived this long with them though, and the new ones I have coming (in 130 miles) are different shoes altogether.
I spent a lot of time today thinking about thru hiking and the vortex of trail towns. It is definitely glorious to arrive in a town and act as gluttonous as possible, all cares to the wayside besides which all you can eat has the best deal. Towns have showers, packages from home, grocery stores, laundry, restaurants and sometimes movie theaters and gear stores. Town is where we get things taken care of, and where we rest.
When we start getting closer to town, a lot of hikers pick up their daily miles to arrive sooner. Always plotting to get to town as soon as possible to enjoy as many amenities as possible. This has been bothering me lately, because it feels like a whole lot of hurry up and rest to me. It feels like not enjoying the trail because we have to go to a buffet, see a movie (sometimes a television show), buy more food or whatever is pushing one towards town. I have decided that I am completely against this style of hiking…for myself. It all goes back to the saying, “hike your own hike.”
It makes me sad though, because sometimes I feel like there are so few of us out here actually enjoying the trail. So few of us willing to carry extra food to do less miles, to stop before planned to take in a swimming hole or an awesome view. It feels like everyone is rushing and I just want to slow down.
We are almost done with New Mexico and that is crazy to me. I can’t believe how quickly it has gone by, how many beautiful places we have been able to experience…and so many places we will probably never visit but in the moment we walk through. It is all so fleeting.
When I look back on this I don’t want to remember the towns, I want to remember the fantasy world the trail lets us indulge in…but that is part of a whole other tangent I can’t indulge you in now…it is almost hiker midnight after all.
I am 6 miles from town having just watched the sun set over the prairie, making the mesas glow pink. I can hear the highway in the distance and I have no pull to get there. I am happier here on the trail, in my tent, alone if I must be to enjoy this. Tomorrow is all about the gluttony, but even then I’ll be longing to return to my summer home: the CDT.
Dinner: Spanish rice with chicken and cheese.