July 29 Mile 442.1 Zero Day
Even though I got a good long day of hiking in on Tuesday, I still had to skip some miles to get to Hanover yesterday. I could go back and hike them but I know I won’t and I’m totally ok with that. For the most part I love my hiker brethren but damn sometimes some people can be very judgemental about miles hiked.
Sometimes I see this strange competitiveness going on between NOBOs and SOBOs and I have zero tolerance for it. It’s mostly early 20 something males who engage in this kind of thing. Maybe they have something to prove? Or maybe it is linked to the entitlement that many younger hikers display? I don’t know and frankly I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it unless I am confronted with it head on. I got super lucky with my tramily but all of them are off trail now for various reasons. Pepper will be back and catch up with me somewhere, hopefully. Lays had to go see his gran and Silky Pete went back to New Mexico. So. I’m waiting for Skyman to get into town, it will be fun to see him despite my puffy appearance!
As I was relaxing in my motel room I watched TV and was bombarded by all the bullshit on the news. It sucked. When internet and media are not an active part of my daily life it is something of a shock to be reintroduced to it in town.
It’s very tempting to say that ignorance is bliss. However, I don’t view being unplugged as a kind of ignorance. I view it as a kind of active non-participation. A refusal to be a receptical for the garbage on the TV and internet.
The trail can be a privilege for sure. I work hard not to take it for granted. Which is why I do my best to take care of it and minimize my impact on it. I know how lucky I am to be able to spend this time doing nothing but hike for months on end. To live in a country where this hike is an option. Especially as a woman. I get it all the time. For the guy sitting next to me in the diner. From the woman in the grocery store.
“Aren’t you afraid to do that all by yourself? Aren’t you scared?”
Of what, I usually ask. I’ve always felt safe in the woods, since I was old enough to remember. Not feeling safe is something I have a hard time wrapping my mind around.
But I wonder; do these people ask the same questions to men who are hiking alone? No, generally not.
I think this fear I should be feeling is just a tendril of entitlement that I refuse.
It’s not in my nature.
Pun intended, for sure!