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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mile 2652.5: last night! Reflections

I am about 2.5-2.7 miles from the Canadian border. We decided not to push on tonight because
a.) It will be more fun to get there in the daylight, excited, rather than in the dark, tired, hungry, and crabby
b.) Two other hikers are planning on camping there, and it sounds like a small spot
c.) We can hike in together (Sweet 16 and I are still holding out on our dream to cross into Canada naked)

Today wasn't all that exceptional, at least compared to the last five months. Micro and I woke up super-bitchy and the sun was rising beautifully, turning the clouds pink and orange; very quickly we brightened up and weather turned wet and windy. Sometime in the afternoon, either I was zoned out beyond recognition or the weather turned instantly; I looked up and the sky was blue and the sun was shining and the air was calm. The terrain was also gorgeous, maybe it had been all day but I only noticed once I took my hood off and looked around. A couple miles later, I was at camp, and we had our final "stay or push on" debate.

Time for some reflections.

In the last five months...
-My hiking pace has gone from 2.5 mph to 2.5 mph
-I have lost almost all bladder and bowel control. I have never pooped my pants (though it's been close), but I have peed them countless times during the five seconds between my "hey, I need to pee" realization and having poles off, pack off, and pants layers down two feet off the trail.
-My dinners have increased from 16 oz to 28 oz
-I've lost about 25 pounds
I have read 1.5 books and every single food label (the entire label) at least four times

I look forward to...
-Cooking!
-Just listening to music when I get Ricky Martin stuck in my head for hours
-Toilets! Beds!
-Spitting out my toothpaste
-Not carrying all my trash (including used toilet paper) around for days at a time.
-Watching movies on televisions rather than in my fallible, scatterbrained memory
-Reading

I dread...
-Traffic, and driving in it.
-Having to watch what I eat
-Excercise requiring special effort, rather than a given
-Gaining weight no matter how good I try to be
-My financial situation
-Holding my pee beyond the next bush
-Needing to be busy, busy, busy when all I'll want to be is lazy, lazy, lazy
-Being homeless and unemployed
-Finding a job and a place to live

I'll miss...
-Having a data book to answer all my important questions. Having all important questions answerable by mileages in a data book?
-Having a solid, reliable routine to fall back on at all times
-Waking up next to/near Microburst and Sweet 16
-Eating and talking with Micro and 16
-Adding peanut butter or mayonnaise to food in order to make it more nutritionally appropriate for me.

It will be weird...
-To have more clothing choices in the morning beyond, "Do I want to wear my shorts over my long johns under my rainpants or not?" and "Clean underwear, dirty underwear, or no underwear?"
-To have something other than "walk north" on my to-do list.
-When getting in bed is exactly that simple.
-Calling people by regular names rather than nouns and cultural references.
-To not be a mini-celebrity everywhere I go
-To listen to podcasts within a month of their release
-When "having the brightest headlamp" will not be a reliable source of legitimate pride and joy
-To look at my watch for the date rather than day of the week.

I have gotten really good at...
-Daydreaming
-Farting
-Mental math

I wish I could tell my Mexican-border self...
-All the things I eventually got rid of
-I need variety between sections, not during. Turns out I can happily eat the same thing every single day for a week as long as I'll be eating something different over and over next week.
-Not to get emotionally wrapped up with anybody
-To enjoy my knees while they last

- Typoed on my iPhone

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