Twenty Four More Days
This is how I know I’m excited for the AT. Kyle and I live in a basement and we have two double doors in our room, which open into the back yard. If our bladders are naggingly full in the middle of the night we are in the habit of just stepping outside. Not only do you get a glimpse of the stars when you do this but you also avoid navigating the pitch-black basement which is full of pointy tables and toe stubbing devices. Kyle’s nightly pee trips are one of my treasured moments because he leaves the doors wide open. That cool refreshing Northwest air comes rushing in and suddenly I’m in a tent again. There is nothing better then being snuggled deep in your cozy down cloud of a sleeping bag as fresh air fondles your face. And then I think to myself, twenty four more days, and I’ll have more fresh air then I know what to do with.
“It seemed to me that it had always felt like this to be a human in the wild, and as long as the wild existed it would always feel this way” Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild.
One of the restaurants I work at is located in the mall. Which I hate. I hate malls, they make me uncomfortable. But what bothers me the most is the kids who flock, en masse, to the mall. All day they are just texting and sitting, looking around, eating, slouching in and out of stores. It worries me that these are kids that know nothing about being human. What if they have never spent time in nature, never tried to eat pine needles or balanced on logs, spent all day getting muddy and running full tilt down a game trail? Nature is one of the few primordial things, like having children and love, that can still connect us to the roots of our humanity. That can make us feel what our distant ancestors must have felt: fear and helplessness, awe and respect. It worries me that anyone should ever grow up without that interaction with the environment. Without knowing what nature means to them, to their humanity, would it be easy for them to push it aside, to toss it away?
Just one tiny rant I need to go on… WHY ARE ALL WOMEN’S OUTDOOR CLOTHING SO UGLY? Seriously. After we got all our gear nailed down I began the task of understanding how to dress for a six month hike. There is plenty of clothing out there but all of it comes in the following colors: black, bright pink or bright blue. Why do companies think that these are women’s favorite colors? Kyle gets to be dressed in beautiful dark greens, rich browns, and understated tans. But not me, I’m going to be dressed in black studded with pink and blue. All three are colors you rarely find in nature. When you are in the woods you want to be part of them, not an eyesore. So a word of advice to outdoor companies, get some more colors and treat women with a little more creativity.