“I am a mile counter.”
Table Mountain to just after Eagle Spring turn off (mile 163.5)
Post by Dan
We on the trail measure time in many different ways, sometimes we can even lose track of it. Some count miles, dots, or way points on a map to estimate time. I am a mile counter. Thank you Halfmile for the great maps. Some judge time by places, landmarks, geographic regions, peaks, and points of interest. This would be Rockin’. Others simply look at a time and place as, “I am standing here so this is where I am.” This would be Silly Chili, living for the moment.
It is easy to lose track of time on the trail. At times, dates and days can disappear as we focus on what nature has in store for us ahead. When in nature, take the time to enjoy the places you go to. Notice the cactus ready to explode into bloom, the furry red velvet ant crossing the trail, or the footprints of a wild turkey. There is so much to see and experience. Also, don’t forget to look back at the places you have been: the mountain ranges you have crossed and the miles you have traveled. It will amaze you.
Pooping in the woods: There will come a time and you will need to find a place. Most fear it, few embrace it, but it will happen in nature. When the time comes you’ll know where to go.
Unlike two of our kids (now in college) who can hold it for 4-5 days in the back country, I have decided to go with the flow. To ease some of the stress, I tried a new approach. A travel pack of Wet Ones baby wipes. No more weight than a roll of toilet paper and one or two sheets and a couple careful folds, you’re back on the trail in no time feeling fresh and relieved with no mess and little disregard. Ahhh back to nature.
At this time we have 2 grandchildren, Asher 3 and Ella 5 next week. They now live in a place far away in Idaho. We love and miss them deeply. This week on the trail being Easter week, we decided to do something fun and take the time to place brightly colored Easter eggs at points of interest on the trail, take a picture of them on our iPhone and text it to the kids, so the could find the eggs. This blossomed into great fun for us and the kids as the eggs traveled the PCT, meeting new friends, seeing great sights, and even developing personalities of their own. The kids would text us back once the eggs were located in the picture. One text we received from Ella said “I wish I was with them on the trail!” BINGO! A future hiker in the making? Time will tell, but it did bring us to the same place, even if through technology. We will post all the Easter egg pics in a future blog post.
In closing I am reminded of a shirt I once saw in Lone Pine, CA. It read “I Climbed (out of my car and took a picture of) Mount Whitney”. To experience nature you have to get out in it. It is not visited through the window of a car or on the couch watching TV. Take a hike and get out. You’ll be amazed. Make the time, pick a place, and go experience nature.