May 14 2015
There was a way that we all had to follow. I respected the way as a guest, but was a little annoyed by it because I was a paying guest. I felt as if I were paying for a show. In the morning I was up before sunrise, as usual, and went outside to eat my ritual oatmeal. As I was packing up my bag the owner came out and asked me why I wasn’t eating breakfast. In the same fashion she loudly invited me to eat breakfast with them, but I had my shoes on, pack was packed and I had taken my morning shit. I was ready to go. I responded that I had already eaten and that I had much gratitude. I felt ungrateful and guilty, but breakfast was like $7 and didn’t start for another hour. I wanted to get hiking and had little interest in working for a meal I didn’t really want. I wandered into Pearisburg early and found Tick Tock hanging out at the Dairy Queen. I continued wandering towards the Chinese Buffet, where I found Miami Vice finishing up a feast. I put down five plates of food while waiting for my parents to arrive.
My parents picked Sam and I up at the Diary Queen and we all went to a motel for the night. They kindly came to drive us down to Trail Days in Damascus. We had out laundry riding in the front on the way to a laundry mat which we realized was a big mistake. The entire car was filled with a choking hiker funk.
Later that night we soaked our feet in the bathtub and I underwent yet another pack shakedown. I usually went through my pack and tried to shed weight every few weeks. I remember being extremely sad to be leaving trail. I was going to Trail Days to see friends who were behind me on trail, but I realize now that I probably should have just kept on hiking like I usually do. Once you walk away from people, unless they are really understanding people, they seem to take it personally.
I think I really went to Trail Days out of curiosity…and to say goodbye to Sam. People walk in different ways. Sam is a great person, and I wish that we could have kept on hiking together.
At some point I need to hike alone. I need to get away from everyone. I wish I could skip trail days but I think it is important to go. I will miss those who keep walking while I am off trail. Godspeed.
I had a nightmare last night about returning to the modern lifestyle. I dreamt of the frustrations of being in the sedentary lifestyle. I woke up worrying about how I am going to adjust to being back in society. I really don’t want to go back.
Learned: switching out socks every other day helps air out the feet and keeps the awful smell at bay.