May 30 2015
I got up before sunrise to get my laundry done and find some fuel at the hardware store. When I got back to camp Mike was ready to head out. This town marks the entry into the Shenandoah Mountains. The AT hadn’t really been in a big park for awhile so it was nice to change up the land restrictions. Mike filled out a permit and included me on it so I didn’t need to fill one out. I think he wrote Captain Planet as my name, so I’m not really sure how legitimate that really was either way.
We hiked in quite a ways and found that since stealthing in the park is discouraged, campsites at shelters were limited.
I suddenly noticed a change in how people were camping. In the beginning, everyone ran to shelters to get the few spots that were available under the lean-to, but now we were all trying to get to camp so we could set up out little collapsible houses. By the time Mike and I wandered into camp there were no campsites left. Mike set up on a precarious slope, and I took a spot on a narrow upper bunk in the stone shelter. Today I met Take It Easy and Silent Force.
During the night I was having a bad dream and turned over against the wall. I knocked my nose against the stone and scraped off a bit of skin. I am probably one of the few hikers to get injured in my sleep.
The challenge out here isn’t the hiking or the weather (as I first thought), the challenge is dealing with other people. To have a nice day you have to transcend the bullshit, to transcend the shit you simply need to focus on the forest. To emphasize what matters and what does not. Keep it real; keep it straight. But sometimes the walls shape us. They form us and don’t let go, don’t let us grow when we are finally outside, with room enough. We forget how to let go of these constructions so held that letting go becomes painful, that attachment brings us down when we should be holding one another up. We hold back or push and pull rather than being and letting be.
The world seems confused and the world is confusing.