Day 80 – walks and water

July 12th
Miles: 1125.6 to 1146.1

Each day at lunch I sit and at the top of one of these journal entries I write the date and the mileage at the start of the day and then write the “to ” and leave the rest empty for me to write when evening comes. Then I write my first few paragraphs.

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Today I was walking and thinking about what exactly I am doing out here. When I set out on this journey I had assumed I would spend a lot of time thinking, thinking about my life and thinking about what I want and what I need. I had felt like I was simply passing time, that I played games and watched a multitude of television shows to just get through the day.

The PCT is not a thinking kind of walk, those are strolls where you don’t pack a PLB device. The PCT is a “chop wood, carry water” experience.

“Chop wood, carry water” is a zen thing I read about a while back, meaning, more or less, “take care of the basics with attention/mindfulness and your problems will right themselves”. (That is a very rough version of it that I am paraphrasing for my purposes.)

The thing is you wake up and walk, that is your job for the day, that and eating and making and breaking camp. You get really good at all these things, scary good to the point that you can set up camp and be moving to the “dinner place” before you even think about it.  The walking, it is 6 pm and I am at nearly 21 miles for the day (1146.1) but stopped at the last water for 13 miles and am waiting on Bugs to see if he needs to camp as his new shoes are giving him blisters and hurting his feet. Probably wise to call it okay at 21 and be good and not push him to injury.

Anyway,  you do not get a lot of thinking done out here, you spend time worrying about water and planning food. You spend the time walking paying attention to the trail because falling sucks and you hear stories about people with sprained ankles hobbling around on the trail for days.

I had wanted to think, to go over a lot of things, but instead those things are now like a background process, they are being worked on while I am preoccupied with my feet hurting and food and water.

What did I want to think about? Well, that is a longer story and I will need a separate entry of this blog to properly explain.

Perhaps tomorrow, time for dinner, looks like we are staying here.

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