Day 25

PCT Diary :: Day 25 – July 28, 2019

Mile 461/2650 (27 today)

‘Haters gonna hate. Lovers gonna love.’⁣⁣

Day 25

The path of the PCT is about a foot wide. I’m hiking south and each day I meet many folks hiking north. As one gives way to the other we greet and sometimes chat more. ⁣⁣

Today I passed an older man hiking north. He’d stopped to admire the view of Mount Adams. ⁣⁣

We got chatting and he asked if I’m a south bound hiker. Then deadpan he says; ⁣⁣

“Ah, so you’re just starting out”. ⁣⁣

What I want to say is: ⁣⁣

“After 25 days on trail.. ⁣⁣
over 400 miles, ⁣⁣
biblical swarms of mosquitos, ⁣⁣
digging daily holes to poo in, ⁣⁣
being soaked to the skin and walking in blistering sun ⁣⁣
with feet that are falling apart… ⁣⁣
no I’m NOT just starting..⁣⁣
I hope the north Cascades bite your ass…”

What I actually say is: ⁣⁣

“I’ve been walking for the last 25 days, nearly finished Washington..”⁣⁣

I’m feeling defensive. ⁣⁣

~⁣⁣

A VERY small minority of through hikers have a ‘them’ and ‘us’ mentality. North bound hikers vs south bound vs Weekend Warriors etc etc. ⁣⁣

Maybe it’s a bit like having new kids starting 1st year when you are in 6th form. A weariness. A cynicism. A feeling of scarcity of resources. (Camp sites, trail magic, rooms in town etc). ⁣⁣

So much of what happens in ‘normal life’ happens on the trail. ⁣⁣

We find difference in others. We create duality.⁣⁣

Wherever we are, no matter how idyllic, we are the same people that we were at home. And if we aren’t conscious we fall into the same ways of being. ⁣⁣

~ ⁣⁣

And I’m not being very conscious in my interaction with this guy. ⁣⁣

Maybe he’s being funny, maybe he’s had a bad day, maybe he’s a …. . ⁣⁣

What do I have to defend? I don’t know him and I’ll never see him again.⁣⁣

So I bring our conversation back to what we have in common- this amazing landscape. I tell him how beautiful Goat Rock is and I hope he enjoys. He hopes I have a nice break in Cascade Locks. ⁣⁣

And we leave in kindness. And look where I camped! Mount Adams at its finest.

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