Wednesday, June 18, 2014

War on the Appalachian Trail

My base camp is well thought out. I can cook under protection of mosquito netting, with a double canopy protecting me from the Rain gods. 
Maine is not to be taken lightly.
Mud, mosquitoes, roots, boulders.
Yes, you'll be swamped by all this and more.
South-bounders are facing wetter than normal conditions, but most are still smiling.

The mosquitoes and I are killing each other. I've declared war. Every time I go out of my tent, I secure the area by killing at least 100, then proceed with my tasks.

What tasks, you might ask, from the comfort of your air-conditioned, carpeted home with WIFI and electricity? (Do you sense a little creature envy...?)

Well, I get water from a nearby creek. Seems the skeeters love this activity the best. Can't tell you how many times they've chawed through my pants as I squatted to fill my gallon jug.

Then, there's the tightening of guy lines. Seems when I reach up to snug them up, one skeeter will always seek safety inside my nose. Can't tell you how many I've swallowed.

Then there's the privy situation.  One is quite vulnerable heading uphill, off the grid, to unfasten the door and avail oneself of a dry cathole.

Humm, one may ask, and rightly so, why am I doing this to myself? 
Cause I love the outdoors and meeting the hikers has been outstanding, the humor, the suffering. One guy complained about the leaves on the trail. I told him that was actually a good sign the water bars were doing their jobs.
Another complained a particular shelter looked like "the Projects" because of so much abandoned gear.

Please, hikers, carry out your trash, broken gear and extras. No one wants them either. By doing so, you will certainly feel the weight loss next section, and learn not to carry so much STUFF!

Happy trails. See you out there.

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