Not the land.. No.. The land always just is what it is.. It’s me. I became a maniacal bipolar occupant of the land in these last 7 days. One day I’d wake up a reborn wood nymph, headed gleefully towards a bluegrass festival with fists full of black licorice and a vibrant awe in my gait. The next morning I’d wake up, which is an exaggeration because you can’t really “wake up” if you didn’t sleep, frantically looking for bailout points on the map because of stomach cramps that felt like coked up chipmunks were trying to claw and chew their way out of it. This happened consistently ever other day for 7 days straight, chipmunks varying which part of the body they’d terrorize. I’d feel great! Then I’d be sure it was over for me. Extremes. I met up with a group of hikers at a trail magic barbecue at Timberline Lodge and was trying to explain this weird new set of extraordinary pains my body was inventing.
Me: “I don’t know.. I’ve never felt anything like it.. Almost as if someone rammed their fist into my gut and was trying to macramé my intestines into my rib cage.. ”
Hiker: “Not throwing up? No intestinal pain?”
Me: “No! It’s so weird! Food seems to make it feel better..”
Hiker: “Hmmm.. Hope it’s not Giardia infestation .. It’s really going around.. You treating all your water?”
Me: “Yes, every drop.. I think I’d be throwing up with intestinal drama as well if that were the case..”
Another hiker: “Could be gallstones.. Those are crampy pains without nausea..”
Me: “Hmmmm … What do you do for those?”
Yet a different hiker: “Maybe it’s that having walked 2100 miles thing… I don’t know, if you maybe stopped walking .. ”
All: “BWAH HA HA HA HA!!!”
Yeah, just stop walking 24 miles a day might clear up a lot of body issues. I wouldn’t listen to the exhaustion, the muscle pains, the inability to sleep, the headaches, the unexplained bruises and welts and scars, the frequent nausea, or even the hallucinations, so I guess my body is trying to get loudly creative about letting me know that it protests my apparently eternal new lifestyle. I’m trying to console it … 500 more miles, baby, just 500 more.. Hang in there…
I’m looking over the Columbia River at Washington right this very second. After a spectacular walk along Eagle Creek and foretold promise of more to come in Washington, I’m excited, no matter what my body is telling me I’m really feeling.. Just have to baby myself as much as I can .. Just 500ish more ..