Oct 252013


First of all, I am no longer capable of wielding a wand of mascara. I learned this right away in my first attempts to feel, well, like a “lady” again. It took two showers and some turpentine to recover from that endeavor. It will have to wait until I’ve reincarnated a little longer before I arm myself again. Here are some other re-acclimation challenges I’ve encountered.

* I can’t deal with the sensory stimulation of having “stuff”. What the hell are you supposed to do with “stuff”?? Clean it? Touch it? Place it somewhere? It all wants my attention and frankly I’m just not interested..

* Driving. Forty miles per hour is not a natural speed for the body to be moving. What if I miss the water source? What if I run over a rattlesnake? I KNOW this sheet of plastic posing as metal protects me from NOTHING. It was sooo much safer on a steep slope in snowshoes. It was.

* Breathing air. Isn’t air supposed to have movement and some oxygen in it? I’ve completely forgotten how to utilize the indoor toxic cloud of weirdness as air.

* Illuminating the environment after sunset. Yes I remember how to operate a light switch. But I don’t remember why we do it. Artificial light is an electronic massage of spasmocity not conducive to sleep or general peacefulness.

* I’ve forgotten how to cook. Well, truthfully, I’ve never known how to cook, so I guess it’s not the fault of the wilderness.

* Dress. I’m a girl. I’m supposed to make an effort here. Warmth and comfort are not supposed to play into it. What the hell do girls wear? Really, that? Sigh..

* Jumping through appropriate hoops. Steps to steps to steps to steps.. All to accomplish one simple thing. What’s up with all the errands and paperwork? Just let me drive my car, or turn the electricity on, or get my money out of the bank.

* Relax. I’ve definitely gotten the relaxation response ass-slapped out of me. A week ago, relaxing meant a 15 mile day instead of a 23 mile day. Or only showering 3 times and cleaning my water filter and patching my tent and packaging peanut butter cups and calling ten people and arranging a ride back to the trailhead and doing laundry and buying breakfasts and ordering gear replacements and shaving off callous and mailing boxes and and and .. Oh.. Laying down for a minute or two..

* Communicating with many people in one day or God forbid, within one hour. There’s sooo many people here..

* Body hair. I know I’m supposed to do something about this. But my tweezers have seen only cactus spines and rotting toenails for the last six months.

* Pay bills. Oh yeah, I have to give them the green stuff. On some kind of predetermined schedule. Or they get mad.

* Calendars and time. What kind of abnormal abstraction is our society built around? Who can keep track of this stuff?

* Uncomfortable footwear. So I guess my Teva sandals aren’t appropriate for ALL occasions.. Especially with the little toe socks and gaiters. Sigh…

Coming “home” is wonderful but also tedious. Up next, the “Complete Cast of Characters”.

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  10 Responses to “Things My Six Months in the Wilderness Ass-Slapped Out of my Memory/Skill Set”

  1. I know exactly how you feel! It’s so strange coming back into “civilization” again. And it only gets “worse” the more times you go out. But going out is so worth it ; ) Love you Weeds! I’m so very proud of you! PCT!! Onto the CDT next? You rock girl!

  2. yes, yes, and YES!!! Also, I kinda miss “gardening” in the morning. And there are places where gardening is just not appropriate, like behind the clearance rack of clothes in Target. And also, there is just Too Much Food. I like having to put in my backpack everything that I’m going to eat for a week. In civilization, I can get anything I want any time I’m the slightest bit hungry. Not so good, tummy.

  3. You know it’s interesting, I’ve discussing this “stuff” with myself also a lot lately. It seems the more I hike, the more I live life outside, the more I find this “stuff” a distraction. I’m looking forward to having time to ride myself of all this unnecessary stuff otherwise known as CLUTTER!

  4. I hear you about “stuff”. I literally walked into a room in my house today that I don’t really use, that was thus a mess from being the place where other “stuff” is tossed, and exclaimed “I just cleaned this damned room…”. It was, of course, a year ago. Also, I no sooner clean the tiny cobwebs from a room and immediately (well, 3-4 month later) an apparant horde of itsy bitsy spiders have installed new ones.

    Stuff is a PITA.

    I’ve often thought that if I were rich and didn’t have to stay put I’d travel all the time and have less stuff. 🙂

    Good luck on re-acclimatizing to the populous, modern world.

  5. That was fabulous. Thanks for saying what we all really think ~

  6. LOVE your comments!

  7. so true. it’s all so true.

    I went through all this upon leaving the AT.


    none of it made any sense!

    Thank you!

  8. I know that feel, bro. Well, except for the mascara. I’ll have to take your word on that one.

    “The only cure for hiking is hiking!”

  9. I know exactly how you feel. After I returned from six months traveling by bicycle with my wife everything seemed so oppressive and unnecessary. We even had to sleep with the windows open until well into the winter, because it felt too claustrophobic. And stuff!!! What do you do with all that stuff!!!


  10. I know I should not be laughing…but laughing my ass off!

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