I have spent my entire life getting up, showering, and showing up. School. Work. AA. I pretty much lost the anxiety about what I look like years ago. I clean up because it feels good.
Weird though, this time I felt really good, dirty. I think I smelled. I couldn’t tell on about the 3rd day. Like working in a morgue I guess. Maybe not that bad, but it’s true, smells over a long period lose intensity. I guess that was true for me. I stopped checking at some point.
When I met people, what I looked and smelled like didn’t enter my mind. How cool is that? That was a new one for me, the ex-teacher who always had mints so I would never be like Mr Knights, my 8th grade science teacher. His breath could knock a buzzard off a shit wagon. (thanks for that one George Carlin) being dirty on the Trail, the AT, separates you from those clean day hikers. You get asked if you’re a thru hiker. I did like that part, too.
A woman asked me if I was thru-hiking, and I said yes, “I’ll be threw hiking in about 2 miles at the shelter.” One of those accidental jokes I wish I had thought of before I spoke. We both smiled. They were two, those day hikers, and sweet. They told me there was a privy there and it even had toilet paper! You have to walk a good distance off the trail to that shelter. I guess they were exploring. They were from D.C. It was so fun talking with people. They were all nice. I was nice and smelly.
I miss it. The people and the odor.
Tomorrow I may do an over nighter up on the Trail. It will be cold. I won’t smell bad or meet many people.
It will still be good. 😊