The Zen of Thru Hiking

People sometimes ask if I am hiking alone. The answer is yes and no. You can meet someone hike together then go over a month without seeing then; hike with a group for a while then due to a number of reasons (pace, breaks) not see them for miles/days. Then they pop up outta nowhere the whole time they may have never been more than five miles away from you.

So with the heat I’ve been hiking alone as most people are hiding from the heat. I can deal with heat, no problem. (Yes, Pat i am drinking water!) So I have to entertain myself. In the mornings I just like to listen to the birds chirp and the sounds of nature.

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By midafteroon I need some motivation. So, time for a trail dance party! I break out the tunes, usually a dj dance mix from TTITD or some other festival. Then I bust a move on the trail. Swinging my trekking pole or using it as microphone! I must be a sight.

The other day I tried listening to an audio book, The Way of Zen – Alan Watts. But it turns out, the more I concentrate on what is being read the slower I hike. Good for that slow end if the day hike I guess. Hiking is very meditative, more on that later.

Lastly sometimes I just entertain myself with made up scenarios about why I’m out here. Like my small town was captured but Russians, I escaped, and now I’m trying to make it North to the American free zone. I know, totally the Red Dawn plot, whatever.

One must busy the mind or it goes to weird places out here. Sometimes it goes there anyway and you just go with it. Ahh thru hiking.

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