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Appalachian trail: still alive

Despite its best efforts, the trail has failed to kill me. Nature is less and less idyllic the more time you spend in it. I'm pretty sure that if trees could wring any gain from our destruction they would prey upon us.

Many things have happened. We spent a week living with a pair of trail Angels. We built them a compost bin as thanks. At one point the rain came at us so strongly it brought the whole Atlantic ocean down on our heads. We learned what hiking uphill through a river feels like. I swear I saw a fish.

Our wizard friend carried eggs and bagels to the top of a mountain and cooked us egg sandwiches on a frying pan the size of a coaster. We slept in a garage that looked like an opium bin. We saw a naked man in a cowboy hat directing traffic. The sun rose and then it set. That happened many times. Sometimes it was beautiful.

We night hiked through a corn field under a full moon. Did you know the eyes of spiders reflect the light of your head lamps? They look like little green jewels, a thousand by the step, and then you realize that, by biomass, the world is 95% spider. This is their party, and it'll rage long after we're gone.

Heat is heavy. It weighs on you. When the temperature hits 106 (including humidity, which I do) then you may find the act of locomotion unbearable. We did. We stopped a lot, under the gaze of the heat, and lay down, and often feel asleep when the heat pressed down so hard on our brains and squeezed out consciousness like water from a sponge. The streams dried up, all but one for miles around, and the lone survivor lay at the bottom of 400 stone steps.

Now we are in Mass. The heat has flicked like a switch into cold. I am lying on my sleeping mat in the hall of a church. There is a makeshift shower, and the heat of the water, and the cold of the night, and the absurdity of showering in the courtyard of a church is the best feeling I'm the world. I walked here from Georgia.

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