Day 17 (Pete)

Hit the trail this morning with Chris and John. John kept the same pace as me, more or less. We whiled away the morning yammering on about various things. A lot of comparison. How we planned our trip, what we ate ect. ect.. Practical stuff. Where we are from and what its like, school, future prospects. Six miles went fast to breakfast.

Dyl and I went a little faster after the morning meal and ended up ahead. We had the second of two really in-depth conversations so far. The other was last night. After waiting around for C and J, we all sat down to lunch together on the banks of Holcomb creek. They planned their whole trip, from inception to start date, in two weeks. It seemed like they were kind of going by the seat of their pants. For example, they had to augment their backpacking food with heavy town food because they had grossly underestimated consumption. They also sent all their resupplies by UPS to post offices general delivery. Since UPS is a competitor of the USPS, some of their packages were refused and got returned. Their descriptions of their days made them seem unserious and totally by ear. Dylan and I are becoming a little bit more that way. The difference between our style and theirs was very apparent. We thought, in retrospect, that there seemed to be much less of a delineation between town and trail for those two. They seemed to be just traveling. Living free. They even admitted to skipping five miles of trail by hitching into town from the highway near Dobsen Trail Camp. definitely, we are dead set on walking to Canada south to north in an unbroken line of steps. Places left off to hitch to towns are returned to in order to continue. We are very focused on the trail, wild surroundings and the ritual of walking. Perhaps it is because their trip was so thrown together where as ours was so anticipated and planned for. Really though, based on things they alluded to, their lives seemed mush more thrown together than ours. I had never realized that Dylan and I are so serious and methodical.

John likes to read and stopped hiking early to do so. The days are getting longer and miles go by faster; so, I took his bait of unloading a book he found uninteresting. I had planned on not reading for the duration of the walk. A book seemed to be too much of a distraction. Something that would take me away from here the place I have worked and prepared to be. The place I think will teach me as much as any book could. But, how am I to know without the experience of reading, without the comparison. As it turns out I spent the extra afternoon hours just sitting and feeling the sun dip lower and lower. I think the more I don’t open that book the more it will become a symbol. A Pandora’s box.

John and Chris are three or four miles behind us tonight but their influence lingers. We speculate that the reverse is true as well. We all rub off on each other. It seems to be a good thing

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