My hands are brown and there are more wrinkles. Five thousand miles of desert hiking will do that to you. And now they’re forming calluses because I work on a medium sized fruit and vegetable farm near the Cape in Eastern Massachusetts six days a week.
I arrived here a little over a month ago, after completing the Sky Islands Traverse and 150 miles of the Continental Divide Trail. My goal was to hike Brett Tucker’s Mogollon Rim Trail too, but some more pertinent matters presented themselves and I left my love, the Southwest. The first night I slept at the farm I was awoken by coyotes barking and howling. Was it a dream?
I live for free in a very modest makeshift plywood room above the farmstand and it has everything I need, including plumbing and a coffee pot. There is a dirt stain on my cot’s faded floral cotton sheet because I’m sometimes too tired to crawl out of my jeans at night. Beside the cot is a little wooden stool and The Brother’s Karamozov; an easy read with lots of pictures. The floor might fall out but the air conditioner works. You have to duck when you wash the dishes because the ceiling is so low and above the sink is a small wooden panel from an old produce box that says Fresh from Sunny South Carolina! written on the side of a sausage, and it reminds me of Kurt Vonnegut’s illustrations in Breakfast of Champions. It is perfect.