Someone commented on one of my Pacific Crest Trail photos, in it I was smoking a cigarette on the church lawn in Sierra City, he was surprised because people who do endurance things don’t smoke do they? I smoked on the Pacific Crest Trail, on the Lowest to Highest Route, on the Te Araroa in New Zealand I picked used butts off the side of the road because tobacco was way too expensive, and on the Grand Enchantment Trail my father sent me care packages of American Spirits.
When I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 2014 I hiked thirty miles a day, smoked Spirits, drank six packs, and fucked some shithead. No– I had stayed in an emotionally abusive relationship, and when I finished that year I had hiked over ten thousand miles of that perfect trail but felt nothing.
After that I wanted to get away from people. I picked the Grand Enchantment Trail, hiked it alone, and gained back that-I’m a fucking person in this world!- albeit your anti-hero, didn’t have a good daddy kind of thru-hiker.