Redtail's Rules of Thru-Hiking
Annotations off | turn
Thru-hiking really is its
own little world. When you set foot on that trail at the border, you
enter a zone where your expectations, by and large, need to be chucked out
of the window. (Since you don't even have any windows out there, your
vocabulary and idioms probably need an overhaul, too.)
I learned a lot of things while out on my thru-hike. The following is a
list of nuggets of wisdom that I compiled over the course of the trip.
Some are funny, some are sobering, but all of them try to condense down to
a pearl of profundity one of the many adjusted expectations that helped me
keep hiking with a smile on my face.
(To find out a little more about the background of each one, you can
read the annotated version.)
More to come ...
- (The Dead Man's Hill Rule): The worst is behind us!
Any time someone quotes you a distance left to hike, double it.
- If you're "almost there," you're not.
- No amount of preparation, planning and diligence can substitute for
pure dumb luck.
- The foot pain will be with you, always.
Ten miles of hiking with one landmark is longer than twelve miles
with three landmarks.
- Ten miles of crappy tread is longer than twelve miles of good tread.
- Ten miles of bushwhacking is longer than anything.
- ... Except for the ten-mile descent from Mather Pass.
- Cultivate kindness in the world; sometimes strangers are all that
stand between you and nightmare.
- "Don't take life for granted."
- God, in His infinite wisdom and love, has put upon this green earth
several million insects whose sole purpose in life is to kamikaze into
your eyes, ears, nose or mouth.
- Redtail's Rule of Towns: Anyone you say "You probably
recognized me as a hiker ..." to, didn't. But everyone else did.
- "I consider 'on time' to be when I get there."
- Dirt on your body grows exponentially based on proximity to ground.
- It's always darkest before the fireworks explode in your face.
- "Waterproof" means water-resistant. "Water-resistant" means nothing.
- Avoid those restaurant jelly packets. It never ends well.
Back to the BaxWalk 2006 index | Tomorrowlands