As we delve deeper into Washington state, almost 800 trail miles in, I think about some of the differences I notice between people on and off trail. Maybe it’s the relative scarcity of passers by, but when passing a stranger on trail, we always make eye contact and say a friendly hello or something. Contrast that with passing someone on a city sidewalk, eyes usually averted and rarely a word spoken.
Hitchhiking is also a necessary part of our travels to and from nearby resupply towns. Not nearly as scary and dangerous as made out to be, people are generally very helpful to help hikers out. Not sure we would have the same luck without a big backpack at our side.
As we gorge ourselves at local restaurants during our infrequent town days, we are also reminded of how wasteful Americans are with their food and drink. We usually consume every crumb on our plates, and of course never waste any beer, but looking around at the mounds of leftovers and libations that “ city folk “ leave behind is appalling.
And one last thing that has struck me as very different out here in the wild. Not seeing your own face in a mirror for over a week at a time is strange. Sure, I could use the phone camera to see how my scraggly facial hair is trying to invade my face, but I don’t. The mild shock of seeing my white beard, I am old after all, trying to take root is disconcerting, that is until I break out a razor.