Sounds, sights, and struggles of a shakedown hitch
Not on the trail,
and I’m already hungry?
Did I really forget my tent stakes,
I guess I’ll blame Ally.
Thinking I’d go three days
The unyielding wind humored itself
And pushed over a dead tree.
Nothing like bucking rotten wood
on a dew-laden slope.
Surely it won’t rain much harder,
Did I really lose my rain fly?
How could I.
“Certainly my boots won’t soak through,
And the caressing sounds of the river
cradle me deep into sleep.
Smile, eyes shutting . . .
I can’t wait to come back out here next week.
Eyes open, slap.
And I’d thought I’d go three days without bug spray
That’s just too long a streak.
When I’ve at last remembered my tent stakes and an adequate supply of coffee grounds
Sights and thoughts from a final hitch
When the mosquitoes have finally quenched their thirst,
When the rain has subsided
And subsided, in fact, for 24 days,
When my muscles no longer ache at the prospect of bearing the burden that is my pack,
When I’ve (finally) learned that two granola bars a day just won’t suffice,
And I’m faced with a mile of dirt path that pulls me to the work day’s closing
With an ominous sky paired with ominous cracking, booming sounds
With a steeply sloping cliff that gives way to a river playing hopscotch amongst the rocks
I am left with the opportunity to claim my own thoughts
To sift through and debate my own ideas
Indeed, the wilderness is not a place
Set to a rigid structure of rules that claim the pristine.
It is not fostered by capitalism and bound by the unyielding destruction of man.
It is an opportunity, a mindset
The capacity to think and act on my own terms
And decide where my own limitations lie.
This mindset, for me
This place is the wilderness.