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DjangoRob
03-05-2007, 11:45
Hey everyone. I'm thru-hiking right now (I'm in the Hiawassee public library with my friend Tom - we're the two English hikers who don't know much about what's going on :o) and this first week my mind has just been a whole array of various songs getting stuck in my head for ages at a time. Does anyone else get this? Does it stop after a while? I figure I may as well ask, I don't actually mind sometimes.

Alternatively, anyone have any advice for me about this?

saimyoji
03-05-2007, 11:54
Eye-spy. :rolleyes:

Jim Adams
03-05-2007, 11:58
Happens constantly. The only advice that I can give is to know that it happens and beware of thinking about songs that you don't like.
Just hope that it doesn't happen with TV commercials and their jingles!

LOL, got ya didn't I?

geek

Alligator
03-05-2007, 12:01
Earworms. Try switching to a boring/repetitive song, like 100 bottles of beer on the wall or row-row-row your boat.

Sly
03-05-2007, 12:04
They're called earwigs. Get an MP3 player to drive them out!

Sly
03-05-2007, 12:05
Oh earworms. I was close.

Crazy Larry #1
03-05-2007, 12:16
You may as well come to your senses right now, your going crazy.............happens to the best of us, I mean look at Lone Wolf........

Wanderingson
03-05-2007, 12:49
Wait unitl you get on a roll and start making up you own little songs that get stuck in your head--that is always a blast.

Oh, and no one has mentioned the requent childhood memories that come crashing back--yeah you'll deal with the good memories and the not so good memories and ask yourself, where the heck did that come from.

It's amazing the things the mind will do, particulaly if you are treking at your own pace. You'll be walking along a bam--you'll be counting your steps, frontwords and backwards. You'll guess how many steps it is to the next big rock and damn if you don't take the mind energy to count them. Then you set your sites on the next landmark and do it all again.

Your going to love the journey your mind will take you on--enjoy it, you may never get the opportunity to do it again.

Jim Adams
03-05-2007, 13:19
Wait unitl you get on a roll and start making up you own little songs that get stuck in your head--that is always a blast.

Oh, and no one has mentioned the requent childhood memories that come crashing back--yeah you'll deal with the good memories and the not so good memories and ask yourself, where the heck did that come from.

It's amazing the things the mind will do, particulaly if you are treking at your own pace. You'll be walking along a bam--you'll be counting your steps, frontwords and backwards. You'll guess how many steps it is to the next big rock and damn if you don't take the mind energy to count them. Then you set your sites on the next landmark and do it all again.

Your going to love the journey your mind will take you on--enjoy it, you may never get the opportunity to do it again.

46,47,48,48,50,51,72,73,74,95,...s**t, what was that last number? 1,2,3,4....:banana

geek

doggiebag
03-05-2007, 13:33
I love it when my body goes on autopilot. My mind sort of takes a sabatical and that is when I feel happiest. My consiousness is somehow changed. Runners high/zen/self hypnosis what ever it is - I love it. know what I mean?

Sly
03-05-2007, 13:39
I love it when my body goes on autopilot. My mind sort of takes a sabatical and that is when I feel happiest. My consiousness is somehow changed. Runners high/zen/self hypnosis what ever it is - I love it. know what I mean?

Yeah, (especially once I have my trail legs) it's like the trail is moving under your feet and you're there for the ride.

STOKER
03-05-2007, 13:43
lol, I always had a few dominant songs in my head-the monkey and the engineer by grateful dead was in my head 4 over 4 months the trip.A lot of folks r now carrying mp3 players but I never carried 1. You'll learn 2 cope, or you'll go insane---either way its an adventure.

Alternitive advice--Thru-hiking is a way of life, not a temporary departure from "normality"

emerald
03-05-2007, 14:29
I love it when my body goes on autopilot. My mind sort of takes a sabatical and that is when I feel happiest. My consiousness is somehow changed. Runners high/zen/self hypnosis what ever it is - I love it. know what I mean?


Yeah, (especially once I have my trail legs) it's like the trail is moving under your feet and you're there for the ride.

It's when you are "as one" with the trail, when the sense of self seemingly dissolves into the background and you know after you return to the normal state that you were flowing with the trail. I think I've only ever known I was in that state after I left it.

Athletes when really on top of their games describe a similiar experience. When I played my best tennis years ago, I felt it too. When I began to think about what was wrong with my ball placement or backswing, my game left me and the harder I tried to get it back the more elusive it became.

bfitz
03-05-2007, 14:34
You need a mantra. Go listen to the song "The Final Countdown" by Europe. You can defeat any earworm eith that song, but there is a price...

Bilko
03-05-2007, 15:11
Rob & Tom, I took you over to REI when you got off MARTA last Sunday. Glad to hear that you are doing well, except for the songs ringing in your head.

Your head will stop ringing as soon as the birds start singing. Birds in America are not girls, but things that fly around in the sky.

hammock engineer
03-05-2007, 15:19
You need a mantra. Go listen to the song "The Final Countdown" by Europe. You can defeat any earworm eith that song, but there is a price...

Thanks a lot. Know I am going to be singing this to myself the rest of the day.:confused:

Kerosene
03-05-2007, 15:32
Here's a poll and thread (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?t=2695) on earworms from a few years ago.

doggiebag
03-05-2007, 15:53
It's when you are "as one" with the trail, when the sense of self seemingly dissolves into the background and you know after you return to the normal state that you were flowing with the trail. I think I've only ever known I was in that state after I left it.

Athletes when really on top of their games describe a similiar experience. When I played my best tennis years ago, I felt it too. When I began to think about what was wrong with my ball placement or backswing, my game left me and the harder I tried to get it back the more elusive it became.
In my case my consciousness/instinct is slightly aware of the fact that no one is completely at home - which at some level keeps me aware and safe - I'm quite sure that if there is any reason to "snap to" ie danger the self becomes aware instantaneously. I've experienced these moments on road marches, hikes even just while sitting in tree stands after hours of not moving.

Crazy Larry #1
03-05-2007, 16:30
Yeah, (especially once I have my trail legs) it's like the trail is moving under your feet and you're there for the ride.
oh yeah............................:D

Phil1959
03-05-2007, 17:12
Hey Doggie! Great topic! Sick of people telling me what underwear to bring. The way I see it,you feel that way when at peace and you have no fear.You only really live,when you have no fear.Just my 2 cents,but who am I but some nut who wants to walk alot!

wilderness bob
03-05-2007, 17:21
Yeah, (especially once I have my trail legs) it's like the trail is moving under your feet and you're there for the ride.

I call that "finding the pulse of the trail". WB

jambalaya
03-05-2007, 17:47
Bfitz, you are cruel to suggest that anyone should even consider thinking about that song while hiking. It happened to me (that one, "Paradise by the Dashboard Light", and wierdly, "I Like my Women Just a Little on the Trashy Side"), and once it was there it just came back, again and again and again... IMO, the price is just too steep.

I theorize that the beat of these three songs just somehow really fit in with the usual rhythm of my steps. I found if I just walked a little faster or slower, I'd be saddled with a new (if not better) earworm everytime.

RadioFreq
03-05-2007, 17:49
My earworms always match my pace at that time. If I want to change the tune I either speed up or slow down......weird. :confused:

RadioFreq
03-05-2007, 17:51
You beat me by mere moments with the same thought, Jamalaya.

moxie
03-05-2007, 17:52
A couple of years ago there was a thread,"A song in my head". It happens to about every hiker, it won't end when you finish. You will start to make up your own lyrics. I never hiked with a radio, headset, mp3 or whatever. I just listened to old songs in my mind, made up some lyrics if I didn,t know any. Another mind game you can play is making uo fictional stories. Sherpa, Anna, Amtrack and I wrote a whole poem based loosely on Longfellows, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere". It was about Samuel Tupper who Tupperware was named after. He was in fiction Paul Revere's black slave who in our poem made the famous ride on his mule. One day in town we saw an ad for Revere Ware, wondered where Tupperware came from and working on our epic poem kept our simple minds off songs for much of Tn. N.C. and Virginia. Your mind goes strange places when you are thru hiking and let it wander, it is part of the fun of hiking and if you have a good imagination some of the places your mind goes will bring endless entertainment. It wont stop with some song you can/t get out of your head.

ImkerVS
03-05-2007, 18:46
Thanks for posting this topic. Saved me from posting it. Hiked up to Beauty Spot the other day and the whole way I was hearing Steely Dan's "Deacon Blues":

"They got a name for the winners of the world,
I want a name when I lose...
They call Alabama the Crimson Tide
Call me Deacon Blues..."


The Alabama reference dates the song. If it were written today they'd have to find a different rhyme.

They call Florida the Gators
Call me ????

It was a clear day at Beauty Spot. You could see Kentucky, Virginia and North Carolina.

bfitz
03-05-2007, 18:51
The worst is when you only know one or two lines from a song, so just that verse cycles over and over and over aaaaaarrrrghgghhhhh!!!!!

doggiebag
03-05-2007, 18:58
Hey Doggie! Great topic! Sick of people telling me what underwear to bring. The way I see it,you feel that way when at peace and you have no fear.You only really live,when you have no fear.Just my 2 cents,but who am I but some nut who wants to walk alot!

The equipment talk and all is a necessary evil. We all want to make sure that people live long enough out there to experience the esoteric. I sure love hearing about how the mind/self adapts and entertains itself when it knows there's not much it has to do.

Brrrb Oregon
03-05-2007, 20:47
If you aren't fond of songs that won't leave your head, I would not recommend this one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_N0w2rORwSc

But you'll have to listen to it, won't you?

Brrrb Oregon
03-05-2007, 21:53
The worst is when you only know one or two lines from a song, so just that verse cycles over and over and over aaaaaarrrrghgghhhhh!!!!!

Maybe. Either that, or it happens to the person you are hiking with...especially if they are in second grade. :rolleyes:

Bloodroot
03-05-2007, 22:30
Is there medicine for frequent earworm attacks? There were multiple days on the trail when my mental IPod was stuck with the golden oldies. Bfitz is right, you gotta get you an MP3 to use eraser tunes.

rickb
03-05-2007, 22:50
You could try thinking of food.

Bloodroot
03-05-2007, 23:05
You could try thinking of food.

LMAO, now that's funny.:rolleyes:

Hikerhead
03-05-2007, 23:17
I think of the story, The Little Train That Could, CHOO CHOO.
(saw that on some movie last week)

saimyoji
03-06-2007, 00:21
There's a hole in the bucket, dear liza, dear liza
There's a hole in the bucket, dear liza, a hole.

Then mend it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
Then mend it dear Henry, dear Henry, mend it....

:D:D

This one is great because it is never ending...you can make up your own versus..even make new versus to fit the AT. :D

Jim Adams
03-06-2007, 00:24
There's a hole in the bucket, dear liza, dear liza
There's a hole in the bucket, dear liza, a hole.

Then mend it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry
Then mend it dear Henry, dear Henry, mend it....

:D:D

This one is great because it is never ending...you can make up your own versus..even make new versus to fit the AT. :D

...and I thought I was weird for getting hooked on Metallica tunes out there.:D

geek

saimyoji
03-06-2007, 00:28
...and I thought I was weird for getting hooked on Metallica tunes out there.:D

geek

Well, I hike too slow to keep pace with Metallica.

mindi
03-06-2007, 00:37
ACK! Someone posted 'The Final Countdown' on their trailjournal the other day, and I had it stuck in my head for nearly 48 hours.

I finally got rid of it, and then I had to go and read this thread.

I'm bringing an iPod, but probably only going to use it at night if I can't sleep. I like to let my mind wander while I walk.

Jim Adams
03-06-2007, 00:42
Well, I hike too slow to keep pace with Metallica.
not by the time you get to virginia:cool:

geek

Buckles
03-06-2007, 00:54
"Everybody was kung-fu fighting,
Those cats were fast as lightning,
In fact it was a little bit frightning,
For they fought with expert timing."

Over, and over, and over again. I know all the lyrics to this song, but when the birds aren't chirping these four lines creep into my head.

Guess it's better than the tinnitus.

bfitz
03-06-2007, 02:23
ACK! Someone posted 'The Final Countdown' on their trailjournal the other day, and I had it stuck in my head for nearly 48 hours.

I finally got rid of it, and then I had to go and read this thread.

That song turns up more than you'd expect in more places than you'd expect.

Metallica is great for hiking. Gives me endless energy. Astronomy.....a staaaaaar.......

Knees
03-06-2007, 06:19
I think the worst song I've ended up having stuck was Alvin and the Chipmunks version of It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas (It was July or August at the time).

That was much much worse than Europe's The Final Countdown or Tony Basil's Mickey.

Also, it's amazing how many songs mention rain. Supertramp's It's Raining Again, Clapton's Let It Rain, Blind Melon's No Rain, etc. Followed, of course, by Johnny Nash's I Can See Clearly. :sun

Marta
03-06-2007, 08:26
A certain person (she lives in Erwin) dropped off some hikers for a slack one day. As they were leaving her van, she sang the jingle from a cat food ad: "Meeow, meeow, meeow, meeow; Meeow, meeow, meeow, meeow..."

Very cruel.

Marta/Five-Leaf

doggiebag
03-06-2007, 08:35
A certain person (she lives in Erwin) dropped off some hikers for a slack one day. As they were leaving her van, she sang the jingle from a cat food ad: "Meeow, meeow, meeow, meeow; Meeow, meeow, meeow, meeow..."

Very cruel.

Marta/Five-Leaf

I would have said "Stop that right meeow!"

TJ aka Teej
03-06-2007, 08:48
This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...This is the song that never ends, yes it goes on and on my friend. Some people started singing it, not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because... :sun

moxie
03-06-2007, 09:19
:) After I climbed Rockeytop I couldn't get that damn song "Rockeytop" out of my mind. Walking that damn canal path north of Harpers Ferry got the old folk song "Erie Canal" into my head. They are both there sometimes when I hike years later. Your mind plays wonderful games with you during the hours you are alone on a long distance hike. I imagine an mp3 or a radio might cure it but I for one don't care about a cure.

johnnyblisters
03-06-2007, 10:10
I agree that an mp3 player helps, but due to a snake issue with that last summer (who knew rattle snakes make noise when they're pissed ?), odd complexd math equations mixed with songs always help the miles fly by like bush's popularity ratings.

neo
03-06-2007, 10:18
:D when ever my feet hurt or i am tired,i think about erotic thoughts
and my pain and tiredness goes away:cool: neo

Brrrb Oregon
03-06-2007, 12:57
:D when ever my feet hurt or i am tired,i think about erotic thoughts
and my pain and tiredness goes away:cool: neo

I thought that happened to guys every six seconds, no matter what else they were doing.

Or is that just the young guys? It would explain why they hike like locomotives.

Undershaft
03-06-2007, 13:08
So I just started reading this thread, and for the first two pages I was mentally singing "The Final Countdown". Thats ok, I like that song (and the old movie of the same title w/kirk douglas and martin sheen). Then it switched to "Kung-fu Fighting". I like that song rather less. Now it's that damn Meow Mix jingle.

yeah, I get the earworms when I'm out hiking. It does get annoying when the same song repeats in your mind over and over and over again. Then you try and switch songs but instead the two songs blend together into an even more annoying hybrid song. This years hike is the longest section I've done and I will definately be bringing a radio. I also like to recite long poems that I memorized long ago. Poe's "The Raven" Longfellow's "Midnight Ride of Paul Revere" Carrol's "Jabberwocky" "The walrus and the Carpenter". Sometimes I'll recite entire one act plays that I acted in or directed years ago. It's amazing how well my memory works when I'm out hiking.

mindi
03-06-2007, 13:31
Oh Undershaft, I'd love to hike with you. Having someone recite a play would be so much fun!

I had 'The Raven' memorized when I was in 10th grade, but now I only remember parts of it. The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode refreshed my memory a bit but I still can't remember the whole thing anymore.

D'Artagnan
03-06-2007, 13:44
"Pete and Repeat were in a boat. Pete fell out. Who was left? Repeat."

"How many hours, minutes, seconds have I been hiking?"

For some reason, once my mind starts in on numbers I just can't stop.

I also have a tendency to remember things from years and years ago and people I haven't seen in a long, long time.

RadioFreq
03-06-2007, 13:53
First you need a AM/FM radio. Tune it to any talk radio station you can find.
Listen for 5 minutes. If that blather doesn't drive the tunes out of your head nothing will.

jambalaya
03-06-2007, 14:10
On the way down the Priest I counted switchbacks. For each one I tried to remember how I spent my birthday that year. It IS truly amazing the kinds of memories that randomly come back to you while hiking. I think I thought of everyone I'd ever met last summer.

Earworm, all the way through WV: Take Me Home, Country Road. Thank god West Virginia is short!

Undershaft
03-06-2007, 14:32
Oh Undershaft, I'd love to hike with you. Having someone recite a play would be so much fun!

I had 'The Raven' memorized when I was in 10th grade, but now I only remember parts of it. The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror episode refreshed my memory a bit but I still can't remember the whole thing anymore.


I memorized The Raven in college as a piece for my Oral Interpretation class. Sitting here at my desk, I'd be hard pressed to get past the second stanza, but for some reason when I'm hiking alone my memory goes into overdrive and I can remember all kinds of stuff. BTW that was one of my favorite Treehouse of Horror segments.
As far as plays go, I can still remember every line from the first play I was ever in, "The Valentine Fairy" by Ernest Thompson. There are lots more too: "Lot 13: The Bone Violin", "Present Tense", "Suppressed Desires", "The Still Alarm" and "If Men Played Cards As Women Do", "The Whole Shebang", "Spoon River Anthology", not to mention all the audition pieces I did.
Instead of bringing a book to read on my hike (cuz I usually don't read it anyway), I'm thinking about bringing a whole bunch of old scripts to read and memorize. I think it'll be fun and something different to occupy my mind when I'm laying in the tent at night. Hey Mindi, maybe we could form a theatre company composed entirely of AT hikers? That would be a blast! We could recite plays while we hike all day, or at the shelters at night. A three sided shelter would make a great stage to act on, complete with proscenium arch. :D :D

coldspring
03-06-2007, 15:10
and wierdly, "I Like my Women Just a Little on the Trashy Side"), and once it was there it just came back, again and again and again...

I've enjoyed this forum immensely. I thought I was the only one that was messed up enough to get this song stuck in my head. I finally concluded that it must be a brilliantly written song. Oh no ... it's coming back ... thank God I'm on my computer right now, with access to lots of tunes ... I hope that's enough to resist it's catchiness ...

mindi
03-06-2007, 15:36
That sounds like great fun, Undershaft! Wasn't there a group one year that recited chapters from a book at different shelters along the AT each night or something?

Coldspring..aack! I would not even know of that song, but I had an ex-boss who left the radio on the country station (one of the ones that plays the same 5 songs on a loop) all day long and I inadvertently learned all of the words.

bfitz
03-06-2007, 15:45
Well, We could recite passages from monty python movies, star wars, Conan the barbarian and Aliens. After that the only thing I know by heart are canterbury tales in middle english and heavy metal songs. And we're back to square one.

hobbit
03-06-2007, 16:00
we do lines from aqua teen hunger force and songs from snowboard videos

mindi
03-06-2007, 16:02
Ha! They all sound great!

I had an English professor who could do the Canterbury Tales in Middle English so lyrically..it sounded beautiful even if you couldn't understand a word of it.

hobbit
03-06-2007, 16:02
"we don't need a toilet, the pile of clothes in the hallway has worked fine for us for years"

"I don't know who's those are, i'll tell you one thing someone aint wearin that again"

bfitz
03-06-2007, 20:07
Ha! They all sound great!

I had an English professor who could do the Canterbury Tales in Middle English so lyrically..it sounded beautiful even if you couldn't understand a word of it.It is a poem about hiking after all...

bfitz
03-06-2007, 20:08
The prelude, especially, is apt for the AT.

PeterB
03-06-2007, 20:55
Get an mp3 player with a removable sd card slot. Then get a couple of sd cards and get someone to send you audio books. Many libraries have audio book collections you can rip/transfer to sd cards.

Audio books move fairly slow so turned down low, you can still enjoy the scenary/ bird songs/ etc while listening to a good book.

Jim Adams
03-06-2007, 21:15
Well, We could recite passages from monty python movies, star wars, Conan the barbarian and Aliens. After that the only thing I know by heart are canterbury tales in middle english and heavy metal songs. And we're back to square one.

SPURT...SPURT...SPURT......its just a flesh wound!:D

geek

saimyoji
03-06-2007, 21:24
Or....qoutes from movies that quote movies: "That's no moon...ITS A SPACE STATION!!"

(hint: "Roll the maps.")

clodhopper
03-06-2007, 21:28
No song is worse than Huey Lewis' "The heart of rock and roll".

New york, new york, is everything they say
And no place that Id rather be
Where else can you do a half a million things
All at a quarter to three
When they palt their music, ooh that modern music
They like it with a lot of style
But ts still that same old back beat rhythm
That really drives em wild

They say the heart of rock and roll is still beating
And from what Ive seen I believe em
Now the old boy may be barely breathing
But the heart of rock and roll is still beating

La, hollywood, and the sunset strip
Is something everyone should see
Neon lights and the pretty pretty girls
All dressed so scantily
When they play their music
That hard rock music
They like it with a lot of flash
But its still that same old back beat rhythm
That really kicks em in the

They say the heart of rock and roll is still beating
And from what Ive seen I believe em
Now the old boy may be barely breathing
But the heart of rock and roll is still beating

Dc, san antone and the liberty town, boston and baton rouge
Tulsa, austin, oklahoma city, seattle, san francisco, too
Everywhere theres music, real live music, bands with a million styles
But its still that some old rock and roll music
That really drives em wild

They say the heart of rock and roll is still beating
And from what Ive seen I believe em
Now the old boy may be barely breathing
But the heart of rock and roll is still beating

camich
03-06-2007, 22:21
one, two, three, four, five....On ups, I drive myself crazy counting steps:eek:

Skidsteer
03-06-2007, 22:27
one, two, three, four, five....On ups, I drive myself crazy counting steps:eek:

You're only crazy if you remember how many steps you took. :-?

DjangoRob
03-09-2007, 09:55
Rob & Tom, I took you over to REI when you got off MARTA last Sunday. Glad to hear that you are doing well, except for the songs ringing in your head.

Your head will stop ringing as soon as the birds start singing. Birds in America are not girls, but things that fly around in the sky.

Ah hey, thanks for doing that! We're in the Haven Inn in Franklin now, we're just about to set off methinks.

Thanks for the ideas guys, glad to see it's a common thing.

superman
03-09-2007, 10:04
When I was hiking the AT I was fairly catatonic. I do remember places and things that happened. After hiking the AT in 2000 Pat from Maine and I have rehiked many sections of the AT in different states. I was amazed at how much I had no memory of...except where I camped, got water or talked to someone. It scares me to think that I drive a car.

Programbo
03-09-2007, 21:10
I think Eric Ryback discussed this perfectly in his second book. (I know some folks don`t care much for old Eric. But this particular passage is very insightful.) I`m sure this may have been more true back when the trail(s) were more isolated and there were less people and access to communications. He was discussing his younger brothers mental state:
" I knew what was happening to him,for I had gone through the same cycle on previous hikes. It was not homesickness exactly; it was decivilization, the gradual process of having to confront yourself for probably the first time. At first you are evasive,pondering home and friends and then the things you`ve done during the past year. Soon all the coals have been raked over and you turn to reciting poetry you`d learned or singing songs you know. Then your mind turns to pages of your life you`d long since filed away-the fight you had in the third grade, that time the family went swimming up at the lake, or the Halloween you and your brother dressed up like a dragon and came home with two garbage bags full of candy. But soon the past seems to be exhausted as subject matter,and you proceed to the future. "Just wait till I get off this hike; I`m going to do this and go there and see her and eat beef stroganoff, potato chips and strawberry shortcake for a week straight."
By the third day of such reminiscence and wishful speculation, you become a little uneasy. New thoughts are not stirred up quite so readily, and one begins to feel the full impact of a day-to-day existence without television comedies, disc jockeys shouting the titles of the top hits, and phone calls and visits of friends to keep you entertained and distracted from the reality of your own being. Reading materials are limited to the ingrediant lists on the dehydrated food packets and these are soon memorized. You begin to fabricate stories about an accident on the trail or a tradegy at home and the idea eats at you, heightened to a hellish, inescapeable torture by the realization that you can`t get to a telephone for two days or three or five,that you are alone and without recourse to the accouterments of civilization.
The only refuge from this gnawing uncertainty and self-analysis is sleep. Never in your life do you dream as much as when you have been out of contact with civilization for a long time. You enter another world when you fall asleep, and you continuously travel to every end of that world until the moment the morning light awakens you. You often meet people in your dreams who return night after night in new or familiar settings, and it may be that these surrogates for civilization divert your mind from the egocentric excesses of the day and help you maintain your equilibrium and determination for the next morning's trek. And yet, when you awaken, the mental torture frequently begins anew until you have come to terms with yourself- until you stand before the mirror of the natural universe and see and experience yourself for the first time. It is a painful experience but an important one, for you come to know life in its essence- the paradox of yourself as both an insignificant and a unique and invaluable being."

ozt42
03-09-2007, 21:13
You need a mantra. Go listen to the song "The Final Countdown" by Europe. You can defeat any earworm eith that song, but there is a price...




Oh you bastard....

:D

doggiebag
03-09-2007, 21:31
I think Eric Ryback discussed this perfectly in his second book. (I know some folks don`t care much for old Eric. But this particular passage is very insightful.) I`m sure this may have been more true back when the trail(s) were more isolated and there were less people and access to communications. He was discussing his younger brothers mental state:
" I knew what was happening to him,for I had gone through the same cycle on previous hikes. It was not homesickness exactly; it was decivilization, the gradual process of having to confront yourself for probably the first time. At first you are evasive,pondering home and friends and then the things you`ve done during the past year. Soon all the coals have been raked over and you turn to reciting poetry you`d learned or singing songs you know. Then your mind turns to pages of your life you`d long since filed away-the fight you had in the third grade, that time the family went swimming up at the lake, or the Halloween you and your brother dressed up like a dragon and came home with two garbage bags full of candy. But soon the past seems to be exhausted as subject matter,and you proceed to the future. "Just wait till I get off this hike; I`m going to do this and go there and see her and eat beef stroganoff, potato chips and strawberry shortcake for a week straight."
By the third day of such reminiscence and wishful speculation, you become a little uneasy. New thoughts are not stirred up quite so readily, and one begins to feel the full impact of a day-to-day existence without television comedies, disc jockeys shouting the titles of the top hits, and phone calls and visits of friends to keep you entertained and distracted from the reality of your own being. Reading materials are limited to the ingrediant lists on the dehydrated food packets and these are soon memorized. You begin to fabricate stories about an accident on the trail or a tradegy at home and the idea eats at you, heightened to a hellish, inescapeable torture by the realization that you can`t get to a telephone for two days or three or five,that you are alone and without recourse to the accouterments of civilization.
The only refuge from this gnawing uncertainty and self-analysis is sleep. Never in your life do you dream as much as when you have been out of contact with civilization for a long time. You enter another world when you fall asleep, and you continuously travel to every end of that world until the moment the morning light awakens you. You often meet people in your dreams who return night after night in new or familiar settings, and it may be that these surrogates for civilization divert your mind from the egocentric excesses of the day and help you maintain your equilibrium and determination for the next morning's trek. And yet, when you awaken, the mental torture frequently begins anew until you have come to terms with yourself- until you stand before the mirror of the natural universe and see and experience yourself for the first time. It is a painful experience but an important one, for you come to know life in its essence- the paradox of yourself as both an insignificant and a unique and invaluable being."

It's rather scary to think about all the flashbacks both painful and glad that could visit me. It's not unlike what blue water sailors that conduct passage makings alone experience ... sometimes under very little sleep. The mind actually creates excuses for the body to shut down at certain points. There was the first man to circumnavigate the planet alone (Joshua Slocum I believe) during a particular leg of his journey he was in bad need of sleep but the conditions were telling his conscious mind to stay awake. His subconscious then took over and created a very realistic hallucination in which he believed that he had a partner that was piloting the sailboat. His conscious finally gave in and allowed him much needed sleep. A solo thru-hike is much more than a physical challenge. The body can be trained easily. It's the mind that is the one that has a tendency of giving me the heebie jeebies ... hopefully most of my hard drive has more good memories than bad ... it's hard to remember stuff from long term archives. Thanks for sharing.

Regards,
M

bfitz
03-10-2007, 08:15
Or....qoutes from movies that quote movies: "That's no moon...ITS A SPACE STATION!!"

(hint: "Roll the maps.")
If your playing Jester's "in my pants" star wars quotes game..:p

ProphetGreenBlaze
03-10-2007, 09:43
Quote:
Originally Posted by saimyoji http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/showthread.php?p=334522#post334522)
Or....qoutes from movies that quote movies: "That's no moon...ITS A SPACE STATION!!"

(hint: "Roll the maps.")




TWister?