View Full Version : Life in the real world...

Hammock Hanger
09-29-2002, 17:33
Often after having spent months on the trail I am asked how it feels to return to the busy life in the real world.

I was always able to re-enter the mainstream of life fairly easy. With the exception of traffic. Way too many cars, go way too fast.

I find that when I first return from the trail I shy away from places like the mall, can't take the crowds.

Slowly things seem to adjust and I feel like I fit in again.

Then there are days like today. We had errands to do at the Super-Walmart. It was jam packed, kids screaming, kids without adults running around, announcements over the PA, the ring ring ring of the cash registers... I left my husband standing in line as I sat on a bench closed my eyes and let myself gently glide up the mountain to the summit. I could feel the breeze on my face, see the beautiful vista before me. The only sound was the wind and the occasional hawk as it flew over. Ahhhh, what a little piece of heaven. Then my husband touched my shoulder and I was back at Walmart with all the chaos.

He said I looked pretty funny sitting there on the bench with my eyes closed and a smile on my face. He said people were starring at me. I said I didn't care cuz I was at a place more beautiful then they could even imagine.

It is nice to have those memories to recall when the real world come crashing in.

Hammock Hanger

09-29-2002, 17:59
And just how many people in that Walmart do you think have even seen some of the places we have seen and experienced?

Hammock Hanger
09-29-2002, 18:02
and knowing in a few months I'll be out there again living the good life.:D -- Actually in a week I'll be out there spending some time, YES!!!! :p Hammock Hanger

09-29-2002, 18:43
Yeah when i return to society after being in the woods for a while its always a culture shock. im amazed at how phony people can really be somtimes. and how little they appreciate the world they live in. right after i got home after my last trip i was driving down the highway and we get off at this exit and the guy in the pasanger side of the car in front of me rolls down his window and tosses his empty gatoraid bottle out the window into a bush i was furious. i just cant stand it when people have so little respect for the world around them. id gladly take the trail world to the real world any day. some day im goan move to the mountains and forget about this world cause i dont like it. (and i mean growing up in northern new jersey its no wonder)

09-30-2002, 06:52
Originally posted by EarlyRiser
.......of me rolls down his window and tosses his empty gatoraid bottle out the window...

Colorado has little litter. And they have an interesting law, I am told. If you litter it's a grand.Had you been in Colorado you just jot down the litterer's license plate and location of litter. Its investigated, litter found, litterer fined $1,000.00 and you are sent, anonymously, I suppose, 1/2 of it-$500.00.

While I don't like litter, I am still not quite sure that law is the one we want for our country. While at first it sounds great, upon closer examination it smacks of how dictatorial governments enlist neighbors to turn their neighbors in for whatever infraction, real or imagined.But...they do have little litter

09-30-2002, 08:36
After being out in the woods for just a week, it's always interesting to note how I've changed. Since I mostly hike in the Fall I tend to avoid crowds. My first time behind the wheel of a car is surreal; everything seems different. I realize that my powers of concentration are much, much better -- perhaps because your mind isn't flitting between everything you have to do all day long. My body has also acclimated to being comfortable in lower temperatures. Room temperature now seems hot by about 10 degrees for a few weeks.

Hammock Hanger
09-30-2002, 08:52
I found that driving for me after months on the trail was dificult. I had trained my mind to wonder and ponder. So concentrating on the cars and white lines and speeds all seemed like such work. I would get headaches. I would also drive slow, very slow. My husband would say you go over there in the passenger seat and wonder, ponder, and mentally hike the trail, I'll DRIVE. :D Hammock Hanger

09-30-2002, 15:13
yeah, here in new jersey theres trash everywhere you look. chances are if i submited that guys liscence number to the police theyd just laugh. especialy for that intersection there was tons of other litter in that bush, it just piles up. lately ive been petitioning for a community cleanup effort but as yet ive only been able to partialy organize on at the high school. it really saddens me to see how little reguard there is for the beauty of the community we live in. this area at one time was a beautiful forrest but now its, well new jersey. im moving out of here as soon as possible, its just too much for me. yeah driving seems to either be really hard or a breeze when ya get off the trail depending on who it is. ive known people to swerve through the center divider cause theyre minds were wandering and others have said that theyre much better drivers. its kinda funny, i find my mind wanders though. i cant focas on anything i just space out and picture myself on a trail and not a road where the fastest thing coming at you is another hiker going in the other direction and not a semi truck.

09-30-2002, 23:28
I am hoping the vast majority never find what the AT offers and I realize the double edge sword in needing support for the trail but at the same time hoping that the supporters dont crowd the trail to death. In some ways I like the idea of 'parrallel' trails to the AT that would take some heat off of it but knowing that most will still be drawn to the mythical AT of old...in fact I was just the other day wondering how long it takes for a trail or National Park to be accepted and lusted after..this after a paddle trip to Voyageurs National Park where people only a hundred miles away had never heard of it and those close by in Ely hating it...versus the Smokies in my proverbial back yard being sought after by millions each year...so how long does it take for new trail to aquire the same attraction as the older trails?

Hammock Hanger
10-01-2002, 09:46
I was amazed at the number of local people that did not know the AT was part of their community, or what the AT really was, or where it came from or lead to, or the large amount of people who hike it.

Honest, you can be in town, someone will say you're a hiker, where are you hiking? The AT what is that?

I was in a Duncannon laundromat, next to the Doyle Hotel. A local lady started talking to me, of course the questions came, especiall since she did not know a trail went right thru town. I brought her outside showed her the blaze on the telephone pole. She was shocked! I was shocked!

Hammock Hanger