Free Showers

Day 51

Mileage: 24.6
Total distance: 1508.6

I love how the most simple luxuries of the American life become so incredibly valuable and wonderful when the woods is your home for a few months. I can’t even begin to express how happy I get when I get water from a hose or faucet I don’t have to filter or toilet paper instead of lambs ear or rocks (I’ve started trying this instead of carrying tp and I gotta say it works pretty well, I think), but the greatest luxury of all is warm, flowing water from a shower and rinsing off all the filth acquired from the past several days. 

I woke up this morning before my alarm, but was incredibly exhausted from my day before. My shin hurt less, which was a huge motivation to get moving, but I just felt drained and slow in getting down the trail. Dehydration is tough to snap out of, but it became my goal for the day and slowly, but surely I climbed out of the hole. 

I only had 15 miles into town and spent most of it talking with Molly on the phone as I slowly descended and heard the roar of I-5 growing. The lower I get the more poison oak there seems to be, but this is made up for by the greenery and the soft padded earth I get to walk on from the fallen needles of the surrounding Firs. 

I got into town around noon and bought a Gatorade I drank on the front porch, while listening to some hikers talk about how much ass they’re gonna get when they get home. I ended up wandering over to the state park where there were coin operated showers. As I walked in the bathroom I reached out to test the nozzle and the water came spewing out of the shower head and I hadn’t even out quarters in. This. Was. Magical. I immediately stripped and stood under the hot water for longer than I’m proud to admit and cleaned every inch of my body. The colors that came running down the drain should never, ever be described to even our most hated villains. It was despicable. 

I didn’t stay in the area for too long, but ended up having Molly help me book my flight home after the trail and headed back to the trail to get another ten down before the night came. 

The last ten miles were really wonderful. Some steep climbs, but worth it for the views. There was a particularly beautiful formation of rocks up on a cliff I would see every now and then that rose higher than any other ridge around and when the sun started to sink there was a glow of orange left only on these rocks standing tall above the valley. 

Camp tonight is by disappearing creek where I actually had to search for the water up the stream and was not amused by the clever name of the stream in the process. I finally got some though and set up my bug net to rest heavily before five days straight in the woods. I’m excited for another long stretch without a town and to see how filthy my body might get with what’s ahead. 

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