As an addendum to yesterday’s blog, I feel it necessary to relate an incident that occurred several times over the course of the trail.
It always began in a forest in the mountains, near to a highway or trailhead. We’d meet some day-hikers at a crossroads and all stop to chat. They were always deeply impressed with us, and it was nearly impossible to keep our egos from swelling as we basked in the celebrity status of being a thru-hiker.
The conversation would come to a close. I’d heave up my backpack, swing it onto my back and snap down all the straps with expert dexterity. Then with a cool, “See you down the trail,” we’d strut back onto the trail and stride forcefully into the woods.
And realize half a minute later that we had taken the wrong trail.
This action would immediately be followed by us contritely shuffling back up the trail and taking the correct route this time, in between making sheepish jokes to the day-hikers about our lack of direction. It was always very embarrassing. It was always ego-deflating.
And it reminded us why we always carried a GPS.