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Trail Style

Trail Style

Even on the Pacific Crest Trail which stretches from Canada to Mexico you will find a wide variety of personalities and styles. It added a little interest to my recent hundred mile walk on the trail to observe trail styles.

There are 4 categories of hikers on the trail:

  • Dayhikers
  • Thruers
  • Section hikers
  • Lashers

Their gear and outfits tell a lot about them.

Throughers are attempting the whole trail either north or southbound. You can usually tell them by their stick thin yet muscular figures (eating enough calories to walk 20-40 miles a day is a tough job) and smaller packs. Most of these folks wear low hikers, running shoes or (hard for me to believe) sandals.  Attire and personal hygiene varies greatly. There are the folks who embrace the trail and leave behind the razors and combs (which is my personal trail style). This year I saw a fair number of long hair and long bearded men and one woman who had chosen to leave the razor behind – she had the most bold style with a lovely shade of purple hair and long leg hair that had a marvelous striped pattern.

Then there are the people who are nattily attired in their lightweight camping shirts, hats and pants that screen them from the sun and bugs. Most carry a packable down coat for the times when it is cold. And they can probably leave their bug juice and sunscreen home.  I admire these people and may even try out their style one year. When I see them they look freshly laundered and groomed no matter how deep in the woods they are.

Section hikers (like myself) and lashers (long ass section hikers) tend to dress like the throughers only the beards and hair are shorter.

There is a catergory in the section hikers who are brand new hikers. You can tell them because none of their equipment is dirty or worn yet and they may be traveling slower than I am! There were a lot of these folks doing the timber ridge trail this year. Welcome! May your packs get a lot of use!

Dayhikers also have varied attire. There are the spandex suited running crowd carrying no packs and timing themselves on their 50 plus mile runs. (I will never be in this group).

There are more camp shirts and pants and there is the general tourist crowd wearing cotton shirts and jogging shoes.As they are Freshly showered and shaved and have a cold beer waiting for them at the end, I envy them.

Here is what I saw that was different on the trail:

  • Neon sleeping bags – I only saw two and that may be because they had chosen to sleep under the stars and were quite noticeable in the meadow as we hiked by. I can see this would be a big advantage in a snowstorm or other weather event. It would be much easier to find you and your bag. I found some similar bags here at Moosejaw. Neon green sleeping bags
  • Purple hiking boots 

I found these  at hiking boots .com purple hiking boots

  •  Retro style – back to the camp shirts and zip off cargo pants for hiking. This long sleeved women’s shirt with pockets also has built in sun shade to protect you from the sun.

 

I found it here at REI.com sunscreen camp shirts and found some zip off cargo pants with insect repellent built in here cargo pants with insect repellant

Last bit of eye catching trail style was the mother of the bride dress we saw while inadvertently semi crashing a bridal reception at Timber Line Lodge.

It was similar to this dress

only sleeveless and with silver instead of black detail worn by an elegant woman with a glorious head of silver hair.  image from https://www.ebay.com/i/273013350286?chn=ps

What is your trail style?

Time to Experiment

Time to Experiment

Does your brain ever get stuck? Mine keeps going in the same cycle of indecision and fear. Today I decided to try something new and try Fresh Paint – a Wiindows digital drawing program. I grabbed a branch of white pine that was laying in the trail and attempted to draw it. It was a bit frustrating and challenged me to look closely and observe colors. I’m pretty happy with the results. Using a pen and digital pad is not the most relaxing activity and may be better when I try it at a desk instead of sitting in a chair. I hope it helped get my brain unstuck. What helps you begin to think in new ways?

Digital drawing experiment

Returning Home

Now that I am living and working on a schedule that is my own time and place I have returned a couple times to my childhood home. My father is 93. He does not see or hear very well. It is good that he can’t see me roll my eyes when I repeat what I have said for the 20th time today. It is good for my patience and a good reminder that this second act is not always going to be in my control and I should have a heck of a good time while it is. The odds are I will end up with these old age quirks – we all will. Our bodies will fail someday.

It is also hard not to get sucked back into that vortex that was growing up and the parental messages that were not even intended but that sunk in any way. One big one I realized I have is in relationship to money. In my home anyone with more than we had was “on their high horse” and “thought they were better than us.” This was never true. Those folks were just living their life in the best way they saw possible. I grew up with the belief that if I had money I would be a bad person. As you can imagine this affected my income level. I never charged enough for my services and worked very hard. I was ashamed of anything I had because I had “too much.” I needed to be barely scraping by to be a “good person.”

I am working hard to over come that parental message. We all deserve a living wage. Currency in the US is not backed by anything. The amount of it available is unlimited. If I make a lot of money I am not taking it from someone else. I am providing a service or good in exchange for a price that someone is willing to pay. I can take that money that I make and I can use it for good or evil. If I don’t make that money my choices are limited. I can’t help others if I can barely help myself. It is hard to be in a good mood if I am worried about that tax bill or meeting payroll.

Embrace the fact that it is OK to be wealthy if that is your choice. Don’t judge others for their choices. Live your own life in pursuit of your own ideals, beliefs and choices. LIfe is short. Don’t waste it worrying about how others spend their money or what they think of you.

Do you have any beliefs planted in childhood that are holding you back?