Day 19: Boredom and Blessing

Date: March 7, 2020

Miles: 318.9 – 339.4

Last night I had some of the best sleep I’ve ever had on trail. So good I did not hear whatever medium sized animal visited my campsite to poop right next to the door of my tent. I’m sure I’ve done my business next to some poor creature’s forest home, so it’s probably cosmic payback.

I left the trailhead this morning excited about what I thought lay ahead in the Superstition Wilderness. But the first stretch through Rogers Canyon was a mess due to last year’s fire. Staying on trail meant following cairns and checking the map. It wasn’t too bad, it just took a little longer than expected.

A bit jumbly.

The rest of the hike through Reavis Gap, over Two Bar Ridge, then down to camp was frustrating. I spent a good 30 minutes walking in the wrong direction when I missed a junction, and I backtracked only to get turned around crossing a creek in the wrong spot after losing track of the cairns that marked the trail. Then it was up and down one steep hill after another, with loose rock making footing slippery and turning downhill single track into a scree ski. And the scenery didn’t change much.

More yellow grass, green bushes, dead looking trees, and plants that scratch and poke. I’m trying to keep an open mind, but the ‘wow’ moments have been few and far between on this trail, the encounters with people are even sparser, and honestly…I’m bored and having a hard time appreciating this trail for what it is.

I am trying to use some of the monotonous periods of each day to practice walking meditation and self-reflection. When you have nothing to do but walk from point A to point B, it’s easy to spend a whole day examining an entire life.

It’s really easy to dwell on the bad decisions I’ve made, the choices I made to please others instead of myself, the people I’ve hurt. It’s harder to remind myself how much I have changed, and how fortunate I am to have a comfortable life, with a family and goofy pets and a roof over my head and people who love me and are loved in return.

I know that it is a luxury to be out here selfishly pursuing what looks on the surface to be a terrible idea for a vacation but is actually a reminder to myself that I have a wild spirit that connects to something deeper and truer than a desk and a computer screen – something more important than the myopic daily worries of a society that prizes production over connection. I don’t exclude myself from this. So I suppose, deep down, I’ve come out here to over exert my body instead of my mind and to be overwhelmed by both beauty and boredom, and know that they both shall pass.

An alligator pine named Medusa.
Remnants of an apple orchard in the middle of nowhere.