What makes me happy?

This short post is possible because I have data in the woods for this rare occasion, so I thought I’d relate some of the things that make me happy on the trail.

On several days I have taken completely wrong turns and had to backtrack to where I think I got lost. The trail is marked by white blazes, either on trees or on rocks and, when you’ve been wandering for a while and not seen a blaze, it is extraordinarily reassuring to suddenly spot a blaze up ahead. It is almost an affirmation and the thrill never goes away.

That makes me happy.

Trail magic is another thing that gives me joy and it can come in all types and degrees. The barber in Gatlinburg who shut up shop to run me to the Post Office and then the laundry. Apple, a former thru-hiker, who regularly drives to trail locations for the simple pleasure of providing donuts and coke to thirsty and hungry hikers. Even some of my fellow hikers are unconsciously kind at pretty much all times, offering to help out in any way possible when a fellow traveler needs something.

That makes me happy.

Coming to a shelter at the end of the day, with my knees throbbing, my calves screaming and my feet numb, I immediately enter a company of equals and the easy conversation and friendly cooking begins, before everybody settles down at hiker midnight, which is when the sun goes down.

That makes me happy.

But the thing that makes me happiest of all is when I turn on my phone for the 20th time of the day, expecting to see the hated “no service” yet again, when deep in the woods, only to see that AT&T have granted me the faintest of signals and I’m able to call my Diane. It immediately lifts my mood and I know it makes her happy to hear from me as well. When we can’t speak, I find myself having negative thoughts, yet hearing her voice is all I need to know that all is well and everything is alright in our little world.

While I understand those who prefer the full wilderness experience, absolutely nothing makes me happier than seeing that little lifeline from AT&T.

It’s funny what we find out about ourselves in the woods.

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5 thoughts on “What makes me happy?”

  1. I want you to just keep being happy ! Don’t worry I will get there soon. You have a great a friend in Chuck Ripple who stopped by today as he said he would to check on me. To see if I needed anything and filled the kinetico water system with salt. It really touched my heart . It was a blue job that I forgot I had to do.
    You being safe makes me happy. Love you babe. Xxxxxxx
    Diane

  2. I’ve been away from the Australian equivalent of AT&T for a few days and, despite being someone who loves the wilderness, am absolutely ecstatic to see it back again. I was sitting in the back seat of my parents car today for the start of our 500 mile drive home with my laptop on my lap checking Facebook and writing blog posts. Haha. Now it’s 9pm and the camp ground is quite but I can finally get my fix of everyone’s blog posts after a week’s absence. So I totally get what you are saying šŸ™‚

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