Written By: Emily "Lightning" Ginger
We haven't had a campfire for at least a month. I believe this is due to a number of factors: we are too tired at the end of the day, it was more exciting in the beginning, the days are longer, and the weather has warmed up quite a bit. I know that I personally don't like sweating the smell of campfire from my pores all day when I am hiking. Really, we just haven't needed a fire. However, for the past week, as soon as we get to camp we all go to work at getting a fire started. The bugs have come out in brutally full force (smoke helps keep them away)! The bugs are everywhere and there's just no way around them. While hiking at a pace of 3-miles/ hour we have flies swarming our heads and biting us all over. When we stop walking we get eaten alive by these incessant flies and the mosquitoes jump on board too. Kate and I spray ourselves with insect repellent but they find the spots that didn't get sprayed and go to town on those few square inches. Once Brandon's tent is set up, he jumps in and rarely comes back out (sometimes to eat dinner) so that he can avoid the bugs. All daylong we are just swatting at our bodies- I'm sure it would look quite comical to an outsider.
We have also been experiencing excruciatingly hot and humid weather, on and off, for about a month (mostly on). As soon as we start hiking early in the morning, I have beads of sweat all over my face and arms. After an hour of hiking the beads of sweat have turned into streams running down my face, arms, and legs. By midday my hair and clothes are so saturated that I look like I just jumped into a lake. We only shower and do laundry about once every 5-7 days, so as you can imagine we smell RANK- I don't know how it happens but our clothes end up smelling like a combination of bleach chemicals and mildew- it's so awful that sometimes I can't stand to walk down wind from Kate or Bran. From four months of not wearing deodorant the stench has really set in our skin and clothes (showers and laundry can only do so much for us at this point). I think that since I am restricted to one set of really smelly hiking clothes, recently during the day my mind has been drifting towards thoughts of my wardrobe, lotions, and perfumes; I fantasize about the option to shower daily, as well as the different salves and garments I can wear again when I return home.
Home! My goodness! That's less than a month away! What a shock it is to be sitting in the state of New Hampshire right now. I never thought I would actually make it out of the state of Virginia, but here I am, having walked here from Georgia, with only two states left to traverse. WOW! With so little time remaining, I think we've had a wake up call- this is going to end, and soon. I feel the pressure to soak up every last bit of this backwoods experience that I can... so I guess I should get off this computer!