No, the heat hasn’t dissipated but I suppose that isn’t quite new huh. Walking through W. Virginia proved to be similar in regards to the trails. Some parts maintained here and there and some that aren’t. With many days spent on these trails, you start to notice the little things. By little things, I mean that one rock that’s inherently just bigger than the rest. So there you are moving across the gravel road. A notice of change in time as your vision turns to a more orangish-yellow. Your shadow no longer follows you but rather tired of doing so and takes charge. Then suddenly a dent bulges into the bottom of your foot. Shielded within the rubber lining of modern protection, the sharpness could still be felt as if barefoot. Balance is swayed alongside the point of the rock as if pushing and now you’re groggy after the millionth one. When the legs are worn down over time, it can be easy to see why balance can be shifted. Even if only by one rock.
A new sensation showed itself during the trek through paw paw and the North Bend trail. Both containing tunnels that are different from tunnels maybe you’ve come across. The map indicates that there’s a tunnel coming up, but you’re not quite there yet. So then why did the temperature drop with a sudden breeze with it? You’ve now have been given a sign that you’re nearing the tunnel. The first tunnel I’ve crossed was paw paw tunnel. Before stepping in, I noticed only a small guard rail lane barely big enough for my cart. This tunnel wasn’t small so that meant just next to the rails was a deep drop. Once entered there’s instantly the smell of old rustic iron and dampness. Like you take a whiff and you just know it’ll be wet somewhere. Your goosebumps are on alert with a drop in temperature and your vision is black. Now to note these tunnels don’t have lights running in them. So your only source is the light emitting from the outside or artificial. This type of darkness is a true dark. It’s like closing your eyes, then putting your hand over it to block even the lights able to pass through the eyelids. That darkness is what these tunnels are like. As I walk, my eyes are glued to the speck of light leading to the other side (yes, I walk through these without lights. A spooky vibe that I like). Each step carefully as to not fall into the small depression in the concrete. The senses are reduced to where these depression feel as though falling through a gap. Eyesight becomes another thing the dark plays tricks on. With that one source of light being focused on for long periods, you start seeing these “effects” with every blink. Like static on television but the static envelopes around the light. A quick stop to check my progress can be mind-boggling. You take a look forward then back, listening to the silence with exception to the sound of droplets every so often. Weird. Seems as though the exit doesn’t look closer, but the entrance is further from me. Weird.
W. Virginia was definitely the state I had the least if any at all of reception. So I guess the time spent in the wild alongside that was technically my first “living in the wild”. Sure most of the time is spent on walking than connecting to the world, but checking here and there helps fill in the spaces of boredom. So when that’s not available, the mental state is truly tested. Especially with tall standing trees blocking the sun to solar charge. So you start to look at things. You play back scenarios. Anything to occupy your mind. It’s a true statement that humans would rather have a shocker than nothing at all. Feel like I’ve said something along those lines before. Just proves how much of an impact it truly has.
There was a strange occurrence I came across when walking through a town. On the way through a sidewalk to a dirt path with music plugging my ears. Not entirely sure what happened but I noticed a truck on the road. A quick gander and there’s an older bearded man behind the wheel. He looks at me and I back at him, then I notice the small dog walking from the car to me. The man then revs the truck and drove off. At this point, a feeling of confusion showed across my face. Does this dog belong to the man? Did he just drop the dog off? The dog would continue to follow me since I thought on the off chance he lived nearby. Walking more and more and the white brown spotted dog kept chase. Even to pee in front of other dogs behind fences to show them who’s boss. I kept walking to the point where the dog had lost interest in tailing me, and probably messing with more dogs. Never found out about who the owner was. If the man had any relevance. I notice he looked at me then at the dog and back at me. Like as if i caught him in the act.
Have a nice day folks. Truly appreciate the things you have. From walking, I believe water is the number one thing that everyone should be able to have. Then food after. The end of the coming trails I ran very low on food and water. About out at the end. It reminds me that this feeling of the parched tongue and acidic stomach looking to devour is what I walk for. I know the feeling from the past, but it’s always a more powerful feeling when in the moment. Trust me, you don’t wanna be in those shoes. Neither do these kids.