We’re lazy leaving Show Low.
The thing about the bed, is that it’s perfect. The other thing about the bed, is why leave something that’s perfect?
We hug in bed. I open the curtains and I eat almond milk yogurt, granola, and banana in bed. After that I drink coffee in bed and then I eat watermelon, also in bed.
I take a shower. I’m not dirty at all, I’m just doing it because I CAN, the water is all hot and clean and I can just get in it, for no reason at all. I suds everything extra. I get out and I comb my hair, weaving it into two maypole braids. I look at my body in the mirror. I kind of forget what I look like in the nature and so I inspect now. This is my body, ’til death do we part. Maybe what I’m seeing now isn’t even reality, though. Does anyone see their bodies how they actually appear? My guess is no. I try to see myself with curiosity instead of scrutiny. It’s fun.
We eat giant platters of fajita at the Mexican restaurant. I am stuffed of rice and beans and salsa and guacamole and sautéed vegetables and chips and tortillas and when we release ourselves from the belly of our booth and stumble into the light I am almost woozy with delight.
Carrot ordered a larger capacity pack and we wait for it to arrive at our motel from a field behind the Mexican restaurant. It’s freezing hot again and I am shivering and getting sunburned. I am so anxious, I don’t know why. I’m not talking much. I feel like a lion is stalking me, like I can see him waiting to pounce from the corner of my eye. Except the lion is my brain?! Why does my brain do this to me.
Carrot’s phone pings. Her pack is here! We get the new one, she cuts off all the extraneous doodads, we pack her old one up and send it home. We go to the Starbucks and I think coffee will help my anxiety. Yes, I know coffee makes anxiety worse but for me it’s Iike a baby bottle. With caffeine, I am soothed.
A woman at the Starbucks comments on the potato chips strapped to the top of my pack. I tell her they are Salt and Pepper flavored kettle chips and they are incredible. She asks where we are going and when we tell her she offers us a ride back to the trailhead. “No hitchhiking!!!!!” We exclaim. Yes, of course we will take the ride!
At our trailhead, the forest gently welcomes us back. Every mile, I feel less anxiety pounding at me, less like I am my brain’s own prey. We reach Show Low campground six miles in, just after we pass by a Wal-Mart and a Panda Express. At our picnic table, I breathe deep— back in the woods even these more populated ones, I start to feel more like the feral animal weirdo walker I want to be. Plurality of tasks stresses me terribly these days, but for now I don’t have to worry much about that.
For the next couple of weeks, we mostly just walk.
📍The Mogollon Rim trail is on Yavapai, Western Apache, Hopi and Hohokum land. I am a grateful guest