Yesterday we spent the day in Oroville, Washington. It marked the 31swt day since we began hiking, and it served as the first day that we took off, completing zero miles towards our route to the Pacific.
We were all looking forward to a free day. Besides giving our bodies time to recover, I was excited to do the three leisure activities I originally planned to dedicate time to this summer: writing my novel, learning the harmonica, and bettering my knowledge of religious texts. So far, I have been able to work on at least one of these each day, but with the day off, I figured I'd get to all three.
With zero miles on the agenda, I allowed myself to sleep in the latest I have all summer. Upon waking, I remained in bed and watched a mediocre TBS movie. Later, I wandered the town until I procured an older edition of the WSJ. Having received absolutely no news in the prior month, I did not mind an outdated newspaper. With the Journal in hand, I spent three hours reading every single word and then completing the crossword. Throughout these tasks, I took breaks to gorge myself with food (I had two pints of ice cream in the evening) and to taste some beer, wine, and margheritas.
By late evening I realized that I had wasted the day and had failed to spend any time on my three activities. I still had some time, but my body was so full from all the food taht I found myself incapable of anything besides rolling up in a ball and watching a documentary on Ted Kennedy.
Out on the trail, I don't have the meaningless distractions: tv, alcohol, etc... I may be distracted by the natural beauty or wildlife, but those inspire me and add value. I have yet to find much value in tv. I'm happy this trip has already afforded me 30 productive days.
Tonight we are camped along the shores of Palmer Lake. It is the first site we have had all trip that is conducive for swimming: warm water and easy access.
Sitting in Palmer Lake.