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By Now He Stinketh-May 22

     It's been eight days since my last shower and it's another three days to Pie Town. I'm thinking after 11 days a shower and a load of laundry will be on my to do list...right after some pie with ice cream!
     I actually have a theory that there is a limit to how dirty I can get while hiking. Only so much dirt will stick to the human body. I also think dirt is a effective sun screen, although I have no empirical evidence. I'm not so sure if my theory applies to how smelly one can get. Maybe I could get a research grant to study the limits of human stinkiness. We could finally answer the age old question...If a thru-hiker doesn't bathe and no one is around to smell him, does he still stink? Anyway, it will be nice to take a shower and have clean clothes in a few days...I'll smell like a day hiker!
     On a more serious note, today was an amazing day! I don't remember this section of the trail, even though I hiked it last year. I'm thinking the reason why I don't remember it is because last year I was focused on my ankle pain that developed the day before. Today I called my wife again from the same spot where I called her last year to complain about my ankle. This year I could report I was pain free, feeling strong, and enjoying my hike.
     While hiking through a burn area I passed a small active forest fire that is being allowed to burn. It was hazy and I could smell the smoke but overall it was a minor inconvenience. The highlight of the day was the amount of wildlife that I observed. I saw more deer in one day than I think I've seen in my lifetime. I saw a small herd of elk who watched me intently for a few minutes before bounding away. I saw jack rabbits, smaller cute bunnies, and some large winged insects in the trees making a very distinct clicking noise. It seemed like the landscape was alive and I was rejoicing in the privilege to experience it.
     Being on a ridge line for part of the day provided good cell reception so I took the opportunity to talk with my wife, my brother, and my mother. My father's health is declining and part of me feels guilty for not being there to help care for him. But after talking with them on the phone, I felt better and knew I was in the right place; doing what I'm supposed to be doing for now. Besides praying for me, you can be praying for my father's health, and for strength, wisdom and peace for those caring for him.
     This was the first day of my hike I didn't see anyone while hiking. There have been days when I didn't see another thru-hiker, but today I didn't see another hiker, equestrian, or even a vehicle. Dirt roads, power lines and branded cattle were the only evidence of civilization.
     Blessings to everyone following my journey. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


  1. So glad you are hiking pain-free, my friend. Praying for you and your dad today.

  2. It all sounds interesting to me. I am praying for all of you at this time. Having His presence with us is wonderful. Hike on and I'll keep joining you in prayer. Sandra

  3. You're just so funny! I really enjoy your humor. I'm thankful this year's hike is just stinky and not filled with pain. I will join you and the others in prayer for your father's heath and strength and that when you complete your hike, that you have a joyous reunion with him and can delight in what the Lord has done!

  4. Richard S RiveraMay 30, 2017 at 8:11 AM

    I'm glad your pain free! The age old question, "if no one is around, they can't smell you". So the answer is no��. Praying for your father.


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