Friday, August 5, 2011

Don't you wish your girlfriend was a hiker like me Don't cha

On top of the world.
Why would you wish?

Hikers are never too embarrassed to geek it up. Can’t you just picture me in my hiking gear singing my own version of the Pussycat Dolls song? You know I would do it! Don’t even need to be dared. I have no shame. Wide-brimmed hat, hiking poles, vest holding all my gadgets, tube from my hydration bladder hanging over my shoulder, yellow snot rag tied to my backpack…the gear is part of the fun. Always a Girl Scout, I like to be prepared.  
My toe paraphernalia.
Only the toes knows.

Gnarly feet are hot. Hiker appeal isn’t just about the cool clothes. Long days and lots of miles, up- and downhill, will take its toll on your feet, which are already ugly to start. A shameless flat-footed biped, I don’t complain, since these canoes get me where I need to go.
Just call me Tootsie in the morning.

Bloody bruises and blisters from too-small boots (no longer an issue after 32 miles and a good fitting by an Appalachian Mountain Man) and treacherous climbs up and down while section-hiking the Appalachian Trail in Georgia earned me my trail name, Tootsie. You don’t want to know what’s under these toe bandages, jellies, and pads. Who needs toenails anyway?

Why else would you wish your girlfriend was a hiker chick like me?

We keep good company. There's great conversation on the trail. And when you need quiet, it's nice to know someone is walking beside you, in front of, or behind you, there if you need them. Hiker chicks are reliable, a damn good and strong bunch. In more than one way, too.

That's me in the privy. That's me in the spotlight.
Losing my religion, er, I mean, dignity.
We don’t care what we look or smell like. Sunscreen is all you need. There’s no high maintenance, no vanity on the trail. There's a quiet simplicity and earthiness to it all. Such a feeling of peace comes over when it hits you that very few things are really critical to meet our need to survive.

Our only want is to meet the demands of the trail. Our only needs are to eat, drink water, go to the bathroom, and get a good night’s sleep to start back on the trail again the next day…and there are no requirements or expectations about how or where we do any of those things. On the trail, hikers learn to let go of the real world. It’s a culture with its own sense of civility and etiquette.    
We're too sexy for our hats, too sexy for our hats, too sexxy for our hats.
Hikers are tough. On my 2009 Georgia trek on the AT, it was a solemn drive in the van one day on the way to the trail. We all knew what was ahead of us—a very rainy day with sixteen miles to cover. We all quietly emptied out our packs full of treasures—nice-to-have gear in our daypacks—and stripped down to just absolutely what we needed to conquer the trail that day.
We shielded our packs with rain covers and some donned rain gear. None of that mattered. We were soaked to the bone at the end of the day. Rain gear and pack covers could only do so much with sixteen miles in all-day rain. It was difficult to peel off our wet clothes in the van on the way home to the hiker hostel. But it was still a glorious day on the trail and a feeling to never forget. A pleasant recurring dream it is to hike in light rain.  
A special day in the rain.

So any other reasons you'd wish your girlfriend was a hiker chick like these women?

No complainers in the bunch. Up and down the mountains, through pain and tired muscles, and non-stop rain, not one hiker uttered a negative thought, that day or all week long. We were proud to be a part of it all.

Hikers are humorous. A highlight at the end of that rainy day, somewhere during mile sixteen, was when one hiker looked up at the sky with raised hands and quietly begged, “Can you stop raining for one moment?” Such comic relief we needed. The irony was that we were close to the finish line and it didn’t really matter if it stopped raining. We were already soaked. We all laughed, reveled in what already became our war story, and pondered how life was good.

No complainers here.
Hikers are there for each other. Each night at dinner after a long day on the trail, we talk about the experiences we'll never forget, and congratulate each other on a job well done. 
So at the end of the day, hiking may not be your thing, but for me and my hiker chicks, we will serve the trail.

In a good place. On the trail.
Don’t you wish your girlfriend was a hiker like me? Don’t cha?

Hey, you don’t have to wish! Give it a try! Start small. Take a spin around your neighborhood. Find a hiking buddy and join in. And I bet you’ll find some cool walkers or hikers at a nice park near you.

Happy trails!

Until next time, yours in fun and hiking...Therese


  1. Forgot to add an important reason: Hiker legs are sculpted. After all the climbs, we walk away with muscles we didn't know existed. As Paris says, that's hot.

  2. I knew the Jazzersongs would be of benefit to one of us! Well done.

  3. Haha! Thanks, Jamar! Sometimes those songs get stuck in my head.

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