Thursday, June 30, 2011

Day Thirty-Four, Boxers or Briefs

I have a sort of technique for packing up all my gear in the rain. Nothing I own stays completely dry, and I get plenty wet myself, but it works to some small degree. I don't know how much a soggy pack weighs compared to a dry one, but I can't help but feel cheated. I'm carrying unecessary pounds.

Everything I own is sopping wet. The rain had nothing to do with it. I upset a bottle of water in my tent last night. "What'd you do a fool thing like that?" you may want to know. It was an accident. Like the time I set fire to my tent trying to kill a mosquito with a disposable lighter. It could happen to anyone.

Quite a big bottle, too. I really doused the place. It was like a kiddie pool. I was bailing for hours and all my laundry went to sop up whatever was left. So now everything is wet. Hell, I'm used to it. I sweat like a monkey. I wear the same shirt every day. I have a theory that a shirt should be good for three days, though I have gone as long as four and have retired a couple after two.

My underpants are similarly recycled. I won't bore you with the details. But I like to get my money's worth from a coin-op fluff and dry. Oddly enough, I have only recently started wearing underwear. If you met me any time between 1999 and a couple of weeks ago, odds are I was free-ballin' it.

To coin an expression.

But I was worried about chafing and back-lighting and indecent exposue, so I went out and bought me some underpants. But not before I consulted my friend Larry. What Larry don't know about underpants ain't worth learning. He turned me on to a spiffy set of long-legged briefs.

I tell you, they're lovely. Out of the dryer they make you feel toasty and safe. I might keep on wearing them once I return to civilian life. But they do get soggy over the course of a day and I have darnedest time getting them dry. Which means as often as not that I have to start the day in wet underpants.

Yet I retain my trademarked optimism, that perennial good cheer which defines me. I'm just saying it's hard. Nobody knows how I suffer. And now all my underpants are wet. Even the dry ones. Because I poured water on them. Accidentally. Like could happen to anyone.

I hiked into Trout Creek in my clammy underpants and had a fabulous breakfast. Hashbrowns are my new favorite food. In the future when I get really rich I'm not going to eat anything but hashbrowns. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. Hashbrowns.

I also had cake. That was good, too. I was really trying to draw out my visit so I could recharge my little computer. It might conk out any time. If I go missing I was probably eaten by a bear, but it could just mean my batteries are dead.

Then I hiked nineteen miles to Thompson Falls, Montana, coming up four miles short. I did not much enjoy the walking. Some days you just got to gut it out. It's cold up here, by the way. The sun can make it very hot, but that's all there is. The earth has no residual warmth of its own.

I am camped by the river at a little spot set up for fishermen. The state has closed it because half of it is underwater. I put up my tent on the other half.

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