People ask lots of interesting questions when I reveal that I’m hiking Mexico to Canada. Some are totally unexpected. Some get repeated a lot. Perhaps the funniest comes from people clearly struggling mentally with such a walk. More than a couple of times I’ve been faced with disbelief. They ask, “Wow, how long will that take?” I respond unsurely with “Well, it depends how fast I walk… maybe five months?” Then they say “You can’t possibly carry all of that food.” Uhhhh, yeah. I can’t. But to humor them I tell them about my light base pack weight, my ability to hike far and plan well, and my strategy of rationing for two peanuts and one rasin a day. I say with that I’ll have to start with about 50 pounds of food. Next, roll the smile….. I can’t wait to be on the trail goofing around full time! Funniest thing was the reaction of dibelief from a Patagonia employee yesterday. I was too confused to provide my usual retort.
One thing’s strange though. Some people seem really interested in my trip but some don’t seem to care at all. And I can’t figure beforehand who will care and who won’t. It’s not like outdoorsy, or liberal, or well traveled people are more interested. Sometimes they just seem to feign it. Then, a while ago I was talking to someone who I wouldn’t expect would care and he was facinated. Not that stereotyping matters but my friend was from the ghetto, a recent immigrant, and the type of guy that’s more interested in fast cars or football. Well, he asked the most interesting, thoughtful and extensive questions. So now I tend to nonchalantly slip it in that I’m about to walk across America (well, not really) in two weeks.