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Things I Will Be Doing INSTEAD of Reading This Week

Some scenery from my trail crew trip last year.
          Starting this Sunday, I will be on a volunteer trip to repair trails in the wilds of some area of the United States whose name currently escapes me.  I've done this kind of thing once before.  Basically, we start out at some kind of wilderness headquarters and hike out to a patch of trail that needs maintenance.  Then we come back five days later, dirty, reeking, and very happy to see a flush toilet.  
          There will be very little space in my monster hiking bag for frivolities such as books, so I will not be reading much this week.  This is a list of what I will be doing instead:

          1. Stuffing my monster hiking backpack with supplies, struggling to hoist it onto my shoulders, and then buckling under the weight like a sad and metaphorically charged statue, like my friend did on our last trip.    
          2.  Burying unwanted food scraps such as apple stems so that my counselors don't make me eat them.  Littering is, of course, COLOSSALLY frowned upon on trail maintenance teams (the slogan is "Leave No Trace"), and we can only carry a small amount of trash back to headquarters, which means that volunteers are expected to eat apple stems.  Gaaah.
          3.  Falling asleep at 8 pm  because we are actually tired at that point.  
          4.  Getting excited because I found the perfect "scree" rock.  
          5.  Giving up on combing my hair after developing an impenetrable knot at the nape of my neck.
          6.  Missing soap, deodorant, shampoo, lotion, and smelly bubbly bath products.
          7.  Going to a river once every day to fill two multi-gallon jugs of water and then dragging them back to camp to be filtered or purified with iodine. 
          8.  Tying up bags of food so so as not to draw bears.
          9.  Working on a story about a serial killer who preys on members of a trail crew team and kills using trail repair tools.  The story will be called "Leave No Trace."   
          10.  Remembering that I don't need as much stuff as I think I do.  
           - Carly



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