do bears … in the woods
and when in Rome … but it seems
not what some expect
“Life takes on a neat simplicity, too. Time ceases to have any meaning. When it is dark, you go to bed, and when it is light, you get up, and everything in between is just in between. It’s quite wonderful really.”
So writes Bill Bryson in his book, “A Walk in the Woods : Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail.”
In the book Mr. Bryson recounts the grind of walking from Georgia to Maine and all the things wonderful and not wonderful that happen.
The overall theme is that you are out in the wild and should expect to be in the wild.
I suppose that is why its called wilderness.
Mr. Bryson relates how the driver who took him and his hiking buddy to the start of the trail in Georgia told stories about other hikers.
One group of hikers showed with brand new equipment, the nicest stuff you ever saw, after spending God knows how much on the stuff and quit hiking after a mile and a half.
The driver said the hikers said it wasn’t what they expected.
“What did they expect?” asked Mr. Bryson.
“Who knows? Escalators maybe. It’s hills and rocks and woods and a trail. You don’t got to do a whole lot of scientific research to work that out.”
Read this account and you laugh.
What did they expect?
What did they expect.
TOILETS it seems.
The article, “Worst work in the world’: US park rangers grapple with tide of human waste” details how some American National Park and wild lands are being overwhelmed by poop.
And it seems not just poop but the fact that park visitors needed a place to poop so the poop piles up in the few public toilets.
One Park Ranger recounted how the waste will freeze and thaw in pit toilets until it rises up out the pit and has to be hauled away.
Hauled away sometimes by helicopter.
One the answers seems to be carrying the poop out with you in doggie bags.
Yeah, that will work.
I am trying to figure out what is missing here.
Do these folks really hope to find a bathroom at the top of Mt. Rainier?
The article ends quoting a Mr. Ben Lawhorn, director of education and research for the outdoor ethics group Leave No Trace.
He said, “If a bathroom is still miles away and hikers don’t have a carry-out bag, the best thing they can is tote a trowel to a spot far from streams and trails.”
“Once you get eight miles into the backcountry, it’s up to you to dig a hole,” Lawhorn said.
This has to be included in Hiking Guides now?
I don’t know what to say but well, poop!