I spent the past weekend in last years camping hammock, strung up on my balcony at home, reading a book by Robert Moor titled “On Trails.” He brings up the question surrounding why living things developed the evolutionary ability to pull themselves across a terrain creating trails. He spent a good deal of time exploring the 100’s of millions of years old Precambrian fossils with some scientists in Newfoundland where he examined the fossil evidence of animals called Ediacarans. This leads him to wonder about what evolutionary decision-making framework split these creatures into things like fungus versus humans. As the book is a study of trails, he talks about eras in literature where people, evidently, had an abhorrence of trail-less wilds after the Roman Empire fell. And, somewhat whimsically, the Newfoundland Fairy Trails. I’ve only made a small dent in the book so far but it has my attention and is very well written/researched.
In the back of my mind, however, was a bunch of fresh Ohio rhubarb in the fridge that we got from a recent Yellow Bird shipment. It’s one of those vegetables that remind me of being a kid and, like some yokel’s child, sitting in a friend of my mom’s house, on the ground, uprooting stalks of rhubarb and gnawing on it raw. It has this crazy tart flavor which is, oddly, appealing. Anyway, I splurged fat wise and got some pork chops (trimmed off the extra fat that I could), made a rhubarb sauce, served that with the last of our winter sweet potatoes by mashing them with garlic and herbs alongside a heap of sauteed greens in onion and garlic with a bit of lemon and olive oil. It was a lot of flavors, savory, and really good.
For morning meals, I’ve been making a blend of whey protein, psyllium seed fiber, banana, blueberries, strawberries, low-fat peanut butter, nonfat Greek Yogurt, a bit of maple syrup and skim milk. That, with a chaser of decaf coffee, seems to wake me up enough for the day ahead.
Looking ahead, I’m looking forward to a short getaway this weekend to do a little car camping where I hope to play around with some fire pit cooking for the first time ever. Things like breakfast scrambles, trout, vegetables and of course salads and pita with hummus are on the menu. What a treat in comparison to rehydrated backpackers fare. Failure or not, there will be a write-up. One of the main things I plan to do however is to start my research on The Wonderland Trail around Mt Rainier in Tacoma Washington as Doug and I are once again thinking about doing something a little challenging together hiking wise in 2020. It’s funny, I recently read a post about the Japanese idea of “ikigai“. It immediately rang an inner bell that told me this was the missing piece I was looking for in relation to how I wanted to finish off this body of tattoo work. Specifically my chest area. The idea roughly means “what is your reason for living? After talking with Andy over at Man St Collective I said I wanted Mt Rainier on my torso, in large format, if we swing the Wonderland Trail. That got his head working and he came up with an initial idea of a topological map of the trail itself surrounding the mountain. Perfect I thought to myself. While we are halfway through, I think, my left arm which is turning out to be exactly what I wanted, we still have the right arm to go, so this goal is at least a year away… giving me some time to see about that 93 miles, very difficult, nearly two weeks, hiking trail in Washington called The Wonderland after all. As with all things, time will tell.