I bathed today! We hiked all morning in overcast, but in the afternoon, the sun came out. Rick and Ryan went to nap in their tents, so I siezed the fortunate convergence of events to get clean.

Each morning, I unbraid my hair, two long french pigtails, finger comb them one side at a time, and immediately rebraid. It's my time-tested method for reasonably neat hair in the long term, and I don't have to deal with tangles. Each night, I towel dry my feet and body as part of an elaborate no-moisture bedtime procedure. I wash my face in the creek morning and evening, and carry a little tub of Vaseline everywhere to keep my face wounds protected. But this is the first chance I've had to bathe.

"Bathing" here means a sponge bath with a corner of the same packtowel I use to dry, working section at a time so I don't have to take off all the warm clothes at once, drying each limb right away, already gooseflesh. But there was a lovely flat rock in the sun by the second creek over (first creek reserved for drinking and dishes).

I even managed to wash and dry some socks and underwear in the stream — and they dried, same day!

I still smell like smoke and sweat; I can't afford to wash my clothes, because I have only one set for day and a non-overlapping set reserved for night. I couldn't take the chance on any articles not drying (and when the wind came up, I was glad to have them all on). But I'll sleep better tonight.

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This photo by Ryan

An adventurer, woodland creature, and engineer. Currently working on data ownership models, environmental accountability, and intentional community.

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