Oh The Places You’ll Sleep!
The Places I’ve Slept as of Night 50? (Not Ordered)
- Baseball dugout.
- Under a bridge.
- Miniature golf course.
- Behind a fence at a truck stop.
- A low billboard.
- The roof of a pavilion.
- Next to I-95 in some trees.
- On a hill next to a hotel.
- A used car lot in Savannah.
- A strip of dirt between a river and a grocery store.
- A field next to a Middle school.
- A line of trees next to a small highway.
- A world traveling couple’s lake house.
- A retired Air Forcee’s self-built beautiful house.
- An abandoned train station
- Grandmothers house
- The insides of a monster
- Under a boardwalk
- A homeless shelter (just to see what it’s like)
- On a bench in a Greyhound station
- On a fishing pier situated on a lake
- In some bushes near a friends house
- On the beach
- An internet friends place
- In a police cell
- Roof of parking garage
- In a storm shelter
- An unlocked bus parked outside of a church
Having to routinely break down camp every morning is a good way for me to center myself for a physically / mentally draining day of walking/observation overload. There will be new cities and states with pleasantly different archetypical people that I will have to be analyzed. Clothing compositions, bodily mannerisms and vocal structures will have to be cataloged. Imagined sexual excursions with strangers will be fleshed out and stored away. Countless (12) inquiries into my business of traveling that I’ll have to respond to with the delight of a person who has never been asked the question before.
Altered personality traits and ways of speech will be adopted to fit areas and comfort strangers. This isn’t a creepy lull them into a false sense of safety, but a self-defense mechanism that keeps the more abrasive parts of my personality from creating situations of agitation or uneasiness that aren’t necessary. Sometimes they are.
And sometimes there’s that evil daughter of a bitch sun. I have to fight the urge to nap in her on an hourly basis. The one time I did fall asleep in her warmth was while air drying (naked) after cleaning up in a river, and the consequences of mild sunburn in appropriate places chased me for a couple of days. The sun has other ways of being a sly nuisance. She will make sly attempts to dehydrate you through sweat, and then it force you to burn through calories to thermoregulate. I run one degree warmer than most people, which is a god send during lengthy sun strolls. I just have to come close to having my brain fried by fevers to have this privilege.
I have no complains about walking with a heavy pack. After five days I figured out the right amount of tightness for the 10 backpack straps that can be adjusted for comfort. During that time period I also repacked my bag and moved all of my gear into their optimal positions for balance, comfort and access. Wearing the 60 odd pound Kelty pack feels natural, and my body motions feel a tad awkward when the pack is leaning against a wall instead of me.
I wonder how weird it’s going to be when don’t have to keep my gear in eye line or sleep with a knife.
Procedure for Finding a Place to Sleep:
- Calculate chances that someone will stumble upon me and if that person would give a shit.
- Calculate risk of ticks and if the other safety issues out way the risk.
- Is there a wall for me to sleep against so I don’t have to watch all angles?
- Are there signs of animals in the area (tracks, etc.)?
- Calculate the risk of mosquitoes, spiders and other bugs.
- If there is a chance of rain, can I easily put up my tarp with things in the area?
- How badly will the sun fuck my face in the morning?
Setting Up Camp For the Night
- Unhook bungee cords for sleeping pad, tarp and sleep bag.
- Lay out tarp on the ground if needed, place nearby if not used.
- Open up pack and take out coat, if not wearing, to be used as pillow.
- Unroll sleeping pad and use coat to keep it in place.
- Take off boots, and socks if insects won’t be a problem.
- Stretch legs, shoulders and lower back with various maneuvers I’ve made up and probably don’t work.
- Take out Ziploc bag of bathroom utensils: brush teeth, take 800mg of Ibuprofen, allergy meds if needed, apply insect repellant.
- If it’s raining, wash up with body wash and shampoo/conditioner before applying repellant.
- Remove sleeping bag from compression sack, unzip, and lay out.
- Discern which direction a person would likely come from and adjust sleeping pad/bag/tarp as needed.
- Remove knife from lower end of backpack, unsheathe slightly and place hidden and in reach.
- Place walking stick/wooden bokken in reach and on the opposite side of knife.
- Put phone on silent so the sound can’t give my position away.
- Crawl into the sleeping bag and bring my phone and iPod with me to protect from moisture.
- Stare at the sky and pick through all of the observations of the day.
- Try not to miss some people and possibly listen to low music.
- Masturbate as needed.
by Dr. Seuss
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!
You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.
And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.
It’s opener there
in the wide open air.
Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.