Barefoot selfies and selfishness on the trail
This blog has three focuses (foci?): Barefoot. Wandering. Writing.
A recent surfeit of foot-free posts has prompted this flurry of unclad toe photos from my mid-November wandering–scroll no further if you are not inspired by (lots and lots) of bootless adventure images.
One more caveat: at this end of this post I will wax splenetic about how people treat trails. You were warned.
Even in wackily warm So Cal (daytime temps in the 80s and 90s all week) autumn happens; it’s nice to scrunch and snuggle in sycamore and cotton leaf-fall. Here is the first of way-too-many “barefoot selfie” photos.
DIATRIBE TIME: (If you are reading this, I’d bet you’re not one of the people who made the following messes, but thanks for letting me vent. Is it selfish of me to want people to clean up after themselves on the trail? Or selfish of them to expect someone else to pick up their plastic crap? If you have read this far, I know that you know that we know the answer. The question then remains: how to get folks to Leave No Trace? )
Here’s a poem I wrote a while back after a particularly bad trail trash day:
Anecdote of the Trash
“I placed a jar in Tennessee . . .
it made a slovenly wilderness
surround that hill.” ”
On another shoeless escapade
I run into what some slovenly
blockhead has chucked: unbright styrofoam.
I tiptoe off-trail through the fallen
star thistle that stabs my undertoes;
bending stiff I pick up golden-arch-marked
In my small pack it joins its crappy cousins:
plastic bottles, plastic bottle caps,
all tossed separately from their shredded
blue (plastic of course) bottled-water labels.
Then there’s everyone’s favorite throw-away:
plastic foil packet tops—those miracles
of instant energy snatched from your pocket.
(Who cares about a little litter when
you need your electrolytes and sucrose
to fuel your fun. You’ll never hear me cuss
’cause your ears are busy with your playlist shuffle.)
Outlasting all are rocks: pleasing creatures who
create harmonious mosaics on the trail.
They rub my toes the right way, and with such
gravelly voices murmur puzzling stories
of seafloor sediment, tectonic thrust,
erosion into fragments—stuff of us—
the trails are littered with our kin, our ancestors
and our destination: so much dust.