A fortunate thing about cold weather is that the house appears to stay a warm 50 degrees inside. I don’t know how or why but wearing a jacket and having a desire to clear will keep one warm in this crappy April weather. I had shut off the furnace when the temperature reached 70 for a few days. The garden was taking off. Running had become an everyday activity. Living in Michigan I should have known better.
The upside was that I started to find green in the garden that could be added to my lunch and dinner. Some of it, like the chives, garlic greens, kale, and green onions were from the garden. Others like the dandelion greens were from the gathering aspect of harvesting food. Fresh young dandelion greens were a common staple at one time. Finally my meals started to show some color and added some flavor.
Putting together my hiking pack I tried to prepare for a trip that is coming up. I should not have been surprised that my five day assault pack wasn’t able to hold my sleeping bag and tent. I had to modify and add a few straps here and there but I was able to fit everything. Overall weight I’m guessing is around 20 pounds. This should be a more comfortable trip and better planned than last time. I never liked the aspect of bugging out in books because of the unrealistic expectations that writers will have on the human body. I have tried a hiking trip with extreme miles and found that if one did makes it over thirty miles in a day, they would not walk any further for a while due to injury.
I hope to find out how many miles is realistic not only for my books but for myself. The weather for a while is staying around thirty degrees at night. In preparation I packed an extra wool blanket and a wool scarf. Because I was starting to look homeless I shave my beard today and cut my hair short where I normally keep it. I fear this may have left my face exposed to the elements if there is a drop in temperature or cold wind. Reaching the shores of lake Michigan on a cold day will be no fun and my hiking companion will be disappointed in the lack of bikinis.
It will be interesting to see how many edible plants I can spot this time along the trail. The rows of wild strawberries was a surprise the last time. The lack of drinking water will be an issue. Many of the wells after the half way point are out of commission due to levels of arsenic.
The hike ahead will be tough. It won’t be as perilous as the first but that doesn’t mean it will be easy either.
Matthew Gilman can be contacted on his author Facebook page and found on Twitter.