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May 18, 2015: Preliminaries

I’m now preparing to head south. I’m packed. Packed yesterday – I rightly figured that today I’d remember to pack the things that I forgot to pack yesterday, and as well items that I’d need in the interim, such as dental floss. Most don’t have the time to do as I’ve done, so they throw things randomly into their bags. Or they have too much time and spend their time agonizing about what to bring and what not to bring along. I’m seeking a happy medium. I left my tent and sleeping bag in California, so I have to make sure that I leave room, so that I can bring both items.

Packing – talking about this is like talking about my dental history. Generally, no one is overly interested in either subject. This is because both topics are both personal and commonplace. The writerly trick, in dealing with such mundane matters, is to put a new twist on both timeworn narratives. I don’t think in this particular instance that I can do this because everyone packs.

The term packing is also used in connotation with the now time-honored activity of carrying guns. This denotes a very sad state of affairs. In order for there to be a universal cease fire, they would have to be a



shared agreement on the part of all gun toting fools, to give them up. This won’t happen because most cling to the fear that they’d be more vulnerable to the onslaught of others if they gave up their weapons.

Most around here have guns. I go out on the trail and see them, riding ATVs and carrying their rifles on their backs. Why? I don’t get it. Are they afraid of bears? Most would be lucky to see one at the distance, and even luckier to see one close up. Are they afraid of their own kind? Clearly this is an instance of “we have met the enemy and he is us.” (Walt Kelly, Pogo). As for supposedly real hunters – why continue to kill things? Alaskan Natives say this is a part of their heritage. This makes no sense to me. Okay everyone, it’s time to abandon wanton slaughter and put your time and energies to better use.

Packing – back to the real issue at hand. How to pack so that I have just two carry-on bags with me? I have not yet figured this one out.

Today I’ll spend my remaining time packing soil around plants. I will miss most of the garden planting because it will take place here in the next ten days. I’m going to instead be packing as much information into my head as I can, important information that I’ll pass on to others, most likely in bits and pieces. It’s good that I enjoy learning. If I didn’t I would not be going where I’m going. Or, I’d be doing something else.

I’m going to resume dealing with dentistry-related issues when I get back. This is that other mundane subject. An implant or a bridge? This is going to be a tough call. This is going to be another subject for another day.

Next: 134. 5/31/15: Heading Home

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