Jungle Survival Journal — Pre-Trip T minus 21 days: “You’re Going Out Like THIS?!”

This morning I’m baseball mom and team photographer. They lose. Again. I make lunch. Then, I go for a walk with my pack: it’s probably about 80 degrees and super high humidity; it rained all night and this morning.

I wear my gray quick dry pants and my new blue no Fly Zone permethrin shirt and a cotton undershirt. Trying out my clothes to see if anything rubs or chafes. I decide to wear the green hat I just bought. Looks cute.

I come down and Deron (sitting on the couch in his underwear!) says: “Mom, you’re going out like THAT?! Then I’m definitely not coming!” – He was going to hover board alongside me while I walk.

Deron is in the easily embarrassed tween phase and the hat is pushing him over the edge, LOL. I guess I’ll go walking by myself!

I walk to Wal-Mart, from home, a little over 2.5 miles one way. My pack hurts more than usual today. Especially my left shoulder. Almost feels inflamed. Oh well.

It’s hot. But the loose shirt and pants don’t feel too constricting. I check if people in cars give me funny looks, with my safari outfit and hat. But most of them glance only at the road in front of them or sip some iced beverage with a colored straw.

The only people who look at me are fellow walkers, dog walkers, a jogger or two, a guy on a bike. When I get there, I sit on the lawn by the bank in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Some of the people doing the drive-by banking are giving me funny looks.

I think they’re trying to figure out if I’m some weird homeless person with my pack sitting on the lawn, LOL. I finish one of my small water bottles, then put the pack back on. Took 52 minutes to get here, plus a 5 min rest.

On my way back, I stop on our side of the bridge and bend over and rest for 10 seconds to stretch my back, when a guy drives by in what looks like a lime green version of a hummer jeep. With huge tires. Like the ones on the monster truck shows. He’s older (well, probably my age, but he seems like an “older” guy to me). Gray hair. Paunchy. I immediately think: mid-life crisis vehicle! Then I have to laugh. We’re both doing midlife crisis things, I guess: I am about to do a jungle survival trip and he’s driving a monster truck Hummer jeep!

On the corner of West Rocks my left foot starts cramping, like sometimes at night, when I overstretch. Shit. I carefully shift my weight in the hopes that it won’t become a full-fledged cramp. And I drink all my remaining water. Not much left. I am thirsty. Clearly didn’t take enough. I make it home with no further issues. 5 minutes to spare. So not the full 2 hours I was looking to do, but whatever. Good enough. Fitbit says 113 activity minutes.

The back of my shirt is soaked. So is the cotton undershirt. I sit on the porch and journal, while my shirt dries. Despite the heat, I actually feel cold now that I sit still. Maybe I do need a warm top layer? Maybe my blue fleece?


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