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  • Monday, October 3, 2011

    Day-Hikers on the Appalachian Trail

    I couldn't see anyone, but I knew day-hikers were close. I could smell them.

    Alright, let me explain myself. A couple weeks into this Appalachian Trail thru-hike, a pair of day-hikers passed Red and I coming the opposite way. They smelled so clean, like soap and fresh laundry. A minute later, another couple approached us. They were twenty feet away, but I already knew they smelled wonderfully like shampoo and dryer sheets.

    The sour look on the woman's face as she passed us confirmed that we did not.

    I assumed by being in the woods so long, my senses had heightened. I felt like the boy Ray Charles in the movie Ray when he caught the cricket with only his heightened sense of hearing.

    "Man, I can smell their soap from like thirty feet away," I exaggerated to Red, expecting him to be impressed by my new superpower.

    "Me too! They smell so good. I think that last woman could smell us too, did you see her face?"

    Red's comment forced me back to my previous assumption, which I've held for years, I wasn't special. I simply hadn't been around soap for a while. A long while.

    Back to today. I knew day-hikers were near. I could smell soap, but where were they? I hiked further, turned a corner, and there they were. Nearly a football field's distance between us! That was far enough away for me to realize my suspicions were right all along. I am a superhero.