Day 2: The Desert is Full of Ice

Swoosh. I roll over and pull my sleeping bag over my head. Swoosh. I sink back into sleep. Swoosh. I open my eyes. Swoosh. Morning traffic is picking up. Swoosh. I look at my phone. Swoosh. 6:32. Swoosh. Traffic is picking up time to get and get moving. Swoosh I grab my water bottle. Not frozen, finally a warm morning. I climb out of my sleeping bag, grab my shoes, and slide my feet into them. “Ouch”. I cry as my shoe slides across the new blister I earned with yesterday’s 30 mile performance in new shoes. Swoosh. Damn this is a busy road.

Arizona is wild. Everyone lives in a van, climbs mountains, and lives minimally. We’ve all migrated south, and now were just a bunch of like-minded transients bunched together. I’ve never swiped right so frequently, it’s fantastic. Dating apps have become one of my favorite tools on the road, not so much for dating, but to meet like minded people, get recommendations, and provide entertainment. Human behavior gets interesting on dating apps.

Water Drops

My first walk through Utah took highway 95 east by Natural Bridges monument, Fry Canyon, and into Hanksville. It’s a 120 mile serviceless stretch, meaning I had to carry enough water and food for three days. This is a problem for someone who rarely carries one. It’s not that I can’t, I just don’t like to. It’s inefficient. Bumble came to the rescue though. I was swiping bored one day and swiped through a few hikers and climbers and realized they probably knew what a water drop was, and there was an abundance of “they” stumbling across my bio, so I just explained the situation in my bio and someone came through. This began my experimental use of dating apps as multitools.

Ice Breakers

Ice breakers are the ultimate creative writing exercise. I don’t expect to find love in a dating app on the road, but I still swipe because breaking the ice is fun. I have a limited amount of information, usually a name, short bio and some pictures; and I have to turn it into something attention grabbing and original. Sometimes all I have is a name, it’s anagrams, and the origin of its meaning. It requires me to read into things I wouldn’t normally read about, think laterally, and be creative with what I find. And sometimes that’s not even enough and I have to take a weakly crafted line and turn it into a sucker punch.

Other Uses

I have since used dating apps to learn about nonprofits, find hiking recommendations, and find myself on a date that started by being forced to take an epsom salt bath and ended in the revocation of the godfather title I earned along the way. I’ve met people who’ve made me a better person, some of them I now call my friends. I use the apps for everything but the one action they’re known for by anyone not using them, hooking up.

Back To Day 2

The sun is still brutally beating down on this southbound hobos face, and I’ve finally adapted to it again. The plan for today is to get my haircut, shower, and see if I have time left to wash my backpack and get 30+ miles in. I don’t usually wash my backpack, but I don’t want it to stink up the Mccrystal’s lovely abode during my Thanksgiving vacation. I’m not sure how one washes a backpack, but we’re going to find out. Maybe it’ll become a regular thing who knows.

Update

I did not get any of those things done. I spent two hours trying to take a nap and failed miserably. I will have to spread them out over the coming days. It was a pretty uneventful day that I spent listening to books. I’m still not sure how to handle days like this. I’ve found that the posts I’m most insecure about tend to do the best, like my death post that I thought was over the top. The day was well spent, and I have a few more miles to cover before I settle down for the night. Nothing interesting happens at night so I’m comfortable ending this here. See ya tomorrow.

Other Shenanigans

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