WAYNE’S ADVICE ON TRAIL SMUG
It is most important that you have some understanding of what we call “trail smug”.
Whichever direction you begin your trek, you will be clean, unblemished and nicely tucked in. Those cool looking new gaiters you bought for the trip will be at their most spiffy for the mandatory photo op at the trailhead. Then you see the trekkers coming off the trail, their bodies covered with thick, gooey mud, entire sections of their exposed skin likely scratched, leaking and heavily bruised. You may be able to see their boot laces through the grunge or there may be nothing showing but the duct tape holding it all together. Unshaven, stinking and trying to cover up a blistery limp, they pass you by.
Ah yes! Check out their faces! It’s the look of “trail smug”!
The determined, satisﬁed, self sufﬁcient and motivated trekker who has made it to the ﬁnish line. Avert your eyes, you are not yet worthy. OK! You too will develop “trail smug”.
You can WCT newbies avoiding your eyes, but it takes time to develop, and be earned. About halfway through the trail, say at about Chez Monique’s, parties from both the north and south meet. The results are insufferable as nearly everyone is into being smug. Testosterone and estrogen can be cut with a knife (preferably not the same one you use to cut one of Monique’s 5lb burgers with cheese). Now the photos heading back home will really take on an authentic backpacking air.
Get ready for it. It’s trekking time!