I want to write his down before I lose all sense of the senses.
This remarkable thing that your body does to increase awareness. Almost like my golden retriever herds people even though I never trained him to do that, your body seems to increase your ability to do, almost everything, without even thinking about it.
Sight: I got really good at picking up on things. A toad in the leaves became easy to spot. Now, I’ll give you that my skill at this was probably a 1 out of 10 to start (well equate that scale with 1 being hopelessly bad, and 10 being scary good) I am always so wrapped up in my thoughts, it was hard for me to focus on spotting anything anywhere anyways 😬
So you get really good at being able to spot the unusual. Whether it be that flash of a red pack rain cover way over past the bald, or the bear cub chilling on a branch while your night hiking… it’s pretty amazing.
So today I spotted a lot of tiny lizards out and about, along with saw a lot of people’s emotions through their eyes. It strangely became so easy to read, and hear.
Sounds: you start to feel like a wolf out there, almost as if your ears are cocking to the rustle that just happened over 1.5s to the left. The silence of the woods becomes deafening, and the way something walks through the leaves becomes (crazy loud). You learn the walk of a deer compared to a bear. You wake up as soon as that mouse makes a move in the shelter (provided you’re not wiped from another 20+ miler) you learn what the guy 2 people in front of you is saying while your tramily is all trudging thru a leaf gully. You learn to speak slower, and stop to take in the sounds of the trail. Oh, and amazingly you tune out the sound of your frantic breathing while climbing 400 stairs because you didn’t plan your day well and are out of water…
Smell: I even surprised myself when I told True Grits ‘oh she smells great!’ Where he turned back looking confused and asked ‘who?’ Around 10 mins later as we continued walking up the trial, we caught a woman walking with her friend. I was able to smell cigarettes drift from a shelter a mile ahead, bonfires across mountains, but my favorite was always smelling the day hiker / weekend warrior. Every detail, if it was just a clean laundry smell, a perfume, food they were cooking, you name it. Now, this also applied to the woods. A plant that smelled like marijuana became unbearable to walk thru, and a bear around? Musty nastiness. Surprisingly enough, you would think ‘well, if your sense of smell is so strong, you must gag at the smell of your fellow hikers’. Amazingly no, you get used to it much faster (minus True Grits feet, I don’t think I’ll ever get used to that) and also I could know who was ahead seeing we all had our specific smell. If society wasn’t so worried about offending whoever with their own body odor, you’d be amazed how cool it is you can determine if you know someone an aisle over, it’s that specific! Not to mention your body doesn’t stink worse since it’s trying to compensate for all those chemicals… but that will be a different rant.