Sunday, June 12, 2016

Hiker box Redux

" Do we forgive our fathers in our age or in theirs, or their deaths. Saying it to them or not saying it? If we forgive our fathers, what is left?"
Dick Laurie

I'd like to return to the hiker box. They are found in trail towns from California to Canada. Hiker boxes are inhabited by new items, used items, empty items, all cast off by the previous owner. Food, clothing, shoes, first aid kits, toiletries, books, etc. etc. etc.

It was my good fortune to come across sunblock at the exact time I had run out. A full bottle of DG Body SPF 50.

It's funny how a song, a taste or in this case a scent, can trigger a memory. A memory of an event, a time of year, or a person.

As I prepared for another day in the desert, I reached for the sunblock. Applying it to my nose. At that very moment the memory came rushing thru my nostrils into my being.

Summertime, my dad. The scents were the same, this could not possibly be the same brand of sunscreen, But it was the scent of my father in summer.

Gilbert Nemorio Martinez, my dad. All the memories came rushing back. Along with the memories came tears. Tears of joy, tears of sadness. Each mile I walked was filled with memories of my dad. The feeling of joy, comfort, anger, frustration. So, many things to remember, things I wanted to remember, things I hoped I had forgotten.

The stories I could tell. The stories I can't tell. It was a complicated time for him and me. I held my dad to god like standards, he failed time and time again. But, to be fair, he was being compared to the likes of Ward Cleaver (Leave it to Beaver) and Fred Douglas (My Three Sons). How could he live up to those dads?

I have forgiven my Dad, I am sorry he wasn't alive, when I did. Lots of tears on the PCT today.

As always, thanks for reading.
Rabbit on the PCT


  1. I to have forgiven my father. But the legacy of his absense will haunt me to the end of my days.
    Be safe out there my friend. I envy the journey of self you're on.
    God speed.

  2. I'm glad you had a better experience with the hiker box this time. Your last experience my have been my daughter's doing. She dehydrated organic everything but didn't have recipes to make it interesting, so she left a lot in the hiker boxes. When I pointed her to your post, she laughed and said, "yeah, that could have been me." So, apologies from the entire family. You're walking a lot faster than she is, so you'll probably pass her on the way to Kennedy Meadows. I'm glad you were able to make peace with your dad. Forgiveness is healing.

  3. That was such a good talk that we had on this subject. I'm not there. I too may be looking for peace in death. As long as my mother breathes, it will probably never happen. But I love the beauty that is you and I thank you for your wisdom.