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