A beard or a backpack are immediate giveaways you are a distance hiker.
This is good as I am not necessarilly the most socially outgoing person. It is an immediate conversation starter. Through being identified as a hiker I have met many people. Town locals, section hikers, veteran trail hikers. Everyone wants to start a conversation with you. It’s amazing.
On the trail or in town kids eyes light up when they see you. “Are you a thru-Hiker?” When you answer yes they have a flood of excited questions. “Where are you from?”, “How long have you been out?” Always finished with “(very excitedly) I hope you make it!!! ” Shit kid I hope so too!!! (Oops did I just curse;))
Who cuts hair in these towns? No barber shop. I guess its probably Martha or something in her kitchen. Gotta get the secret handshake I’m getting kinda scruffy which is fine when you can shower every day but in the woods ill take clean cut. Of course then I won’t be easily identified as a thru-hiker without my pack. Hmmm….
Some of these towns just “had an ATM put in last year. It was a big event.” How far are these people driving to do their banking? How much fossil fuel does taking 20$ cash out if the bank burn?
Why do race horses have to pee so bad?
I don’t eat sweets but something about these small towns makes me crave ice cream. I had a bowl of Maine Black Bear Cherry that was incredible.