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  • One of my favorite town activities is visiting the post office. I packed fourteen resupply boxes that will be sent to me over the course of five months, most of which will go general delivery to a small town post office. These post office workers are logistical angels. They must receive hundreds of boxes of food and toothbrushes and mom cookies and new shoes a year that then sit and wait in a back room somewhere to get picked up by a hiker. I have no idea how they organize it, but it always seems to take seconds for them to find my box and bring it out to me. I love local post offices because they are the most mundane, uninteresting part of each town and yet the place where the most conversations with kind and curious locals take place.

    "Are you a hiker?"

    "Yea," I usually laugh awkwardly, "that's why I smell so bad."

    "Oh, that's so exciting. What a journey you are on!"

    Everyone has been overwhelmingly supportive. Although sometimes it feels just like glorified homelessness, everyone has treated me so far like I am some kind of gift bestowed upon the town.

    I got a ride the other day from the trail into town by this older retired Asian couple. The woman was embarrassed because her car was a little messy. I wanted to say, "No, you don't understand. I smell awful, I am filthy, I have been on the trail for six days without a shower, and I've been wearing the same clothes every day for over a week without washing them. I'm the messy one." She told me she felt honored to have such a pretty young girl in her car.
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