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  • You should see a crew of thru-hikers at a restaurant. We roll in 1, 2, 3 of us at a time -- smiling and filthy and stinking and hungry. We park our packs on a bench or against an outer wall, flop in a chair on the porch or in a corner or on the floor (there is always a hiker spot), and sometimes even take off our shoes to expose our blistered, swollen feet (there is a reason the hiker spot is almost always on the porch). The hiker spot is congenial, always: we are happy to see our friends again. We laugh and joke and commiserate about our aches and the dust or the rain or the wind.

    And you should see the food we order! When you hike 15, 20, 25 miles a day, day after day, your body begins to crave the fattiest, most chaloric, most disgustingly rich food. We get burgers piled high with bacon and cheese and special sauce. We try every single taco at $1 taco night. We get fries AND onion rings. We get milkshakes and cups of coffee and sweet tea and beer. We sometimes stay hours just so we can order multiple meals back to back. When one person orders something that looks good, everyone else does too.
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