Sunday, June 3, 2007

A day off, envy, and planning ahead

These are the pros and cons of hitchhiking
- Roger Waters, "The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking"

While I haven't been doing any hitchhiking, I have been doing a good deal more walking this month than I normally would. Friday and Saturday I walked to work, a six mile walk. Yesterday I developed small blisters on the bottoms of each of my feet, just beneath my big toe. What did I do with my "day off"?

Me at the danger sign

I went hiking. A short three-mile trip around Providence Canyon State Park provided a nice distraction from thinking about food, looking at frugal cooking websites, and re-reading all the cookbooks and cooking-related zines I have around the house. (For the record, some of my favorite recipes have come from zines found in a livejournal community.)

I love the open air. It gives me a chance to think, and simultaneously to stop thinking entirely. It was the latter that I wanted to do today, because most of my thoughts lately have been about the subject of this blog, about the challenge, about what it must be like to live this way every day of your life. A chance to escape from that was welcomed, and taken.

Wiley marks his territory.

One of the features of the three mile loop around Providence Canyon includes some rusted, abandoned cars. The signs around the area indicate that the cars were left there at an old homestead before the park became a park. (The canyon, for the record, was formed by soil erosion as a result of poor farming techniques.) The cars cannot be removed because removing them at this point would do a considerable amount of damage to the surrounding areas.

It hammered home that our actions have consequences that last far beyond our time. The decision to abandon four or five cars at a homestead has changed the landscape of that area for at least several more decades, and will in fact continue to shape it until the metal eventually deteriorates. Several woodland creatures have made homes instead the metal hulks, which undoubtedly gives them better protection against the elements than the canopy of trees overhead.

I took my time getting around the loop, making sure not to further exacerbate the blisters on my feet. While they'd healed somewhat overnight, I didn't want to make things any worse than they needed to be. A home remedy/prevention measure of putting a little Vaseline on the hot spots turned out to work quite well, so my blisters are, in theory, still healing. I'll likely be bicycling to work tomorrow to avoid further stress on my feet so that the blisters can fully heal.

I returned to the grocery store today to buy peanut butter and another loaf of bread. A staple of any budget-conscious diet, the peanut butter will provide protein that my diet is currently lacking, and requires a minimum of prep time. The additional loaf of bread was just a precautionary measure, as I still have four slices of bread from my original loaf.

The red beans I purchased on Thursday are currently in the crockpot, along with the remainder of my Vidalia onion. The Vidalia onion will provide a slightly sweeter taste to the dish than is normal, but I don't think Tony Chachere or Al Copeland will be showing up at my doorstep to protest my bastardization of Louisiana cuisine any time soon.

And as I leave the computer to go check on the beans, I have this for you: the view that was given to me after an hour and a half of hiking. Enjoy.

The view

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