It happened. In the Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness. My biggest fear came to be.
It wasn’t a bear. Or a mountain lion. Or a flash flood. All legitimate concerns based on where we were.
It was poop.
People who know me, know that I’ve had this irrational thing working in my brain for a while, scared my digestive system would betray me at the worst possible moment. I’ve even written about it before, after returning from Havasupai.
Friends and family and Ron knew I was hoping to hold out while going on this trip, since the area is completely remote and without any facilities. I was a little stressed about feeling the need to dig a cathole (which is a word I can’t say or type without seeing a cat using its paw to cover its shameful business).
If I did the math, I’d probably find that during my high school years, I may have popped a squat more times outdoors than indoors (a slight exaggeration) because of the time we spent around bonfires. But never number-two. NEVER.
The whole situation got me and Ron talking about whether there are girly things or manly things about the outdoors. And we decided there aren’t, even as I reached for a couple biodegradable “Dude Wipes” and headed to the bathroom I was about to invent, proving in real life that chicks do their business outside, too.
Beyond all that shit, I was in a place that I got myself to. On my own. I carried my ridiculously heavy pack. I balanced myself through the creek. I knew how to operate the jetboil, I secured the permits and I found socks that worked better in the water. Ron did all the same things for him. And, he handled the GPS, which I’m sure I could figure out if I needed to.
He built us a fire, which was wonderful, but if I had to, I could have. Can he physically lift something that’s heavier than weight I could bear? Yes. Can he climb and jump higher than me – with greater balance and general grace? Yes. He’s amazing like that. Am I always trying to keep up with him because my Chihuahua legs aren’t as long as his Great Dane ones? Yes.
But none of that is because he’s a guy and I’m a girl. And, it doesn’t mean I can’t do what he’s doing. I did it. I just had to work a little harder, walk a little faster. Or not. I could go at my own pace, and just get a million photos of him and the scenery, which I did. A lot.
We both hiked 20 miles in two days. We both had soggy feet the entire time. We both made the multiple creek crossings the hike required. We both ate the same dehydrated meals, and fruit and protein bars. We both strapped on headlamps and hiked out by moonlight. We both did it all.
I just did one extra thing that everybody does. Guys and gals. Ain’t that the shit?