Penguin Awareness Day
You guys, today is Penguin Awareness Day. How cool is that?
If you haven’t yet, go check out National Geographic’s favorite penguin pictures. I’m a particular fan of the macaroni penguins in the third picture. Such style.
I’ll admit that when I fantasized about trail names pre-PCT, I didn’t dream about something like Penguin. I’d hoped for something badass, like Honey Badger or Blue Steel. Then I got named after a roly-poly flightless bird, and would get asked if I was called Penguin because I waddled.
To be fair, I did waddle thru the painful blisters and chafe, so those guesses weren’t far off. Most hikers hadn’t heard of (Pittsburgh Penguins owner, former player, cancer survivor, and all around amazing human) Mario Lemieux though, so it was a name without a reference for many of my compatriots. Despite all that, I came to identify deeply with the plump little aquatic beasties. Besides being the cutest around, they are solid walkers — not a bad totem for a long-distance hiker.
On top of that, after laying eggs, female emperor penguins leave their mates for a several month trek to the sea to feed. A lady heading out on a journey while her partner stays home? I can understand that.