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Appalachian Conservation Corps


Reflections on a Sandwich



 White Bread 

Not important enough to earn a place in the acronym, white bread is surprisingly the most unusual aspect of my lunch. While camping and working on trails it’s generally recognized that tortillas are superior in nearly every respect. They are more capacious, more portable, and hold their contents in a tidier bundle. If you have ever opened your Tupperware to find the contents of a formerly orderly sandwich strewn about the container like an abstract art installation, then you’re familiar with the disheartening feeling that accompanies reverse finger painting your lunch into your mouth. That feeling can easily be avoided by wrapping those contents instead of sandwiching them. Desperate times, however, call for the mother of invention, and its day 8 on hitch, so desperate mother’s must take measures. Did I mix up my clichés? Doesn’t matter, the point is we’re of tortillas and there’s left over white bread from grilled cheese night. Boring, messy white bread will have to do. 



The French have a saying for when things are going poorly. C’est comme un jour sans pain. ‘It’s like a day without bread’ (At least that’s what my high school French teacher told us, she was American though, so who knows?). On trail crews you can replace bread with peanut butter and the saying holds up. Peanut butter is a staple of any good diet while living in the outdoors. It’s cheap, caloric, and nutritious. I’ve eaten it with every lunch this week. I put it in my oatmeal in the morning. I dip vegetables in it. I’ll eat it plain if I have to. I’d shower with it if I showered on hitch. Peanut butter is the fuel that carries people up mountains. Could Louis Armstrong have played the trumpet on the moon if it weren’t for peanut butter? The answer is a definitive no (they’ve done research). I could continue to sing peanut butter’s praises ad nauseum, but suffice to say, I’ve gone a day without peanut butter and I’ll be damned if I let it happen again. 



While nothing rivals peanut butter for food on hitch, bananas are up there among the best of them. Honestly, I don’t think there’s much I can say about this phallic fruit that hasn’t been said (see ‘Yellow’ by Coldplay), so I’ll leave you with a limerick.  


I once knew a man from Montana 

Who had a banana bandana 

He played in a band with Santana 

And loved a girl named Rhiana 

He loved her more-than-a Diana 

Who went on a date with Lee-Anna 

Where they ate a can-a-bananas. 

Lee-Anna wasn’t a fan-a bananas 

So Diana aband-a Lee-Anna 

For the Santana band Montana man in banana bandana. 


I might be going bananas. 


For legal purposes I should probably say it isn’t real Nutella. Its Walmart brand hazelnut spread. 



I lied earlier. Apple pie is the most unusual part of this sandwich. In fact, it’s the only part of the sandwich that truly makes it outlandish (incidentally, an outlandish sandwich would make a great limerick subject). For those unfamiliar with trail work, apple pie is not a typical hitch food. Last night was our crew leader Seth’s birthday, so we celebrated with pie. Because of some overly acute angles on certain slices *accusatory throat clear* we had leftovers. That explains why the pie was available, so to return to the original question of this essay (if you can really call it an essay), why did I put a sugary, bready, fruit pastry between two slices of bread with fruit and a sugary spread? To be honest I’m not entirely sure. It could be all the bug bites. Or maybe the cricket outside my tent that’s been keeping me awake. It might be the tool swinging that leaves me dirty, sore, and exhausted at the end of each day. Those factors, along with my dwindling sanity are probably all factors, but I think that leftover piece of pie on white bread indicates something else. Most of all, it shows that I am not a normal human being, and I hope my crew won’t take offense if I postulate that none of them are either. You can’t be in this line of work. We willingly put ourselves in the woods for 9 days at a time with bears, bugs, and body odor in excess. The craziest part is that somehow all of this is fun! I won’t speak for everyone, but I’ve had a blast on this hitch, and I can’t wait for the next one. That’s a sure-fire indication that something upstairs is abnormal. I think it’s the same part of my brain that lets me think it’s ok to construct a PBBN&AP. 


PS. I haven’t eaten it yet, I’ll let you know how it is. 


-Nicolas Kirsch