Saveur tends to strike an elegant balance between food, travel, and personal narratives. This issue, the mag’s done it again, publishing an engaging story of a dude—in the midst of a midlife crisis—hiking the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada.

The food aspect emerges as the author meditates on the way your relationship with eating changes when you’re burning through thousands of extra calories a day: You savor every random wild huckleberry. You live or die based on beef jerky. You go to McDonald’s and eat 4,300 calories’ worth of Quarter Pounder meals. You consider trying to cook road kill venison.

Anyone who’s ever been wilderness camping for more than a couple of days can probably relate: Nothing tastes quite so vivid and nourishing as that first big meal back in civilization.

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