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Let's Get Silly For a Moment Shall We….
I’ve been getting too serious about all this mental health talk lately. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important, but along with all this soul searching, hiking has provided its fair share of “shits and giggles” as well. This will be the first in a series of my favorite humorous tales of the trail…..
Appalachian Trail, The Smoky Mountains North Carolina:
It was a chilly morning in the Great Smoky Mountains. We had been hiking for days in the rain. The day before, my hiking partners played a cruel prank on me. When I left my pack unattended to relieve myself in the woods, they threw a few large rocks in it to add some agonizing extra weight to my haul. After a few miles I started to feel like my pack was filled with boulders. Because it was. Bastards….
Our shelter at the end of this hike was full to the brim. Big enough to sleep 10, tonight it slept 15. All our gear was soaking wet and we were chilled to the bone, so we were lucky to have a fireplace. The pros: being sardine-canned in by a nice big fire provided solid warmth. The cons: a night of farts and loud snoring. It was a double platform, so if you were on the bottom floor there were hikers lying directly above you. One unfortunate hiker was treated to someone attempting to pee into his empty gatorade bottle in the middle of the night. A good amount of that man’s urine missed the bottle, trickling down through the old wooden planks onto the unfortunate hiker’s head.
The next morning I woke to steady rain and a chill in the air. With so much ramen in my system from the night before it was time to find a mossy wet woodland throne to take care of my “business.” Deep in the woods I lumbered along in my pancho. I found a place far enough away from hikers with a bit of tree cover and dug my hole. Imagining a warm homely bathroom, I settled in, hoping to be done with this act as fast as possible. Eyes shut, I heard the crunching of steps approaching me. As I lifted my eyelids in embarrassment, there she was! Bambi…
The deer was no more than 10 feet away gazing at me with wonderment. “Hello friend...Thank you for stopping by for a morning greeting.” Now my thighs were getting a workout--I was frozen in a squat. “Move along now.” I waved my hands in her direction. Nothing. Bambi just stared at me. I stared back. Her look was cool and unamused. I suppose I was trespassing--and blatantly caught in the act of defecating on--her home. Cold and wet was more than I could handle, but now I also had to deal with stagefright.
At this point, still in a squat, my trousers bound around my ankles, I started hooting and hollering in hopes of scaring Bambi off into the wilderness--still nothing. I might have imagined this, but for the briefest moment I swear she gave me a small mischievous smile, damn well knowing the discomfort she was causing me. I wanted to be one with the wilderness, but this was a little too much. Resigning myself to this unexpected audience, I put my head down and finished my business with determined focus. As soon as my morning ritual was complete, I stood up hastily to make way back to the shelter, and off she went, disappearing into the dense forest. Couldn’t of done that 10 minutes earlier? She knew exactly what she was doing. Pervert.
My fellow hiking partners had heard my aggressive shouts in the woods. They looked at me with raised eyebrows. “Everything go alright out there, Boston? Sounded like you were howling with the wolves.” I responded, “Yeah everything was just dandy. Now shut up and let's hike. And dammit, don’t put any more boulders in my pack!”
Hike the Good Hike