Almost. It’s almost New Years.
And I got to spend it on Christmas Mountain.
When GJB invites you out into the woods, you should understand going in that it’s not gonna be easy.
We might recall the whole Lost: Boones Mill Version episode.
Homeboy is undoubtedly going to take you wayyyyy off the standard trail.
Oh, it’s gonna start out pleasant enough, with friendly neighbors saying hello and sweet pups running happily in front of you and cows mooing at you.
The moos are warnings.
“The trail ends here, simple human. You look like the whiny type. You should just turn around now. You were in the pre-hike pic, right? No need for your frail ass to keep going.”
But since I don’t speak cow (just cat and dog and sometimes horse), I didn’t know.
So, I naively enjoyed the first 1.2 miles of easy trail.
What a pleasant way to spend a Sunday…
And then GJB just stops. In the middle of nowhere. And looks up. At nothing. Except mountain.
That’s not a trail…
There’s…no trail there…
Now, in all fairness, I was told there would be about 1,700 feet of elevation gain in a 1.8 mile hike.
There was 1,952 feet.
Of elevation gain.
Crammed into half a mile of non-trail, leaf-covered mountainside.
I was still in my feelings that Female Masters Dominatrix and Body Pump Mastress made fun of my hiking gear when I first got there. (I’m not sure why I had to explain that the combination lock was swinging from my backpack because I’ve forgotten the combination. This seems like it would be obvious to anyone who’s met me.)
And my Achilles has been relatively docile the last few days.
But also I’m a Spartan and I like to do hard things. (#thatswhatshesaid)
So, the idea of climbing straight up a trailless mountain both excited and devastated me.
Before we went, GJB recommended hiking poles.
Hiking poles? You mean pansy sticks?
Yeah, so shout out to my parents for letting Running Partner and I borrow their pansy sticks.
Because they probably saved our lives.
Half a mile seems like such a reasonable distance.
Until you’re climbing up a mountain. Your body totally parallel to the ground. And your pansy sticks are the only thing keeping you from falling straight back off of the earth.
But then you get to the top and see this…
And you kind of gain a new found respect for GJB. (Just shhhh, don’t tell him that.)
And then Notha Level Hiking Dude pulls out a tripod and mega-professional sports camera and starts running back and forth for epic pics and Endong starts lowering himself into the mountain birthing crevice and I happen to glance to my left and realize I was sitting right on the edge of a sheer drop
and there may have been some Franklin County special and I’m not the steadiest individual anyway and…
It was basically the perfect way to spend the last Sunday of 2018.
I’m not sure how or why I’ve managed to become a part of so many phenomenal groups of humans, but I am most sincerely thankful for the adventures and challenges and epicness they bring to my world.
And now my Achilles have added GJB to the list of people they hate. Just barely behind Rogue and all of her ridiculousness.