I need to RANT! What follows is an epic rant, not safe for work, full of foul language that will blister paint and curdle milk. If you’re not into that, skip this post. And here’s a pic of a “view” from right here, right now.

OK. So I am fucking DONE with this trail. Honest to god, I am SO fucking sick of climbing up walls of rock for 2 miles, climbing down walls of rock for 2 miles, “hiking” at the blistering pace of 80 minutes per mile. This morning I was asking myself how I’d feel if I just came home. And it’s irrelevant because there’s no way to even get home from here, which is good.

I told myself that if I quit, then that’s it. I can never even pretend to be a thru-hiker again. Except it’s in my blood, like a sickness. My piss-poor art.

The “view” people arw driving me insane. They sound like stone morons. “At least there’s a view!” “Half the work, twice the views!” “I do it for the views!” You sound like total fucking idiots. It’s the same goddamn view every single time—smudge of mountains, breath of sky. On the PCT, toss in some rocks and snow. I cannot comprehend how stupid you have to be to look at the same goddam thing over and over amd over. Obviously, because they’re not actually stupid, they say “view” but they mean something else—which pisses me off even more, because they’re too stupid to reflect and use clearer, more honest language, and I don’t know what they’re actually talking about,

Don’t quit on a bad day. They’re ALL fucking bad days!

People are fucking rude. Last night, after my disasteous stay at the campground where they made me share a tent platform with vacationing strangers—seriously, I’ve had sex with people and wasn’t as close together—I picked a stealth site, battened down for a good long sleep, and planned to start hiking at 4 AM. For reasons which will become clear. And don’t you know, three thru-hiking douchebags rolled in at 8 PM, smoked enough weed to choke me out of my tent, set up tents within a few feet of me AND blocked the path back to the trail, didn’t offer even a polite greeting, and decided to shout across fhe clearing at each other until well after dark.

Not enough sleep.

My day on Mt Washington/Mt Madison has a 70% chance of thunderstorms after noon. I’m hoping the forecast improves. It might. If not, I’m planning to try to be off there by noon—which means night hiking. That’s not for a couple of days, yet.

OK! Back to it! More fucking walls of rock to climb! Honestly, I don’t want any advice. But if you appreciate the humor of a blistering rant, laughter and applause are fine. 😉 I just needed to get that off my chest, because I don’t want to harsh the mellow of anybody who’s out here actually enjoying this level of suffering.

Back to it. It took me 7 hours to do 5 miles this morning. I hate this fucking trail! But I love it. But not today, lol,

Post-rant developments

Mile 1836
So. I felt immediately better after ranting, so thank you for being my sounding board! 😁

Some weird things happened this afternoon. First, I heard of two guys who quit today. Today! One got bad bronchitis (which doesn’t surprise me; we’re sleeping in a wet cold compost heap) that developed into pneumonia. And the ofher guy was… Ting!

I met Ting at Glencliff. He was highly entertaining, an older hiker who started at Springer with a 68-pound pack and isn’t afraid to mention when he sheds a tear owing to some on-trail misery or other. Also, he’s a master Yogier—that is, the art of getting people to give you stuff, like food and rides. He knew everybody, if seemed. He started one week after I did, and went slowly for anwhile, then got super fast and pulled four 120-mile weeks in a row—which burned him out so badly that he almost quit. Instead, he jumped ahead 200 miles to get out of Shenandoah, which he loathed. So he had friends in a bunch of different bubbles. The astonishing thing was that he didn’t know any of my people, and I didn’t recognize any of the names he mentioned. It was fascinating—like we were hiking two separate trails! But he’d had breakfast in Atkins with Stronghold, the hiker who was murdered, and the hiker who was injured. They were well behind me. But he was also at Canuba Lake in New York just 2 days after me.

Anyway, in Glencliff, he seemed solid! We even talked about finishing together! Then boom! I hear from Wooby that he’s out. That’s what they say: “He’s out.” Done. Quit. Why, Ting? I actually suspect fhat he didn’t have warm enough gear. I hope that’s all it is.

I think about quitting, as in my rant, but even today I wasn’t at that point. Worst case scenario, I finish a few days later than I intended. This afternoon I sat down in a stealth site and reworked my plan for the Whites again. I might end up using all my piggybank days… but honestly, that’s why I wanted to have them. Because I know I’m in a tricky section.

I also looked at my budget, and I can afford to stay in a couple of high-price places, which loosens up some of the anxiety about the spacing of sites. I’m gonna try to get a tent spot at Crawford Notch tomorrow, if they have an opening. And I’ll try to get a bunk at Pinkham Notch, likewise if they have room.

We’ll see how it all goes.

So, I was at that stealth site crunching numbers, and I had some visitors! These big muscular birds! They were large—pigeon sized, or bigger, but not fat. They wanted food! I gave them some crumbs… then realized it was a bad idea. Plus, if the birds were that tame and well fed, it’s a solid bet that birds aren’t the only wildlife that associates that site with food. I moved on. And Wooby and In A Day passed me, which cheered me up a lot. Seeing people I know always does that.

So here we are. I’m gonna find out what happened to Ting. And my Mt Washington day is now, probably, Thursday. We’ll see.