With finals over and graduation looming, I have one thing on my mind: hiking. I really want to get all of the best hikes in Virginia out of the way before I have to leave this great state. Last Wednesday, after hiking Reddish Knob with my friend Luc, I came one step closer to that goal. However, it was no cake walk.
Please enjoy this play-by-play of our most recent hiking adventure.
Mile 0.7: Luc and I, neglecting to read the directions before starting, come across a stream that, apparently, needs to be crossed in order to continue the hike. However, there is no bridge, and more importantly, no conceivable way to cross said stream without walking right through it. With the gracefulness of a couple of ballerinas, we hop across very dramatically, only to realize that the water is about three inches deep and our boots are waterproof. We continue, albeit with egg on our faces.
Mile 2.0: After 30 minutes of hiking, I am sure that we must be at least four miles in. However, we are not, and I start to believe that we have bitten off more than we can chew. My feet also start to hurt.
Mile 3.7: I come across a purple rock that I think is very cool. I stop to tell Luc, pointing the rock out. He scoffs at it and keeps walking. I hang my head and kick the rock into the bushes, forced to deal with the harsh truth that I have terrible taste in rocks.
Mile 5.2: Tragedy strikes. The approximately 30 pounds of sun screen I have put on have made my hands slippery, and as I go to open my Cliff Bar I (very athletically, I might add) drop it on the ground, leaving it covered in dirt and rocks. However, seeing as it is a Cliff Bar, it is hard to discern which bits are rocks and dirt and which are parts of the bar itself, and after attempting to wipe it off, I take a chance and scarf the whole thing down.
Mile 8.0: I finally finish chewing the last bit of pebble from the aforementioned Cliff Bar. Luc and I see a large mountain in the distance and assume that it is only about 0.2 miles to the summit.
Mile 9.1: Luc and I realize that we have no sense of distance and finally make it to the top of the mountain. Rather than seeing a grassy oasis, we see a parking lot. There are three elderly people at the top with their car because, unbeknownst to us, we could have driven to Reddish Knob in my air-conditioned car.
Intermission: I eat all of the raisins out of Luc's trail mix and get an instantaneous stomach ache. But who cares! At 4,397 feet, we take solace in the fact that we are at the highest point on Shenandoah Mountain. We turn around and head back the way we came.
Mile 13.0: Luc and I get back to the spot where I dropped my Cliff Bar and I am overcome with emotion. Why do bad things happen to good people?
Mile 14.0: Luc sees a snake.
Mile 14.5: Luc and I see a rock formation and come to the conclusion that we only have 2.2 miles left to go.
Mile 15.0: We realize that last rock formation was the wrong rock formation. Now we know that we only have 2.2 miles to go.
Mile 15.3: Scratch that, it's this rock formation.
Mile 15.5: Luc and I realize that all rock formations look the same.
Mile 16.0: Luc and I find the rock formation we've been looking for.
Mile 17.5: Luc and I get back to that damned stream, but this time we walk right through it because, after 17.5 miles, nature is officially our bitch.
Mile 18.2: After six and a half hours, Luc and I finally get back to my car. I change into shorts and a new t-shirt, go to open my car door. I'm so tired that the door barely moves when I pull on it. I contemplate just staying in the parking lot forever. However, I'm hungry, so I get in my car, chug a five-hour energy, and drive home.