Gut Rumbles

June 16, 2008

stupid man tricks

Originally PUBLISHED May 23, 2005

Some time around 1977, some friends and I took a backpacking trip to Joyce Kilmer State Park in North Carolina (not far from Robbinsville). We hiked the Big Fat Gap trail, which is a real bitch if you walk it all the way to the top of Hangover Mountain, which we did. Never has a mountain been more appropriately named.

The first night, we camped on the banks of Slickrock Creek, a very beautiful mountain stream with lots of small waterfalls and big rocks all over the place. Close your eyes and listen to the water and your hear the sound of pouring rain all night long. But my friend Steve Hamby and I didn't go to sleep that night.

No, we split a 4-way hit of blotter acid and got really fired up about the time the sun went down. We were with three other people and they all crawled off to go to sleep just when Steve and I were at our best and our brightest. Sleep was the LAST thing on our minds.

In fact, we were so lit-up "bright" that we remembered a goatskin full of wine that Steve had in his truck. We decided, quite lucidly, to hike back and get it in the dark of night.

With a pair of flashlights, we hiked the two miles back to the parking lot, drank the wine while sitting on the tailgate of Steve's truck, and then staggered all the way BACK down the mountain, fucked up as a pair of worms. I think we did Indian dances around the campfire that night, before I kinda lost track of everything.

I woke up the next morning on a big, flat rock in the middle of Slickrock Creek. I do not recall how I got there or when I went to sleep. I didn't have a sleeping bag or even a blanket with me on that rock. I just picked out a nice rock and went to sleep on it. Had I been semi-conscious, I think I would have frozen my ass off that night, but I was burning high-octane fuel at the time. I wasn't cold when I woke up, even though the creek had icicles in it.

I walked 10 miles, steadily and steeply uphill the next day, while burping that wine and what tasted like MY rotten liver with every gasping step I took. I felt like Fido's ass. Steve looked okay, but we both consecrated Hangover Mountain by puking on it when we reached the top.

Those were the days. We did a LOT of "stupid man-tricks" back then, when we were both in our 20s. I kinda miss those times, because I had a lot of fun doing that crazy shit. Steve is dead now, and I'm just too old and stove-up for that crap anymore.

But I still like the memories.

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