I spent the entire day yesterday watching my phone.
I mean, working, too. Obviously.
But also, just watching. My phone.
Just waiting for these people to cancel North Mountain.
Who the fuck runs North Fucking Mountain on a Tuesday night? In December? In the middle of Fall SOL testing?
If it had been any other combination of people, not a damn one of us would have gone.
And we spent several hours sending shit like, “if y’all don’t show, I won’t even be mad” and “If I pull into the parking lot and don’t see y’all’s cars, I’ll be over at Big Lick.”
But I pulled into the parking lot, and OT and GJB were already there.
Ok, so we’re doing this.
We spent about 20 minutes waiting for Rogue. Because Rogue.
Which was enough time for us to continue discussing any other fucking thing to do but this.
Food. And beer.
I don’t know. But whatever we do, y’all got to entertain me and shit. Because I’ve got a blog to write.
And when Rogue finally rolled in…
“You wanna go eat?”
“I’ve already had my one meal for the day.”
Oh. Ok. So we really are doing this.
Yeah. You can’t blog about not running North Mountain.
The fuck I can’t.
I can blog about not running this bitch every damn day for the rest of my life.
There was some discussion about jackets and such.
I didn’t want to carry any water. Because it was freaking freezing. And December came out of nowhere. So obviously I have no idea where my gloves are.
I was lucky to find a hat.
But Rogue gave me her skeptical, you’re about to make a bad decision that even I wouldn’t make, look. Which she’s really good at. She’s had some practice. With me, specifically. But also the rest of the world.
So I grabbed a bottle of water, and we were out.
Put GJB out front. Because this was his first full loop.
And the first climb up to the ridge went by pretty quickly. In the dark you can’t see that the climb never fucking ends.
We stayed close enough together that the conversation flowed nicely.
Then we got to the ridgeline. And here’s where shit starts to fall apart.
What the fuck is this
I mean, that’s OT, obviously.
But that shit beside him.
When did this happen?
And I don’t know if Rogue’s body saw that and started to reject the mountain. Or if the relentlessly cold air was pissing her never ending plague off. But about three miles in, her body said, “nope.” And shut the fuck down.
I mean, she was ok. We didn’t just leave her lifeless body up there.
But in a rare showing of solid choices, she said she was going back. Because oxygen is important.
And obviously I’m a good friend. And said I would escort her back down the mountain. And then get in my warm car. And go home…
And GJB and I may have argued a bit about which one of us would do this.
But no. No, her selfish ass said, “Nope. It’s a straight shot back. You carry your asses on.”
But friendship. And warmth…
Text us when you get to your car.
I don’t know what the fuck I thought we’d do with that. Because first, there’s no cell service on North Fucking Mountain. And also, how the hell were we going to help her until we rolled on back around anyway?
So we carried on.
And OT said he was proud of me. Because he knows. The temptation of comfort is real.
And we finally got the top of Grouse.
And this is the point at which my body said, “what the fuck are we wearing on our feet??? Are these fucking road shoes? On North Fucking Mountain??? You are aware that this bullshit is nothing but leaf-covered rocks, right? Dumbass.”
Because my trail shoes, as I may have mentioned, are wayyyy the fuck back in North Carolina.
So that trip down sucked.
But the conversation continued. And we spent a lot of time discussing how fucking awesome we are.
Because, really. 11 miles of bullshit on a Tuesday night? I mean, who chooses that?
People like this.
By the bottom of Grouse, we realized that the weather on this side of the mountain was perfect.
So the fire road back over to Deer was nearly pleasant.
We continued a nice, almost entirely appropriate conversation. Spent a LOT of time analyzing our personalities.
And the book that’s gonna make GJB and me better people.
OT doesn’t need that shit.
He just needs to keep his ass on the fucking mountains.
There were some random Snoop Dog and Biggie Smalls lyrics thrown out.
My boys got mad skillz.
And OT, who barely manages to see the sign for Deer on a clear, sunny day, spotted it immediately.
And here’s where shit really starts to break down.
Ok. So, OT apparently spent, like, 50 hours or some bullshit fasting. After his three day Thanksgiving gluttonfest.
And I had just spent the last two hours fasting. After trying to shove an entire container of fried chicken into my face on the way there.
But I couldn’t. Because I drive a damn stick shift. So I have to use my chicken holding hand for that. While my other chicken holding hand steers.
So I probably started whining first.
“You always start that shit right about here.”
“Because I’m always fucking hungry right about here, OT.”
But then his body shut the fuck down for a few seconds. I mean, not his whole body. But his quads did. Both of them. And the steep ass climb up Deer is not where you want shit to start to break down.
I told GJB to massage OT’s thighs for him.
And maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t.
But he did offer up a granola bar.
Which I guess fixed the situation?
I’m not sure how.
Because when the fuck has granola ever fixed anything? When there’s still fried chicken sitting in my car.
But it got us back up to the ridgeline.
And I was out.
I mean, as out as I can be “running” over leaf-covered rocks in cheap ass road shoes.
But everything hurt by that point.
Left hip. Right knee. Every fucking toenail. Because fucking road shoes.
And I could hear GJB whining about the same thing.
And I was fucking hungry.
So when we finally hit the bottom of the mountain, I beelined straight to my car.
“Who the fuck’s got fried chicken?”
I do, OT. I do.
And I shared.
Because this is my core.
And we just went through some Tuesday night shit together.