Caffeine, Calories, and Testosterone

After three cups of tea, several extra Snickers bars, and a full hour of quoting Remember the Titans and 300 to myself, which is to say high on caffeine, calories, and testosterone, I am a god. I am 22 miles into the day. It is dusk. The hill I’m climbing is past 45 degrees. I am quite literally running up it. A cross between a Thoroughbred and a Budweiser Clydesdale. 
Call me Secretariat from 1973, a fucking 10 kilogram heart beating in my chest. At Belmont Stakes I’ll leave the field over 30 lengths behind. Valves, chambers, pistons, drives–an air-cooled 90 degree V-twin engine, longitudinal crankshaft, not a growl, more like a purr, an Italian-made motorcycle doesn’t burn this smooth. How did I hear it described the other day? “In it.” I am fucking in it.

This is how the trail goes somedays. Dreams of power and precision, miles after miles, mountains without care or concern. And other times, I crawl. Placing the heel of one foot alongside the arch of the other, gaining all of 8 inches with a step. I’ve come to expect both, to know that these are the highs and lows along the roller coaster, and that most of the day will be spent somewhere between, in pleasant monotony.

As of writing this, I’m in one of Asheville’s cute cafés. Old Europe it’s called, and would you know it, is decorated with framed mirrors, low lighting, an original painting from 1964, and a young
girl with black curly hair by the window, reading and looking, withwhat can only be said by wayward lovers of a certain Jay Gatsby, “so cool.” She is breaking my heart. This is breaking my heart, but I love every second of it.

Nineteen days and 300+ miles, I’m moving right along towards Maine, but stepping off trail for a long weekend, taking my first zero day of no miles. Two friends from college are getting married Saturday. Meaning old friends, unlimited food, and ideally enough wine to make me dance in my beat-up trail runners and sweat stained t-shirt, which is to be my formal attire.

It’s beginning to rain. I don’t mind. I’m clean, and dry, and well fed. And like the thru-hiker I am, I carried am umbrella. Ever prepared. On to Sewanee, Tennessee and festivities, then back to the trail, and that’s not a bad thing.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 3

  • Kenny : May 31st

    moore needs to clean up his vocabulary (and you should refrain from printing it). Not too becoming !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    • Andy : Jun 1st

      Kenny: Hike your own hike. Your better than though attitude is unbecoming.

      Reply
  • Laura : Jun 2nd

    Not many can paint an image with words that lift off the “paper”, making your heart race and legs twitch…and yearn, reach, and strive to feel the same as the artist in that moment. Hike on, Mr. Moore!

    Reply

What Do You Think?