Warming this post is not pretty but it was written honestly and frankly after a very stressful experience on trail.
CDT mile 1277.7, Miles hiked 29
When I woke up at 5 am as per usual I lit my stove and got to packing. Stop N Go (SNG) came over and informed me he was sleeping in and wanted to hike this section by himself, finally the universe answered my calls for help. I got everything dialed in and went over to start the hike with maverick and cheesy. I felt some joy knowing my stress of being around someone I didn’t care for was finally over, frankly ever since he wanted to hike with us at twin lakes a few weeks ago he has stressed me out.
We climbed up gradually to some of the most remarkable meadows we have seen so far. Wildflowers interspersed with high alpine lakes and giant granite peaks. The Zirkel’s were an amazing treat and a great way to say goodbye to Colorado. For once I enjoyed the high alpine without feeling like I was short of breathe I guess I have finally acclimated right in time to leave the state.
The miles came quickly and the three of us posed for a group shot at the last high point in the state, no longer would we climb to 11,800′ or more. As I was rather enjoying my morning my day was quickly soured when SNG crested a hill and passed us, wait, isn’t he sleeping in and hiking alone? Oh well, he passed us, so the three of us took a break behind a grove of trees and cooked up some beans for lunch.
We started our descent to the river valley below and we found SNG sitting in the meadow, as we tried to pass he asked, “is there a greyhound in Rawlins? I think I want to stop hiking the CDT and go hike the PCT in Washinton again”. Now quitting isn’t easy for anyone so we all said he should think on it and give it some time before we could escape though he was behind us with his pack on and going on and on about what he should do. Maverick and I turned up the pace and trotted away leaving poor Cheezy to deal with him.
When I took my next break we sat by a stream eating. He, of course, plopped down and started again about Washington and leaving the trail. Now when you are around 3 other hikers who have been giving the CDT their all this type of negativity can be like cancer. I tried to ignore him as best I could and then pushed everyone to get going. I really wanted to hike a 30 today if not even more.
We had decided to stop at the creek at mile 25.6 and take a long break, coo, and then hike the remaining 5 or more miles. I made it there first and got to cooking right away, the others arrived and then SNG plopped down In front of us and in his is whiny voice said, “so we have to go 30 today?” That is when it happened the blood rushed to my head, my temper and my words bypassed my filter and out it came.
” for the love of God will you please stop with your constant bitching and moaning. I thought i made it clear in Grand Lake that you drive me up a wall and I don’t care to be around you. If you are going to hike around us then either be positive or piss off. You are like a child who doesn’t get his way and frankly you are negatively impacting my experience”. Finally it was out in the open.
Maverick stepped in before things got too heated and mediated the conversation from there. SNG told me I was the most type A hiker he had ever met, my response was that was why I was successful in life and being type A had severed me well. After a few more minutes of maverick helping smooth things out we agreed to not hike together so SNG took off and we waited an hour or so to leave.
I do feel a bit bad as we hiked the last few miles, I hate kicking someone when they are down. However after weeks of being subtle one time being blunt, and feeling like I was being stalked by him it was time to lay the cards on the table. I hate that the jerk side of me had to come out on the trail, but life is too short and I have waited way too long in life to hike around someone who makes a visceral response inside me. Hopefully, he can find someone to hike with but lord knows that will not be us.
I am now perched on top of a hill watching hundreds of mosquitos trying to get in through my mesh. We are 14.1 miles to Wyoming so tomorrow will finally mark the end of our Colorado of odyssey and hopefully our travel through snow.