Fear and Loathing in the Sangres

My new video style:

Under the influence of Thompson:

(Full credit to Hunter S. Thompson for 99% of this post…I just changed a few things to make it fit my altitude binge rather than a drug binge…I haven’t slept more than a few hours over the past couple days, so this post is probably fully delusional and nonsensical, it’s kind of a rough draft of something…possibly… but maybe the chaos will work for today’s concept–Fear and Loathing style).

 Between the two of us we had: our two packs, two-dozen pellets of iodine, one roll of toilet paper, four Nalgene bottles, one Camelbak, Ibuprofen, Excedrin, a whole galaxy of multi-colored water flavorings-grape, lemon, cherry…and also power bars, beef jerky, mixed nuts, fruit roll ups, rain shells, two sleeping bags, one tent, warm puffy jackets, route descriptions, headlamps, extra socks, a spot check, and a GPS.

Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious fourteener summit collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can. The only thing that really worried me was the altitude. There is nothing in the world more helpless and irresponsible and depraved than a hiker in the depths of an altitude binge, and I knew we’d get into that rotten stuff pretty soon.

Ah, devil altitude. It makes you behave like the village drunkard in some early Irish novel. Total loss of all basic motor skills. Blurred vision, no balance, numb tongue. The mind recoils in horror, unable to communicate with the spinal column. Which is interesting because you can actually watch yourself behaving in this terrible way, but you can’t control it.

 What was I doing here?  What was the meaning of this trip?  Was I just roaming around in a hike frenzy of some kind?  Or had I really come out to the Sangres to work on a story?  Who were these other hikers, these faces on the trail?  Where did they come from?  They looked like caricatures of used car dealers from Dallas, and sweet Jesus, there were a hell of a lot of them at 4:30 on a Tuesday Morning, still humping the American dream, that vision of the big winner somehow emerging from the last minute pre-dawn chaos of a thin-aired fourteener summit.

 But our trip was different. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true and decent in the national character. It was a gross, physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country-but only for those with true grit. And we were chock full of that.

Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant.

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Current musical guilty pleasure:

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