So I went hiking this afternoon, after hanging out with my Mom. I went to Piestewa Peak, to do the 304 trail one more time. I figure it’s going to be too hot soon to even think of going hiking. Plus, since PP is close to my Mom’s place, it was a good opportunity to go.
It was kind of hot out today. But I didn’t think it was too hot or anything like that. I had water with me, and felt fine as I set out up the first rise.
About halfway through the hike, something started to feel not right. My heart was pounding, yeah, and I was starting to feel kind of weak. Weird, because I didn’t feel as gross as I have felt on past hikes when I’ve been out of shape. I drank my water and slowed down, pacing myself so I wouldn’t feel any worse.
But, it didn’t work today. I even sat down and rested at least three times as I slowly made my way back down the mountain towards my car. It just got worse, and worse. And then I knew that the worst scenario–behind getting bitten by a snake, or falling and breaking my leg– was inevitable. I was gonna throw up.
(I had pizza and a salad with my Mom for lunch a couple of hours before this. I definitely felt fully-digested by the time I went on the hike, though.)
So I can see my car from where I am, but it looks so, so, SOOOO far away. I got that horrible cold-sweat thing going on, and stumbled off the trail and threw up a little in the bushes. Whew. But… wasn’t done. Nope. Of course not.
I hear a voice call out behind me as I am bent over hurling my guts out a second time. I glance back up the trail and see a guy coming down pretty quickly, with a black and white dog. He was yelling: “Are you OK? Hey, can I help you, are you all right?”
Ohplease, ohplease… not now. This is a guy my age, with wavy brown hair, wearing a brown T-shirt with a cool design on the front, and his dog is a sweet pitbull. The kind of guy that, yeah, if I saw him on the street, I’d totally give him a second glance. But this is the kind of guy that you don’t want to meet for the first time as you are uncontrollably throwing up on the edge of a trail.
He was next to me, asking me if I was OK as more puke just basically streamed out of my face. You know how it is. I couldn’t stop, couldn’t breathe…and stuff is coming out of my NOSE, even. Holy mother-effin’ CHRIST. To top it off, as I am throwing up like this, I lose my balance and fall down onto my knees in the scruffy bushes. I felt thorns going into my shins and ankles, but didn’t even care. I try to wipe my face off, and only smear dirt across my mouth and nose. It couldn’t be worse. I couldn’t be in a grosser, less-appealing situation!
So get this: the guy was NICE as hell. After he tried to determine if I had heat exhaustion (probably not, since I was still sweating and was still lucid), he says, “Well, I’m going to walk you back down to your car, OK? I can’t just leave you here.” I protest, tell him no, I am OK, thanks for stopping, but I’ll be all right, and he just won’t hear it. “No, I’m not going to walk away from you and leave you out here, in this condition. Come on.” Holds out a hand to help me up.
I didn’t take it…I just couldn’t do it. I was really covered in my own sick, I’m not exaggerating. It was mostly on my pants, shirt and shoes. I was just mumbling about being so embarrassed and telling him about how this has never happened to me before (because IT HASN’T) as I stood up. I said that I would go with him, but only if I could walk behind him, where the wind wouldn’t carry my stink right into his face.
So we walked back down the trail, me behind him, talking the whole way. His name was James, and his dog was a girl pit he adopted at the pound. Her name was Kicker, which was the name she ‘came with.’ He was joking about it, and saying, “Kicker? I hardly know her,” and other little endearing comments that made me cringe. Because DUDE. Come on. You’re cute, nice, have an adopted pit bull, AND you have a sense of humor? This is so not fair.
He asked me if I had a dog, and I told him about Hurley and we shared our experiences with working with adopted dogs who come to you with issues. Kicker was only with him for a few months, and in the beginning she was peeing on his bed. I talked about Indy, and the time he pissed on the coffee table. It was a decent conversation. And before I knew it, we were back at the parking lot.
I thanked him profusely (from a slight distance) and he asked my name again, and I told him. He says, “Well, feel better, and maybe I’ll see you around out here again sometime.” I replied, “Yeah, that would be nice, as long as I’m not, you know, covered in vomit again.” (DORK) We said goodbye, he went to his white pickup truck and I booked it into the public restroom to try to salvage some dignity and clean up a little before I got in the car to drive home.
(I was a total mess when I saw myself. I can’t remember when I might have looked worse, except of course, during this past week when I was throwing up constantly and everything… but at least then, I wasn’t also covered in dirt, sweat and blood where thorns had broken skin on my lower legs.)
I had to get more water, and I also opted for a small Coke at a McDonald’s drive through so I would have something to settle my stomach as I drove home. (I couldn’t go in a store, of course, not like THAT… a drive through was my only option.) I did feel a lot better in the next 40 minutes it took me to get home again. I showered, washed my clothes and shoes and called my sister and Mom to tell them my crazy, almost-unbelievable story.
And now, four hours later, I’m still processing that this actually happened to me today. Sadly, I also still feel “off” and like I could throw up again. Son of a bitch. I have definitely thrown up too damn much this past week. Enough of this!
I wonder what that guy thinks of what happened today. I bet he’s going to tell people about the disgusting, puking girl on the trail. GAH. Well, I would, if I were him. And clearly, as myself, I am telling the world about my embarrassing story, too. I really do seem to have no shame in sharing this crap.
Crazy, right? I was thinking how hilarious it would be if somehow I ran into him again. And imagine a little further if we went on a date (HIGHLY IMPROBABLE.) I gotta admit, it would be one hell of a “how we met” story! Ha.