Let me tell you about Tim.
I’ve known Tim for about 9 years now. Originally I met him through a guy I worked with and over the years we’ve become best friends. He smokes Camel menthols? Crushes? Turkish Silver? I know he smokes camels, and they‘re not a regular cigarette…because I can smell them. He drinks a lot of soda’s, prefers a good comic book or horror movie, loves fantasy, and plays video games. He’s a metal head who tends to stick with a certain sound/type of band, and he doesn’t really drink. He’s also an angry fucker. No, really.
He’s a nice guy, however, when he gets angry (usually this is directed at a girl…in the sense of infidelity or stupidity) he has to let that anger out. How does he let that anger out? On his hand. Seriously, I think he’s broken his hand more times than the years I’ve known him. He likes to punch inanimate objects. I think the last time he broke his hand he punched a newspaper dispenser. You know, one of those steel ones? The time before that I think it was his spare tire on the back of his jeep. He’s also lazy.
Now coming from me calling someone lazy is a serious matter…because I’m fucking lazy. He’s seriously fucking lazy. There have been times where I’ve called him at 3 in the afternoon and he was still sleeping. I don’t know how he does it. Rarely can I sleep past noon anymore, and that’s even after I got to bed at 5 am. He’s also not really sociable.
Most of the times I get him to come out it’s like pulling teeth.
“You want to go to the bar tonight?”
“Wanna go get something to eat?”
“Eh, I’m not that hungry.”
“Catch a movie?”
“No. I think I’m just going to stay home. I’m not really in the mood to go do anything.”
“What if I pay? I can spot you a few drinks.”
“I’ll come pick you up, drive, and pay. It’s like I’m taking you on a fucking date.”
“Naw. I really just want to stay home.”
“I fucking hate you.”
He also, pretty much, absolutely, will not go to Atlanta.
“Hey man, want to come to Atlanta with me?”
“I hate Atlanta.”
“I fucking hate you.”
Every so often he will call me and ask me to go out. Saving me the trouble of having to convince him to go out.
A while back, when I started hiking, I would ask him to go with me. He literally lives, like, 3 minutes from my usual hiking trail. How many times has he gone with me? 3 times. I’m pretty sure it’s three times. Twice on the Homestead Trail and once on the Ironhill Trail. Anyway, once I got the GA Park Pass he seemed to be more interested in going out hiking. Not on my usual trail though. No. He wants to go check out the other parks. Not a problem, I’m a fan of road trips.
The first time we went out we went to Amicalola Falls in Dawsonville, GA. His idea. He chose the place. How far did he make it up the trail? About a quarter of the fucking way. I finished it, constantly yelling down at him that he was a bitch…because those steps were a fucking bitch. 600 of them to be exact. On the trip home he tells me that we should do this more often. Check out a new park say, every Monday (because we both had Mondays off). THREE months later (and both of us now unemployed because both restaurants we worked at shut down) he hits me up on fb chat (I’ve heard from him about going out drinking or hanging out, but this chat was during the day). He wants to go check out Cloudland Canyon in Rising Fawn, GA. Apparently there are two waterfalls at Cloudland Canyon, and the trail to the waterfalls is only two miles roundtrip.
Now, I usually hike a 4 ½ mile trail…so two miles wouldn’t be jack shit. HAHA.
The drive out there takes us around an hour. Most of it is off the highway with a speed limit of 55. The scenery is beautiful, but I quickly realize we are getting the fuck away from civilization. At one point, at 3 in the afternoon, we didn’t see a single living soul for fifteen minutes. What else? Well, with the windows rolled up and the radio playing, not to mention we were in the middle of a conversation, I heard a sound. The fucking cicadas were so loud that I could hear them in my car. We rolled down the windows to a stereo surround sound of these motherfuckers. It sounded like a symphony concert. Loud. It was pretty freaky.
So we get to Cloudland Canyon at Tim is very happy and excited. It’s a gorgeous day
and he’s ready to go. The view is amazing and he can’t wait to see these waterfalls. The first thing I notice is the trail is not like most hiking trails I’ve been on. The majority of them have been beaten down, smoothed out, well worn. This bitch was laced with rocks, steps, loose gravel, etc. There were even warnings posted to not deviate from the path. As we are coming down this guy and pregnant lady are coming up.
“Fuck waterfall number 2 man.”
“That path is not worth it. There are a shit load of stairs and the waterfall isn’t even that cool. Just check out number 1.”
Waterfall number 2 is .3 miles away. Waterfall number 1 is .1 miles away.
“Let’s check out number 2 first.” I say.
“No, let’s do 1 first.”
“Why? 2 is farther away. We should do that one and then check out 1 on the way back.”
“He said 1 is better anyway.”
“Exactly, so we see the better one after the shitty one.”
“Let’s check out 1.”
1 is awesome, and Tim is very happy and pleased. On to number 2. As we’re climbing down a shit load of stairs to get to 2 I keep thinking to myself, Tim’s not going to make it. I’ll give the boy this, since Amicalola he’s lost 30 lbs, mainly due to diet. If you look at the two of us he would appear to be in much better shape. However, I remembered Amicalola. We get to the bottom and I can tell he’s nervous.
“Where does this trail go?”
“The map shows that it goes about another two miles up that way.”
“Should we take that one back?”
“Well…it would, hypothetically, add another four miles onto our hike.”
“Yeah, but, would it be easier?”
“I don’t know, our car is way the fuck up there. Eventually were going to have to get back to the top of the canyon.”
“You can make it.”
As we look at the path ahead of us Tim does not look very happy, and he demonstrates this displeasure.
About an 1/8 of the way up he starts lagging.
“Keep moving.” I tell him. “Don’t stop. Even if you need to take a break stay on your feet. Pace back and forth. Stopping will just fuck you.”
He listens to me for a while, but then he starts taking more and more breaks. The next thing I hear is that he feels like he needs to puke.
“Drink a little.” I say. “You probably just need to hydrate.”
I go another distance and turn around. Now he’s squatting.
“Oie, what the fuck did I tell you? If you need to break stay on your feet, move around.”
“But this is comfortable. It’s not really my legs anyway, my legs are fine, like I said I just have this urge to puke.”
“Dude, I can puke on command. If you have to puke then puke.”
“It’s not that easy.”
“How many of your powerades did you bring?”
“Just the one. Why?”
“Well if you had both of them I would have told you to chug one. That would probably make you puke.”
“I’ll be alright.”
Any time someone comes near us I say, “Man up.” You know, so he could at least pretend to be alright. We get another distance and the breaks are coming more and more. Eventually I hear this one.
“Dude, just give me five minutes and then I’ll do the rest of the trail in one big go.”
“Ok, but don’t sit down or anything.”
That didn’t happen. In fact, he didn’t just sit down, he laid down.
“I told you not to sit. You’re not just sitting, you’re fucking laying down.”
He demonstrated his displeasure with me once again.
So I kept pacing back and forth, taking a picture here or there, I even went up the trail a bit and came back down to him. I would have left him, but I remembered Amicalola falls. I left him then and he ended up not seeing anything.
“Five minutes is up.”
“Bullshit, it hasn’t been five minutes.”
“Fine, it’s been three minutes, get the fuck up. Remember, you‘re the one that picked this place”
He did, and we slowly continued our way. Every time he starts to pause again I call out, “Just think what it’ll be like when you get to sit down in the car!” or, “Don’t forget about the AC…imagine how good that’ll feel.”
Almost to the top and he stops again, he sits down.
“Tim, come on, we’re almost there.”
He gets up…and pukes.
I was this close to actually catching it on camera. In the few times he’s gone hiking with me he’s ended up puking on at least half of them.
“Feel better now?”
“You should feel better, you’ve been bitching about puking for the last hour.”
“Well…yeah, I do feel better.”
The rest of the way back to the car he doesn’t really pause anymore. He gets one pause when I go off the beaten path and stand on the cliff ledge to take a picture, but he didn’t follow me down there…probably because I had to do a little climbing. Then, glory be, the car.
“Thanks.” He says to me.
“For sticking around. You really motivated me to do it. If it hadn’t been for that I probably would have quit.”
“Oh, and you’re picking the trail next time.”
“Because I apparently want to kill myself.”