I don't care

Monday, 29 June 2015

The world keeps moving but I hardly moved at all. I don't like the lack of stability and consistency. People are unreadable, intentions change too fast and decisions are fickle.

I'm lacking time to maintain relationships that don't serve purposes that align with mine, I don't have patience to offer explanations, I'm lacking energy to even let them know that they don't deserve a word from me, I don't have the courage to give and I hold too much grudge to treat people the way I want to be treated...

I just don't care.
Deal with it, bitches.

Running away

Thursday, 21 May 2015

I've always loved travelling, looking at my current life from a distance, imagining how my life could've gone in a totally different direction. I still have dreams of flight, changing my reality, live a simple life...but I don't always follow through, and I usually choose to come back.

No matter how enlightened or how many roads I've travelled, that hole in me keeps getting bigger. It burns, it aches and it hurts.

I don't know since when I've started equating travelling with heartbreak. I don't know since when I've started running away. I'm tired, I'm done, I don't want to wait, I don't want to hear and I don't want to know. I've wondered if this is too good to be true, and...it is.

I'm running away because I deserve to be happy. I don't deserve you and I don't care about your past and I don't want to be affected by any of it. I just want to be happy and free. It might be sad to live indifferently, but what can I do?

And so, I'm running away, I go on missing, and I try to philosophize, to make some sense to this mess...

Pemi Loop

Monday, 18 May 2015

I just came home from a 3-day backpacking trip in the White Mountains, which is in New Hampshire. I did the Pemi Loop, which is rated as one of America's hardest hike. It basically consists of 10 mountains that are over 4000ft tall, and 51 km of rough mountain terrain, knee-hammering rocks, snow and ice...Yes, there is still at least a meter of snow between mountains.

I became interested in long-distance hiking after I watched a movie called "Mountain of the Dead", which is about Nine hikers who lost their lives in mysterious ways in the Ural Mountains of Russia, at a place now called Dyatlov Pass. Obviously, that movie is a fiction that also involves monsters, etc. However, it is actually based on a real story. Even until this day, the Dyatlov Pass incident is one of the most bizarre unresolved case in the world. I started researching it and reading books about it, and found some believable theories, but we'll never know the truth. 

Then, I started reading another book about thru-hiking, which is quite famous, it's called "Wild". It tells the story of a girl name Cheryl Strayed, who hiked 1100 miles across the Pacific Crest Trail. There is also a movie adaption starring Reese Witherspoon as well. After finishing that book on a boat in India, I became convinced that I wanted to do this as well! Obviously, I will not take months off work to hike across America, but I still wanted to experience this.

Last week, I left work and drove directly to New Hampshire. It was 10:30 PM by the time I got to Hancock Campground. It was terribly cold and dark out there. It was so dark that I could not figure out where to camp at a campground, how crazy! I had a headlamp, but I decided to just sleep in the backseat of my car, instead of unpacking everything in the dark. I went to my trunk and grabbed my sleeping bag as quick as I could. During that short 30 seconds that spent outside of my car, I heard wild winds, trees, and silent echoes...and I was scarred that a bear was standing behind me. After I found my sleeping bag, I went back to my car and went straight to sleep.

The sky was pretty, there were so many stars and they seem so much closer to you than in the city. Last time I saw a sky like this was probably in Africa...but I was too scared to take my time to admire them because I did not want to be eaten by a bear, duh.

I woke up freezing at 5:30 AM, so I switched my car's engine on to warm up. I thought to myself, how the hell am I going to warm up on the mountain? I drove to Lincoln Woods Visitor Center, which is the place where I can leave my car and start my hike. I ate my breakfast in my car, which consisted of bagel with salami. Oh, and for food, I carried probars, snickers, trail mix, cheese, bagel salami and jerky. Yup, I ate those for 3 days. By the time I was ready to hike, it was 6:30 AM. I wanted to start later so I can relax some more in my car, and stay warm, but I had to start because I had 22 km to cover on the first day if I wanted to sleep at a camp site. 

I hiked so slowly for the first 8 km, my backpack was around 35lbs, which was very heavy for a little skinny girl like me. Clearly, nobody walked on that trail in a while because there were spider webs everywhere. I saw some huge piles of poops that cannot be from a human being, and I was scared to come across a bear.

I reached Flume and liberty a little bit past noon. During the descent of Flume, I realized how lucky I am to have my microspikes...but even with the microspikes, it was very slippery due to melting snow. Better than nothing, I guess. Should I just go back to my car and drive to a beach instead, I wondered...

I walked very carefully to avoid post-holing, which is why I went slower than expected. I followed the Franconia Ridge Trail for about 8 km to reach Lafayette, which was entirely above tree-line. It seems so close when you look at it, but it was already 4:30PM by the time I summitted Lafayette. I'm not going to lie. I was panicking a little bit, because the sun will start to go down, and I knew I will not be able reach the first campsite before it gets dark, which was still roughly 8 km away. It would be too dangerous to hike in the dark, even with a headlamp due to the thick snow. I needed to pitch my tent at the first flat space I saw.

I started descending on the Gardfield Trail, and I felt the sun going down behind me...which stressed me out. The wind was unforgiving, and my monster backpack made it harder for me to go down the steep rocks. I finally reached some trees...but there were either too many trees or too much snow for a tent. Two hours later, I finally found a little snowless flat space where I pitched my tent. I hiked a total of 12 hours that day.

I ate my supper which is a probar, I was scared to be alone in the wild, and just wanted to go straight to sleep and know nothing about it. I woke up every time I tried to turn my body, and felt the cold and humidity on my skin. It was a uncomfortable sensation. I also had a muscle cramp that night. Thank god that I woke up alive. It was 5:30 AM, it was very cold...and it was raining. Damn it!

I started eating my breakfast inside my sleeping bag. Then, I tried to get out of my sleeping bag gradually to get used to the cold, haha, how miserable right? I wish I was in my car! By the time it stopped raining, packed up my bag and was ready to go, it was already 7 AM. My back was hurting, my shoulders were hurting and even my hips were hurting from carrying that monster backpack. It was somewhat more bearable than yesterday though.

On the ascent of Gardfield Mountain, I met two guys who had snowshoes on, and they told me it's all snow-covered until the Bonds...Here's you're excuse to go back, Elaine!...Oh wait, you can't. You're already halfway through now and you're in the middle of nowhere.

I was behind schedule, but I was determined to reach the second camp site before it gets dark. I did not want to sleep in the middle of nowhere again. If I died there that night, probably no one would have found me until weeks later.

After Gardfield Mountain, I reached the campsite that I was supposed to reach last might, and it was 11:30 AM by the time I got there. There was pretty much no other snowless flat space between the place where I slept last night and the campsite, so I actually made a good decision to stop where I stopped yesterday. I filled my water bottle up and hiked on.

After passing the campsite, I got lost. I could not figure out where to go because there was a steep rock-piles ledges where the spring flows down...and I did not see a trail on the other side. There were no traces of humans anywhere. I started descending a few rocks...but it was too steep and there was too much water flowing down...it just felt wrong. That was way too dangerous to be the right way to go. I got back up and looked at my map, and thank god I bought a compass and learned how to used it...and it was pointing towards where the spring was flowing...is that even possible? I sat down for a long 15 minutes, ate a snack and wondered if I should wait until someone passes by. No one passed by, haha. Since yesterday, I only came across 3 groups of people, and this place was the middle of nowhere, so I said, fuck it. Let's try to go down again. When I reached the bottom, I found out that my compass was correct. Oh well.

I reached Galehead Mountain and then did the toughest stretch of the entire hike on the Twinway, gaining 1122 ft in 1.2 km over steep succession of rocks just seems never-ending. It was cloudy on South Twin, but I liked it. Some people like to have a nice view, but I like it when it's cloudy. It feels mysterious. 

I tried to hike faster in order to reach the campsite, which was after Guyot Mountain, another goddamn mountain again! By the time I summit Guyot, it will start to get dark and I did not want to face the wild wind in the open summit and not be able to go down. Should I just camp in the wild again? I decided to just sleep at the first spot I can find. Again, it was all snow-covered. When I finally found a spot, I saw that it was only 5:30 PM. Should I hike on or should I pitch my tent? If I am behind schedule for 2 days in a row...it will definitely take me longer than 3 days, and I wanted to reach my warm bed desperately as quick as I could. I decided to go on.

I'm glad I continued because I reached the campground an hour later. I also saw a girl I knew, who was the leader of my first hiking trip. What a small world. It reminds me of the days when I was a city girl who knew nothing about the back country. There were already people at the campsite, which reassured me a little. I heard some guys say "Holy, that girl is hiking the loop by herself". I know...I'm crazy. I wonder where my mind is sometimes.

My socks were wet and it's a terrible sensation to hike in soaking wet socks and boots all day...and when you finally take them off, it's the best feeling in the world. My boots are made of gore-tex membrane, but after abusing them for 2 years, I guess it started giving up. All the water got in when I descended the steep spring earlier...I'm so happy I have one more pair of dry socks, which is why I absolutely had to finish hiking tomorrow, because I got no more dry socks left! I ate and went to sleep. I hiked 11.5 hours that day. Not bad.

I woke up again at 5:30 AM, the same way I did the day before, in the cold and in the rain. I ate breakfast an filled my bottle of water, put on my cold wet boots and hiked on. My knees started to hurt. I summitted Bond Mountain and reached Bond Cliff. I was so amazed by the spectacular view. It was beautiful and wild, and I was the only human being on the cliff! If I had to choose a favorite place on the loop, it would be the Bond Cliff. I did my mom a favor to stay clear of the ledges, because the wind was quite strong at times.

The rest of the hike was a gradual descent which was supposed to be easy...but I just couldn't lift my legs anymore! The last few km just doesn't seem to end.

...and finally! Finally, I reached that bridge. The bridge where all began. I was so proud of myself at this point. I got changed and started driving out of the parking lot. I think I almost forgot how to drive after those 3 days in the wild. I stopped at my favorite spot which is Dunkin Donuts. Lincoln is such a cute little town. Also, New Hampshire is beautiful. I almost cried, haha. I turned the music volume to the max and drove back here to Montreal, to my warm bed :)

Why am I doing this if it's so hard and dangerous, you might ask. Why do I do this to end up with aching shoulders, knees, broken nails and blistered feet? I don't know...I'm addicted to pain, I guess. I like testing endurance, and I believe people grow from discomfort. I finally experienced what it's like to be alone...all alone, terribly alone, absolutely alone. I experienced a minimalist life. When you're very thirsty, all you think about is water. When you're very hungry, all you can think about is food. When you walk, you entertain yourself with your thoughts, your imagination and your voice. I started thinking out loud, and imagining trees taking a humane form, trying to grab me with their branches, and spider nets caressing my arms and face, all trying to keep me there.

I learned that no matter how unreachable and far your goals may seem, just take one step at a time, even if you're slow. When you look back at all the distance you covered, and will feel proud. Mother nature is harsh, but it never lies. The Pemi Loop was the best and most humbling hike of my life.


Saturday, 18 April 2015

It's as unexpected as finding car keys that I thought were lost months ago, as mundane as finding a 5 dollar bill on the floor, as silly as finding a parking spot when it's busy, as simple as having breakfast with friends on a Saturday morning and as unpretentious as a rainbow in the sky. Today isn't any special day, but it's my birthday...just feeling like life is smiling at me today :)

I miss tax season

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

It's tax season, but I'm not doing taxes anymore.

...not sure why I miss those days working until late hours with my team, getting on each other's nerves, telling pathetic jokes in an attempt to make each other laugh, our trips to Starbucks, eating ordered pizza in an empty dining room, looking out the window from one of the tallest skyscrapers in busy Montreal on a cold evening.

It is one of the reasons why I've quit...but those might also be among the many moments I miss most.


Thursday, 2 April 2015

I've been wanting to do this little mountain for a while. I heard plenty of good things about it. Although it is not one of the highest peaks in the Adirondacks, it offers some great views. I finally decided to go because it's winter and I don't want to climb anything too steep, so I figured it's the perfect timing.

I must say that I never had so much fun going down a mountain...we almost slid all the way down, haha. It could have been dangerous hitting a tree or a rock, but we managed to get out of this alive. I love winter hiking!

Oh, and the gorgeous mountain in the background is Giant, which I've hiked solo last summer. I plan on hiking it again this summer!


One might believe he has the power to master delete people from his past, and whether this is a fight for clarity, a desperate need for a true disconnect, or a defense mechanism to protect emotion; the more one tries, the more one fails. On might have a strong will, but will never be the master of his heart.

I'm quite surprised because I know this is a sign that he cared. He's forced the ending to recognize where he stands, because he despises uncertainty. I used to think I was crazy, and I was the only one going through this...but now I know there are two of us. A man, with the good principles, dealing with a flame of madness within by behaving crazily normal, so he can go on with his good life.

I used to believe in endings as well. I guess we've all been taught as kids that stories have endings. I forced decisions; I forced situations, I forced others into a situation that benefited me. I liked to categorize and define everything I knew, because of insecurities. Life sent me signals that I couldn't read...and even as of today, I still can't recognize them...I’m slowly learning.

I don't believe in endings anymore. I will never be comfortable in uncertainty, and not knowing where I stand, but that's life, and being able to accept this is a step closer to happiness. I will always want to know, but I'm okay with not having the answer now...because I don't need to know the ending but just to know that we're all still in a race is enough.
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