My roommate came to visit me this weekend from Charlotte as an early birthday present. There’s not a whole lot to do in Johnson City, Tennessee, especially when your neighborhood pool is still not open until Memorial Day weekend, so what better to do than to go on a beautiful hike to Pinnacle Mountain Fire Tower?! I’ve gone before, so I figured it’d be a walk in the park (literally). It was stunning, yes, the views, the weather, all of it. After coasting down I-26 for about 30 minutes, getting lost twice, and finally finding the base of the mountain, we commenced the hike with water bottles in hand. Here are some of the thoughts that progressed through our minds, as inspired by many a BuzzFeed article.
1. Okay, lets do this. I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready!
2. I’m so happy– there are no bugs and the weather is literally perfect.
3. So, there are no mile markers… whatever it’s all good. Just keep following the path.
4. OOH, A WATERFALL! Narnia! Woo!
5. Are we there yet? I see light! We’ve gotta be almost there, it said roughly 5 miles to the top…
6. DAMN IT. Not there yet.
7. I think we’re almost there?
8. PLOT TWIST! Nope.
9. Oh, thankfully I brought water with me. My legs are starting to hurt already.
10. Wow, we are in the middle of nowhere.
11. A-ha! A clearing!! Found it, found it, found it. We’ve still not reached the tower though…surely just under a mile to go.
12. Which way do we go? Follow the sign! This one says to the tower…
13. Are we there yet? No? Damn it.
14. I can see it! Can I see it? I think? Shit.
15. A pretty clearing! Picture time! *yay*
16. Hmm, here’s an idea, every time I see an uphill burst, I’ll start running and then when it flattens out, I’ll walk. Glutes, you can go to hell.
17. Hello, fellow hikers, how much longer? About 7 minutes? THANK GOD.
18. Where are we, Death Valley? Toto…I have a feeling we aren’t in Johnson City anymore.
19. Well, shout out to that dude who was on the mountain bike. This path is crazy. I would’ve fallen off a long time ago.
20. Commencing philosophical thoughts and singing of “Let’s Get Down to Business.”
21. Finally! I SEE THE TOWER!
22. Ah, stairs. Glorious stairs. We’ve made it.
23. And crap I don’t have much water left.
24. Let’s take selfies and do cool yoga poses and take in the scenery and rap “Started from the Bottom Now We Here” until we’re blue in the face.
25. Oookay, and time to come down.
26. Oh my god, were these stairs that steep?
27. Now back down. Cue “Map My Run” to tell us our pace and mileage to see how much longer because there is no way in hell that that was only 4.8 miles uphill. That had to be an extra 2.5 miles to the tower. Had to.
28. Let’s see, let’s go down the other path—I think I remember going down this last time—I think it was shorter, actually.
29. OOH! LEMONADE FROM CHICK-FIL-A. THAT’LL MOTIVATE ME.
30. A steep white cement road? How did that even dry up here? Whatever…Follow the white cement road, follow the white cement road, follow the follow the follow the follow the follow the white cement road…
31. HOW DID THAT MOUNTAIN BIKER GO DOWN THIS HILL?!
32. Ah, the clearing again. Hello, old friend.
33. I think I’ll just continue down the path I came up—I don’t trust that driving path. Plus, we made it this far… why slack off now?
34. Ooh, downhill. I feel like Forrest Gump. RUN FORREST RUN.
35. OUCH! I rolled my ankle. Walk it off, walk it off.
36. Aaaaand, we’re at 2.73 miles.
37. Man, my ass is gonna kill me in the morning.
38. Is that just me or do my feet really hurt?
39. At least the weather’s nice.
40. Every time there is a downhill, I’m running. Okay? Okay.
41. Aaaand, there goes my other ankle. JESUS. How the hell did that mountain biker go down this hill?
42. Is that I-26?! INTERSTATE, HO!
43. Oh, my glutes. Oh, my quads. Oh… shit. Ouch.
44. LEMONADE TIME. WOOOOH.
45. Aaaand, it’s a Sunday. Chick-fil-A’s closed.