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Talker, Trail Days and Pop-Tarts

Talker always holds a special place in my heart.

Talker and Anime Hair

You never would guess that this is the face of someone who is incredibly intelligent and wise. It looks more like he stuck his finger into a light socket… You too can have this hair, after only 4 days of not showering!

I met him in passing just north of Erwin, TN while I was hanging out with Rob Bird, but I never actually talked to him until Kincora Hostel. He had been hiking with Johnny Thunder, Burgundee, Saga, Delorean, Skittles and Rambo. They are all pretty awesome people, but Talker is special.

Talker is a wonder person: intelligent, witty, mature and incredibly funny. But he does have a tendency to get involved with silly silly bets. Bets that no one has a chance of winning.

One of those took place in Damascus, at Trail Days.

Our medium of exchange was slap bets and ice cream novelty bets. You could bet on anything and we routinely did. Everything from how many nutri-grain bars one could eat (Saga got to 12 out of her 25 she thought she could do) to where you would end up that day.

At Trail Days, Talker tried the impossible.

A handful of Pop-Tarts

Somewhere near pop-tart 6. Photo Credit to Chuckles

Talker took a slap bet, thinking he could eat a 100 pop-tarts.

To be fair, he probably wasn’t in a sober state of mind when this bet was proposed, but he took it without a second thought. The bet was as follows: 100 poptarts before 10pm. He could get up at anytime and start eating, there would be a mix of flavors and they didn’t have to stay in his body for longer than it took to swallow them. He could purge himself anytime.

All this for the opportunity to slap Johnny Thunder.

Talker got up around 8am and decided to make an honest effort to start. He started with fruit flavored toaster pastries around 9am. He didn’t have any water to start, which was the beginning of his downfall.

“These feel like rocks in my stomach. Like a giant brick of awful”

After only 5 pop-tarts, I think Talker started to realize that this might be a bad idea. At 7 he decided it was time to pound some water.

“I need to drink like a gallon of water. Something. Because this is terrible”

At pop-tart 11 he decided he need to puke. He tried. He really did. But he just couldn’t.
“It feels like they are all glued together in there.”

He had consumed strawberry, blueberry, confetti cake and found that he couldn’t get rid of them. This didn’t bring any hope for finishing. He shrugged his shoulders however and decided to press on. Right on into a new box. Of Cinamon.

3 more pop-tarts, more water and another attempt to remove pop-tarts from his system yielded no results.  Pop-tart 14 seemed like a terrible idea to have tried to eat.

“If I stand on my head, maybe that’ll help with the puking right? Gravity will help…”

It’s worth a shot right? He got up against a tree, had two people hold his legs and tried to shove his fingers in so he could puke. No joy. No option but to keep going.

He opened a box of fudge pop-tarts.This was a mistake.

Talker somehow managed to eat 17 pop-tarts. We later figured out that if he had eaten all 100, he would have consumed something in the neighborhood of 22,000 calories, enough sugar to put himself into diabetic shock and acquire type 3 diabetes and probably would have been the most miserable human being on the face of the earth.

All this to slap Johnny Thunder

Talker with the Waterfall

Talker is eating pop-tarts again! At least it’s while looking at a waterfall, and not someone drunk passed out in a folding chair at Trail Days!

“I’ll never eat pop-tarts again”

5 months later, Talker was again eating pop-tarts in the Hundred Mile Wilderness. He had found the strength to eat those deliciously terrible toaster pastries again. I don’t envy him them.

Johnny Thunder redeemed his slap in a most wonderful way, but that’s a story for another day.

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“I hate instant potatoes so much right now”

All hikers ever really talk about is food right? It’s top 5 for us (the others being poop, weather, miles and sex) and is without a doubt, the most important of those five. Napoleon is credited with saying that “An army moves on it’s stomach” and that holds just as much truth for hikers as it does for soldiers.

So how did Invictus come to the point where she hated eating instant mash? Pretty much the same way I came to hate eating chicken flavored pasta, pop-tarts, oatmeal, banana chips and several other things. We ate it everyday without fail.

Seriously. I’ll never eat oatmeal again in my life. Ever.

Nothing quite like attractive ladies and Loaded Baked

Rainbow still likes to eat the insta mash… but only just barely I think

Limited choices on the trail in a fact of life, and you can get tired of anything. Bison got tired of eating Mountain Houses by the end of the trail, and was more than willing to trade delicious chicken tetrazzini for mac and cheese! So when you’re surviving on mail drops, hiker boxes and goodwill in order to finish, you just get tired of eating.

Their families love them

Terp and Gourmet always had awesome mail drops… It made the rest of us a little jealous

Food is the most important thing in the world. Without it, you’re angry (hangry, it’s a thing – go look it up) and depressed, no energy and you can’t do a thing. That’s why it’s important to vary your food and find things you like to eat.

Hiking a long distance trail is probably the only time in your life that you can eat anything you want. So we take advantage of that: eat all the bacon you want, cake, pie, triple patty bacon cheeseburgers, everything off the Wendy’s dollar menu… you get what I mean.

So go eat! Everything and anything. Enjoy your food on the trail and keep it varied. Pack out a cake, some Admiral Crunch (I’ve decided the Captain needs a promotion) or even a couple of steaks. There is nothing more delicious than eating a steak you’ve cooked on the fire after hiking out of town.

Pro Tip: Carry spices with you. There is a reason I’m called Doc Spice and hint hint, it’s because I carried things like Montreal Steak seasoning all the time.

Food is wonderful. It still makes me happy.

On the Edhe Farm is still one of my favorite places

On the Edge Farm has delicious pies, made fresh that morning ready for you. Mixed-Berry Crisp is still my favorite there.

This pie? This pie was like heaven. It would have been good anywhere, but after hiking 10 miles to it? Heaven.