I hadn’t intended to get drunk and hike a mountain when I set out that morning in Hobart, Tasmania. My plans for the day were completely innocuous: a coffee in the morning followed by a walk by the rivulet. I walked along in nature, conversing with wallabies, eating a scone that tasted like grass and feeling very wholesome overall. That is until I realized I was inadvertently en route to the nearest brewery. Never one to overlook an opportunity, I decided to visit Cascade Brewery.
In many ways, I should have been commended for arriving just ten minutes past noon; it was indicative of my morning productivity. I caught a few side eyes as I sat down in the sun with my tasting flight but I was unperturbed. I was living my best life. To be fair, I didn’t get drunk while I was there. I drank less than two pints total but they were two pints that made me feel.
When I took off afterward on an unknown path, I realized I was en route to Mount Wellington. In a rare moment of hubris, I decided that I was well capable of making a quick jaunt up the mountain. As I started along the path I fancied myself an expert solo hiker, recounting to myself the details of all my past hiking successes. Not once did I think about the time I ended up stuck on a cliff edge after ambling through a pathless forest. I was an adventurer whose journeys had yielded nothing but successes.
I ate all my trail mix within the first fifteen minutes. I drank all my water within the first forty-five. I was resilient, albeit a little peckish. An hour into my hike I realized I was nowhere close to a washroom. An hour and fifteen minutes in, I didn’t care. I was having the time of my life, though I was getting a little tired of inclines instead of grassy meadows. As the inclines grew steeper, I realized with horror that I was only halfway up the mountain. In fact, as a consequence of taking the path from the brewery, I was hiking up the mountain by the longest route possible.
By the time I neared the summit I was sobered up, dehydrated and in an altogether terrible mood. I thought close to an hour of navigating across rock piles would lead to a more appreciable result but I still had another path to follow before I reached the summit. This path, too, was devoid of facilities. I was so thirsty I thought about trying to hitch a ride with one of the passing cars.
When I finally reached the apex of Mount Wellington, I was rewarded with a full view of Hobart and its surroundings, alongside hundreds of tourists in flip flops and summer dresses. I climbed three and a half hours up the mountain only to realize everyone else had gotten there by bus. I was too angry to even celebrate the completion of the hike. I stuck a middle finger at some tour buses and started back down the mountain with all the water the bathroom tap would allow.
Not long into my descent, I passed a sweaty German couple who asked if the view at the summit as worth the hike. I told them it was worth it so long as they were willing to look past the people up there in sandals. The woman said, “Are you fucking kidding me?” I was not. There were far easier methods for reaching the top of Mount Wellington.
Eventually I caught a city bus back to the Hobart CBD and I sat by my sweaty self in the Shamrock Pub with a veggie burger and a cider. The moral of this story is twofold: always preplan your hiking route and never start at a brewery before you climb a mountain.
Song of the Day: The Nosebleed Section by Hilltop Hoods