Monday, March 9, 2015

9. Eating Whatever You Want

It began with a pound of butter.

A few weeks into the trail, Dumptruck was so skinny emaciated that he looked like he could break in half with one solid head-butt to the tummy from an aggressive six-year-old. We wondered if we should get off the trail, we were so worried that he would collapse in on himself like a neutron star. We'd heard that in order for long-distance hikers not to waste away into nothingness, they need to consume somewhere between 5,000 and 7,000 calories a day. Dumptruck had been diligently eating as much as he could, but the fact remained that it wasn't enough. There was only so much we could carry. But in an outfitter in Gatlinburg Tennessee, we bought a screw-top tupperware that could hold an entire pound of butter. At that point it was still winter hiking, so the butter stayed solid in his pack.

And so it was that every morning Dumptruck would put an eighth of a cup of butter in his oatmeal. The good part was that it kept from from withering away into a husk of nothingness. The GREAT part was that everything is 10,000 times more delicious with an eighth of a cup of butter. We had to add butter and salt to everything. The butter for calories, the salt to keep our electrolytes balanced with all the sweating we were doing. It was like every pubescent boy's dream. 

Even with license to eat anything we needed/wanted to eat, there was a limit to what we could carry in our packs, due to weight and perishability. But every week or so we'd find ourselves wandering through a town, and that's where the real magic began. Everything we'd ever wanted to order, every indulgence we'd ever fantasized about while gnawing on raw broccoli when we were eight years old and just trying to get through dinner for the vague mirage of dessert on the horizon, was now within our grasp. 

I'd like to present you with a series of photographs and short vignettes, as it's really the only way to be able to qualify and quantify the sheer joy and abundance of the food we ate... all while getting progressively more fit and muscular with every passing day. We worked for it, but there were no more rules. If we wanted to eat an entire package of oreos in one sitting, we could. If we wanted to buy a pie from a grocery store and sit in the parking lot eating it with our hands, we could. 

In this restaurant, while Whistle and I were waiting for our dinner, and we
stole an entire barely-touched loaf of bread from a neighboring un-bussed table.
The waitress caught us, and brought us our own loaf of bread.
We ate the first one anyway.

The Hunger microwaved and ate four medium pizzas in less than 15 minutes.
He'd take one out, put the next one in to microwave, and by the time he was done
with the first one, the next one would be out and ready to eat.
We then went out to eat dinner after this.

Whistle would buy several bakery muffins, peel the paper
off them, and jam them into a ziploc bag. She would then
eat the muffins out like a horse's feed bag every morning
for breakfast, just by jamming her face in the open top.
I did the exact same thing.
Except with entire pound cakes.

I was so hungry I was eating/drinking raw velveeta cheese product
straight out of the packaging.

When that wasn't fancy enough, I squeezed it onto
raw ramen.
No-bake hiker nachos.

This is a cupcake that Fresh Grounds bought for me for my birthday.

Some sort of fudge cake something or other.
It was so rich... and so good.

Some hiker buddies of ours eating dinner in a restaurant.
Please take note of the hiker on the right.
Licking his plate clean.
In public.
He's an adult.

In a grocery store, we ate extra large starbucks coffee ice cream monstrosity drinks...

... But that wasn't enough, so we also went to Burger King,
and ate two entire meals each.

Donuts, pie and angel food cake for breakfast.

On this table is a truly astounding collection of foodstuffs that was all consumed
in one evening by Whistle and Grim. The bag on the right was named,
rather unceremoniously,
"Various Meat Ends."
The pinkish lump on the lower left is a loaf of liverwurst.
In the upper left you will see a block of cheese, with very distinct teeth marks
where it was clearly eaten by taking large bites
directly off the block.

This is what is known colloquially as a "breakfast of champions."
The plate used to have several pancakes.
Notice the mostly gone stick of butter behind the jug of chocolate milk.

Catch carried this  giant Whoopie Pie to the top of Moosilauke
and ate in in four bites.

Sometimes you can pour honey directly in your mouth.
If you want.

This is the crowning jewel of AT hiker glory.

Grim on the left:
- Two already consumed sausage dogs
- An egg salad sandwich
- A bread bowl of chili

Whistle on the right:
- Pepperoni pizza
- Two hard-boiled eggs
- A bread bowl of chili
- A sausage dog with the works

You will also notice the abundance of sauce/butter packets.
Those are for carrying out, in backpacks, to eat later.

You know how some people say they are "so hungry they could eat a horse"?

They are liars.

Unless they are thru-hikers.

Then you better hide your horses.

Clever Girl

1 comment:

  1. Too funny! My favorite food combo you showed was fudge cake and a beer. Hitting all the indulgences at once! Love, Mom and Dad