Aug 4, 2016

A Dragons Tale, part one.

A foreboding Cascadian Mountain where Dragons live.

Slumped over my lone hiking pole, wheezing in agony, I call out to the trees for mercy.  I'm not halfway up the mountain, but my legs are on fire and my lungs gasp for at every morsel of air they can find.  This hike is not for the weak. 
But that's what I've become.  Damned Weak.

All the cigarettes and the sitting around; they take their toll, stretching my patience and my muscles to their absolute limit. This mountain is beating me and it knows it. 

Dragons are always hiding in the colest places on the PCT.
Clouds don't care about your limits

The tall Firs solemnly observe my pain. They've witnessed this before, I'm quite sure. They sway back and forth empathetically, their leafy rythym drowning out my gasps for air. 
A beautiful Tree Surrouneed by Sun on the PCT.

I listen.
Slowly I slip out of self-proclaimed agony and my breathing falls in line with their swaying.  I stay this way for many minutes.
"I've got to keep going," I tell myself, "the Dragon awaits."

Yes, I've come all this way for a Dragon. Specifically to pick a fight with one. Dragon-fighting used to be an art. It separated men from myth and created the world we live in today.

The Dragons Lair, right on the Pacific Crest Trail.
The Dragons Reach

But men don't seem to want to fight dragons any longer. Now it seems, they are more content to worship them or, even worse, pretend they don't exist. 

"Why fight dragons?" they say.
"Even if you win you'll be so horribly maimed no-one will want to see you anymore. You'll be like a leper in the streets.  People will pass by you and say, there's Justin, the dragon-fighter. What a dumbass!"
Karma on the Pacific Crest Trail
Only fools fight dragons with this smirk. 

I've heard all the arguments. But I am, if nothing else in this world, stubborn as all fuck. I want to meet this old Dragon and see what he has to say for himself. 

I begin slowly inching my way up the mountain again. It's almost 7pm and I'm sweating from head to toe, despite the freezing cold and wind.  My blue polartek jacket contributes mightily to my sweating, but remains far too important to remove. It was a gift from my mother, and I have a patch on the front with what appears to be the planet Saturn surrounded by stars.  The patch too was a gift, and I will need these things to fight the dragon, I know. I'll need to remember who I am.  

Fus Roh Dah

Besides its talismanic value, and the enormous sweating it causes, my blue jacket shields me from the very fierce elements out here. It's brutal.
The climbing too, it seems endless.
I've climbed over 4000 feet today, and I'll climb another 1500 more before I come face to face with the Great Dragon

Damn this climbing!  

Why the hell dragons choose to live up here I'll never understand.  I mean, think about it seriously, have you ever heard of a dragon coming from the equatorial regions?  Absolutely not.  You would think that at least once you might hear about a tropical Dragon harassing the thatch covered abodes of all the humans living between the 23rd parallels.

But no.  The dark-skinned warriors of our globes ancient past always seemed to be fighting sea-creatures and the like. Never Dragons.  And yet for some stranget reason, these areas are the only places you find Dragon-fruit...

I mean, if you were a dragon, and could live anywhere you like, why not choose Hawaii?

You can't even imagine it though, can you?

The PCT hiking trail's on the Washington Cascades.
Because PCT Dragons live here. 

Because dragons are the hardest bastards there are, that's why.  And being such hard-hearted SOBs they've got to live in the hardest places they can find so no-one can even think of screwing with them. Places like say, the coldest, windiest mountain in all of Washington State. 

Damn this Dragon I say!

The Cascade Mountian Range on the PCT.
Glacial mountains on the PCT

These thoughts flow through my brain as I slowly trudge my way up the mountian.  The trees sway more dramatically with each passing moment; their leaves foreboding din rings in my ears.  I press on nonetheless, and minute by minute, hour by hour I grow closer and closer to what I've come here for. 
The unbelievable Dragon.

To be continued....

Cascades Galore

Where the climbing never ends.

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