Saturday, April 24, 2010

[+]Just a Rant[+]

Get a job, get a job, get a job, get a job. Do this, do that, do this, do that, remember to do this, you better get that done. Don't spend your money on that, spend it on this. Let's make sure you don't live you life at all. That is basically what today turned out to be. A couple hours with my dad and step mom and that's the general summary (primarily from my step mom). What if I don't want to do this or that? What if I want to spend my money on that and not this? When did my life fall into control to someone else? That doesn't make sense, I certainly don't recall turning it over, so why?

As expected when I tested the idea of me hiking alone, both my father and my step mother were against it. They said no way, I need someone to hike with. I'm just a defenseless child in their eyes. It doesn't matter that I took martial arts, it doesn't matter I was smart about the hike, anything, there would be nothing to convince them it was a good idea. So I didn't say that I went, but I felt a fury in the pit of my stomach. How am I supposed to go hiking with someone when no one wants to go outside?

I realize it, that I was completely addicted to the internet, some may argue that I still am if I'm writing a blog, but a blog takes fifteen minutes top to write. I used to be on my computer from morning to night, from my waking moment to when I went to bed, only breaking to attend class. But being with stable internet and having to rely on other means to entertain myself has woken me up. It is time for everyone to WAKE UP!!! Get the hell off your computers and go DO SOMETHING!!!

Stop updating your problems on Twitter and Facebook! How the hell is that going to solve anything?! If someone pisses you off or upsets you, TALK to them, don't post some emo bullshit song for your status update! If you're bored, get the fuck off your ass and go outside! Don't just post random updates in the hopes that someone will reply and give you entertainment for all of two seconds. GET UP!!! We're becoming apathetic and pathetic! What has our generation done?! NOTHING! We're all so mean to each other and we all bitch and moan about how things are but no one changes it. Everyone is waiting for someone to start with these changes, but it's too big a job for one person.

I'm sick of this. I'm sick of this world! I want to stand on top of a mountain and scream out "FUCK YOU!!!" We had a fucking paradise, we had a beautiful fucking world and now look at it, just LOOK at it! Trash littering every street! More and more buildings rising up, people starving, people freezing, people fucking dying everywhere. And the answer society and parents present to us? Get a job, do this, do that, claim what you can for yourself and forget about everything else.

Fuck that, let me join the freezing, starving and dying people and let me live MY life. Don't tell me to work at some dead end job, don't tell me to finish college, don't tell me to do anything! I didn't even go to college for me, I went because it was what was expected of me. What did college bring me? Nothing but future debts, a half a year as a pothead that screwed me over in the long run, a smoker, a drinker everything negative about me today has been a result of college.

I am so sick of just sitting back and watching shit fall to pieces all around me.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

New Adventure Planned

I was talking with my neighbor, and I told him about my hike to Greylock. He told me that if I enjoyed hiking I should check out 'the top of the world'. Apparently there is a place up on Route 2, heading towards Flordia, MA on top of the hairpin turn. There's a road you can take that branches to the left and from this road there is a path that leads to what Al referred to as the Top of the World. Now I know that the mountains around here aren't high enough to earn that title, but I refuse to be picky.

I'll have to get more supplies, and by that I mean food for hiking. I'll also have to check out the available ways to get to the hairpin turn. I'm not sure if walking is an option since I'll be following Route 2. It's stupid that such a question even has to be raised. I should be able to walk where I damn well please without having to worry about being pulled over by cops who don't seem to grasp that what you're doing is trying to get somewhere same as everyone else. It's not my priority to buy a car.

Either way, I'll probably get better directions from Al before I head out. I hope to wake up earlier than I did for my first hike, maybe around 8 since I'm not entirely sure how long it will take me to even get to the top of the mountain where the road is. But I will make my way there and I'll find the Top of the World which is supposed to be simply beautiful. A place where you can see the whole valley. Unfortunately it can't happen this weekend, but maybe the next one.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

[1] Bellows Pipe Trail - Mt. Greylock

It's amazing how an apathetic mind will fight to keep a person lazy. I woke up today at 9:30, later than I wanted to but I didn't fall asleep until after three. Anyway, I took a look out the window and saw that it was raining (not hard mind you). Automatically, I felt doubt about hitting the trails. I almost used the light rain as an excuse to just put it off for tomorrow. But then tomorrow would have come and I would find a different excuse. I knew that if I didn't go today, I wouldn't go at all. So, I bit the bullet, got geared up, gathered my supplies and took off a little after ten.

I didn't have a clear idea of where I was going. I've seen a sign that points to the Greylock Reservation that wasn't too far from the downtown area of North Adams. So I followed that route, heading past the large cemetery, and began to think that maybe the sign was farther away than I thought. I kept going, however, and voila, there it was close by a gas station. I turned up the street and followed the road to what I hoped would be a good trail.

It took me nearly an hour to find a trail. I had no idea where I was going, but at least I was in urban areas and the route was not complicated so I knew how to get back. Still, I had wanted to get out and be in Nature, not walking along some road in a rich neighborhood. I kept going, but nothing looked like it was going to lead to an actual trail. I thought that I might happen across a visitors' center, but that wasn't even around. I was about to give up when I saw a sign at the bottom of a road and I recognized it for one of the Greylock signs. I quickened my pace and sure enough, it lead to a trail.

Bellows Pipe Trail is 5.5 miles labeled as an aggressive trail, strenuous and part of the Appalachian Trail. I only found out when I got home that it also happens to be one of five most haunted places in the Berkshires. It's a good thing I didn't know that beforehand. Anyway, the hike started out pretty easy, the trail was laden with rivers and streams that led to the main supply of North Adams Public Water (NO TRESPASSING as the signs plastered all over the trees were nice enough to inform me). It was a wonderful hike despite the rain. There was no one else on the trail and I felt like I had the entire mountain to myself. It wasn't long when the rain abated and the sun peeked through the clouds, warming the air and letting me dry off. The rain came on and off a few times, but I decided I could deal with it and kept going.

I've never really been on the AT trail, but I've been reading Bill Bryson's "A Walk in the Woods" so I kept in mind that there could be some shelters somewhere up on the trail. A long time passed without seeing any so I figured I wouldn't get to check one out but, I climbed up a particularly steep hill and there one was. My immediate thought process was Oh cool! They are around! and I think about two seconds after this thought was completed a massive amount of hail decided at that moment to fall from the sky. Needless to say, checking out the shelter wasn't only born from curiosity but now from necessity. I spent a good twenty minutes in the shelter, looking at what people wrote on the walls and eating some lunch. I was greatly amused when I left the shelter to see a small toilet in a wooden stall not far from the shelter.

I kept going, the summit was 2 miles ahead and I really wanted to get to the top. Regrettably, I could not reach the summit today. Temperatures were dropping rapidly the higher I got and it began to snow. I was not equipped to climb the steepest part of the mountain during a snow storm and I was worried about losing daylight if I didn't turn around and head back. I now know that I need to start earlier in the day if I want to get to the top and maybe look into some better hiking equipment.

I took pictures, but the battery in my camera died before I could reach the shelter, something I'm very disappointed in, but all the more reason to return to the trail.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Adventure Begins...Tomorrow

Living in North Adams to attend school has it merits. Despite the town crumpling to economic duress, the empty shop windows staring out almost more blatantly than those still in business, this town is tucked away, surrounded by mountains. And in the few years I have lived here, I have not taken advantage of that. Why? Because I, like so many, have become lazy. Content to sit in front of a computer for hours on end, becoming addicted to checking trivial things like Facebook and Myspace, happy to live my life through writing. All these adventures that exist in the endless World Wide Web, while right outside the window the mountains loom in challenge, a challenge that has yet been confronted.

And yet, sitting in my apartment and watching the movie 'Into the Wild' and admiring the adventures of Alex Supertramp, one can't help but feel it's impossible to grasp such possibilities. True the story is fictional, but it's not completely out there. The world has changed, it's not as safe as it used to be, but to be paralyzed by fear, the doubt of meeting that one person who'll decide to attack you and justifying laziness with this fear is making me sick, not to mention stir crazy. Why can't I follow in the footsteps of the Supertramp and become one myself? What is it that anchors me into what society wishes me to be. Go to school, get the degree, get a job, make money. Spend my life doing what I don't want to be doing. A slave to the capitalism that has overrun our country, trying desperately to catch up to the ever increasing materialistic nature of my peers.

Was there ever a law saying I couldn't just pack up some food and go on a damn hike? In a way, yes. Rules set by parents to be 'sensible' and stay nice and safe in what becomes nothing more than a cage. The demands of professors who want this and that done or else they'll fail you, and it doesn't matter what you were doing, if that paper or that reading wasn't done you'll fail and then what happens to all that money that was spent to come here in the first place? Rules about gender, it's far too dangerous for a woman to travel and hike alone, isn't it? I can say that is false, we may present more of a target, but in a way that works to the advantage too. We're usually underestimated. Of course caution is needed, that's why I'll have implements to keep myself safe on these trips.

I'm starting out easy, or easy enough anyway. I've climbed Mt.Greylock before, but it was with a group of rowdy members of my class who made the experience more stressing than relaxing. I couldn't fully enjoy myself with them whooping and hollering the whole way to the top and then spending just mere minutes on the summit before wanting to go back and get to partying. I want to do this alone and therefore I getting prepared tonight. I've got food, water, protection, the right footwear and the right clothing set aside for an early wake up call. I'll have to walk to the closest place to reach the mountain, which means walking to Williamstown and going from there. I know the way because my father, my stepmom and myself drove to the summit on their last visit. Not quite so exhilarating, but the view was nice.

I can only hope that this will be the start of something greater. I'll have to follow the role of society still for a while. I've come too far in my education to stop now and so I'll finish as I planned, I'll work during the summer and save money and then, it's off for the wilderness.