I love these non-stories! Let me do one. It turned out longer than I anticipated, but oh well.
Several years back, I decided that I like hiking, but having hiked only once before with a high school friend in central Sweden, I didn’t really know what I was doing, yet. I also was very curious how it would be to go on holiday on your own, so I got a boat ticket to England and took a train to Scotland.
I had brought everything I needed, a tent, raincoat, portable gas range, a single pot, 1kg of rice, rye bread, some nuts, cheese, dried sausage and a 2L bottle of water. My plan was to walk from Dalwhinnie (I later tried their whisky, which instantly became my favourite) to Fort William, so I got out and started walking. Already within one hour I got bored by following the gravel path, so I decided to take a “shortcut” up a mountain and set up camp somewhere above a patch of trees. It looked very flat from that distance. Oh boy, how wrong was I: this is where I learned that climbing hills is a totally different thing with a backpack than without, and that mountains generally aren’t flat at all. So, after taking way too long to work myself up to the place I had chosen to camp, I put up my tent, at an angle, not knowing how horrible that would be during the night. I then discovered the hole in my pocket, through which both of my only lighters had managed to escape. So I found myself with 1kg of uncooked rice, and only 2L of water, with no way to heat it. But you know, I’m optimistic, so I just rationed the other food a bit more strictly and figured that the streams up here were probably clean enough to drink. Oh yeah, had I mentioned that I stepped in a puddle on my way up the mountain, and that I somehow had forgotten to bring any spare socks?
Still, it didn’t spoil the fun for me, the next day I climbed over the mountain, and through some very dense fog I managed to find my way back to the road. It certainly wasn’t a shortcut, but it was definitely adventurous. During the rest of the day I kept walking, and towards the evening I set up camp while far away thunder started rolling in. I sent an SMS (oh the times) to my mom, telling about the thunder, and joked that I hoped it wouldn’t hit my tent, then I went to bed. There was a metal fence a short distance (but not too short) from where I had pitched my tent, and it was one of the areas with some trees scattered about, so I thought it would probably be safe, but still, being alone in a tent during a thunderstorm is absolutely horrible. After the thunder had passed, I tried sending another message to my mom, but there was no reception.
The next day, I once again strayed from the path and had a terrific time wading through mud and stumbling over clumps of grass, still no phone signal. When I reached the halfway point, Corrour station (you know, from the Geoguessr thread), I pitched my tent and decided to try my luck of finding a working phone at the station house (which is also a pub). Unfortunately, the lady at the bar told me their phone didn’t work either, because the thunderstorm had caused some kind of power outage. This was the moment I chose that it was probably unwise for my failed hike to continue. She offered me a pint, but since their card reader also didn’t work, I couldn’t pay, so that wasn’t going to fly either. The worst thing is that I only discovered the next day that I actually had another £20 in cash hidden in my wallet.
So the next day, I took the train back to Glasgow, called my mom to tell everything was alright, and then went back home three days early.
The best thing is, I actually loved it, and am still planning on finishing the hike sometime in the future. I was hoping I could do it this year, but with the coronavirus it doesn’t look like I can enter the UK…