A Turkey Reuben and four cokes and I'm happy again. I was struggling today to get down to Kent, CT. The never-ending Trail kept going up and down and my energy was completely depleted. It probably had something to do with the massive amounts of caffeine I consumed yesterday - I felt like I was crashing hard.
Yesterday I woke up to a couple leftover slices of pizza from the pizza I had ordered at RPH Shelter the night before, and a liter left of my 2 liter Pepsi. I downed the liter and set out down the Trail early, a little after 6am. After a tough, but quick 5.5 miles that the Pepsi made a blur, I stopped for an hour breakfast break at a deli. A 20 oz. Mountain Dew, bacon egg and cheese bagel, giant homemade honey bun, and a massive cup of fruit propelled me for another four hours of strong hiking. The weather was finally cooling off after being close to 100 degrees, and the terrain was smooth. My legs felt strong after the first half of New York pulverized my calf muscles. Just as breakfast was wearing off, I pounded a 5-hour energy and boom - I was off. I was feeling so great, I blew past my planned destination in Pawling at about 1:30pm, already having hiked close to 20 miles. I got down to the Appalachian Train Station a little after 3 and went to the nearby Garden and Landscaping Center for a shower and to fill up my water bottles. Tim's Hot Dog stand was a couple hundred feet away, so I got 2 chili cheese dogs and a sauerkraut brat with 2 more Pepsi's. Could the day be any more perfect?
I rested for nearly 3 hours at the Garden Center, charging up the phone and talking to Pauline, before I set out for the NY/CT border. The sun was setting over beautiful green countryside, as I was ecstatically hopped up on enough caffeine to kill a small dog. I ended up tenting about a mile shy of the border, but the day was a huge success - I hiked 26 miles or so, and felt amazingly strong in doing so. And then I woke up this morning.
No liter of Pepsi awaited me, or a bacon egg and cheese bagel. I ate a granola bar and drank half a liter of water and set off for Connecticut. "What's going on?" my body asked. "Where's all of that wonderful caffeinated energy?" it begged. I had a slight headache and my whole body was tired. The smooth terrain turned quickly back to steep rock wall climbs up and down, and my body wanted to sit down on the trail and stop working - I needed to get airlifted off that mountain. But I got down to Kent without any caffeine and I learned a lesson in the process - unless I have at least one 5-hour energy in my pack for each day, I should probably just not take them at all. But man was I flying yesterday.