See that big road bisecting the image from left to right? That, my friends, is Koolaconch. The Hill from Hades is half a mile long. That whole red road from the wide cross-road farthest right to the white, bare spot on the left…is a hill. I was told it goes up “a couple hundred feet”. It is loose, red, beach-like sand on a good day.

Today was not a good day.

It was boggy, red mud that made great sucky noises as I trudged like some giant, lumbering turtle with a fifty pound pack on my back. (I thought it was 40 pounds, but that was just the weight vest I put in it. I also had three large bottles of water, about a hundred Cliff bars from my last ruck, and a change of clothes. When I weighed the pack at home, the scale said 48.5#. That counts as 50 to me.)


I spent almost two hours out in the sunshine today. 🙂 I crossed a stream (twice), so my feet were slowly being cheese-grated down by my crap-tastic socks. Two hours for four miles is not impressive at all. Also, I blow my nose at that calorie counter from Nike+. I burned 400 calories just putting my boots on this morning…

I feel like I climbed K2, though, so I’m just really happy to have survived.


This is the water that greeted my feet twice…


…because the bridge was only this big…


…me, at the top.


…my boots and pack…


…the dark red patches are soul-sucking mud…


the view from .75miles from the top. I seriously thought about quitting when I saw this…


So here’s the dealio:

This is a monster hill that Paratroopers at Ft. Bragg run all the time. On purpose. With heavier packs than mine, in hotter weather than today, and in a much faster pace than mine. I have always respected soldiers. Tonight, as I watch my blisters grow to the size of man-boobs and listen to my ITB screech like a Disney Villain, I have something else:

A healthy dose of “what are you thinking?” for our enemies. ‘Cause our guys sign up for this punishment. They volunteered for this crap and this isn’t even the toughest thing they do. Why would anybody think, for a second, that a fighting force who signs up to punish themselves in the name of fitness and brotherhood in this manner, wouldn’t be willing to go to the ends of the earth to inflict justice on the bad guys? I would twirl my finger around my ear in the universal sign for Crazy, but I can’t really move my arms that high anymore.

All this, just to say: wow. You guys rock! Thanks for all you do for me and my freedom…

Now excuse me, while I look for a sherpa to take my knackered and bruised self up the stairs…

(special shout-out to Wes for looking out for me today! …it’s a good friend, who’s willing to rescue a civilian dumb enough to take on this level of stupidity…)

(This is not a trail that is open to the public. I got permission from my husband’s CSM to do this with the understanding that if I got hurt or was told to leave by anyone, that I wouldn’t whine on either account and just go home. Ft. Bragg is not an open post and I am a DoD ID cardholder. The photos I took are non-descript photos that don’t show equipment or tactical landmarks. The top image is from Google Earth. I did this ruck in preparation for the Bataan Memorial Death March 26.2 in a couple of weeks.)


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