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The Flumes Are the Worst

The worst experience I've ever had outdoors was definitely a hike I went on in Paradise, California.

April 25th, 2018 is a day that will live in infamy for my friends Matt, Brooke, and myself. For those of you who don't know, the flumes are a large piece of property owned by PG&E that doubles as a popular swimming/hiking spot for locals. As you can see from the pictures, its a single path on a serpentine mountain that goes on for miles. A majority of the path is a series of sharp metal bridges with flumes directly underneath. There really isn't a more beautiful hike out there, It's quite deceptive. From where we parked, the dam, our ending point, was about four miles out. That means four miles there, four miles back. Easy peasy right? WRONG. Now the first half of the hike really wasn't all that bad, it was the end that sucked. We spent the day wandering about, taking pictures, swimming, baking in the hot sun, everything you can think of! The entire trip took a sudden turn however, when Brooke realized she had lost her sneakers. Oh it was such a tragedy! barefoot, 4 miles from the car, nothing but dirt road and sharp metal bridges ahead. What were we to do? We couldn't leave her without shoes! But its not like we all had extra pairs packed. Then, as if to prove that chivalry had not yet disappeared from society, Matt and I came to the conclusion that there was only one way to ensure a fair trip back to the car: we all had to give up a shoe. I gave Brooke one of my boots and Matt carried one of his own, leaving all of us with only one shoe on. Oh man, it was a long ass hike after that. 4 looong miles of limping, skipping and screaming out curse words at every stubbed toe and sharp rock. By the time we finally made it to the car our feet were blistered and bloodied, it was awful. Also, I lost my football. Alas, while it was probably the worst hike in my life, it was totally worth it. It may have been one of the worst experiences of my life, but it is still one of my favorites.

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