This story is a part of the Stories She Told series.

I wanted to start us all of with the story of one of my all-time lows (fun!) from my June 2018 trip to Curaçao.

During our stay in Curaçao, Anna and I hiked Mt. Christoffel which, at 351 meters, is the island’s highest point. Everything we had read about the hike emphasized two things: start early and carry lots of water. So we did just that, heading up to the craggy peak we could see from the parking lot at around 7:30. I assumed it would take us 30 minutes.

The trail was not particularly challenging, but it was hot. No breaks from the sun, stagnant air, exhausting hot. I wasn’t feeling great, so I chugged a bottle of water to combat dehydration. But 45 minutes in, when we reached the halfway point, I was struggling.

I had been talking big talk about my hiking expertise. The Presidentials in NH? Check! Volcano on Tenerife? Check! And here I was on a tiny mountain (a hill!) the sweatiest I had ever been, pausing to “admire the view” every few steps.

I felt pressure in my abdomen. Maybe I just really needed to pee? I had been drinking a lot of water. I stepped off the trail and tried to hide behind a cactus to relieve myself. Sweat dripped from my forehead onto my knee. And then, dear readers, I had diarrhea.

When pooping the wilderness, I typically dig a deep hole and follow Leave No Trace guidelines. I was unable to at that moment. I squatted there, praying that no one was coming up or down the trail, and nearly gave up on the entire hike.

Maybe it was pride, maybe it was a deep sense of caring, but I knew I could not leave Anna (who was doing much better than I was). I pulled my shorts back up, wincing (there were no leaves around) and tried to dig a hole in the dry, hard ground to clean up my mess. I settled for a pile of rocks.

Here lies my dignity.

We made it to the summit. It took almost 90 minutes, it was worth it for the beautiful view. But all I really remember from that day is that I shit on the side of the trail.

Check your pride. That tiny mountain kicked my stupid *ethical tourist* ass. And dig a proper hole first.

This story has been modified from its original version. View the original version on Instagram.

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