Katie Worth, from mile 367.

Maybe I can find a way to blame McDonalds for the forest fire I
started today, too. Hmm, like maybe one of the 4,000 cows that
contributed to my burger yesterday was fed a hormone that
interacted with a random chemical in my brain to create the
neurotoxin Moronicus Humongous, which jumped right in
the middle of two otherwise-functional neurons and decided to
light my stove on a breezy, loamy hillside.

There were a bunch of us sitting there above a spring after the
long climb of the day, and I was craving something that was not
Oreos, so I lit my alcohol stove, intending to make myself some
couscous Phoebe had sent me in her package. We were all chatting
away, but the instant I lit the stove, Noodlehead Angelhair
looked over and said, “That looks a little tippy.” I could only
agree with her, but once you light an alcohol stove, you can’t
really extinguish it or move it, so I tried to gingerly place
the pot on the stove, and when I let go the whole stove, flames
and all, went over and rolled down the hill. Angelhair leapt up
and started stomping the fire out, and I doused it with all this
spring water I’d just lugged a quarter mile up
a steep hill.

Thankfully, thankfully, thankfully, thankfully, it only lit a
few needles on fire and they were extinguished and everything
was fine. Everything, that is, but me, because my soul was dying
an anguished death of mortification, having stunned myself with
whole new level of stupidity. I swear, you could tie my head to
a string and it would float on away, maybe accidentally bumping
into the Hindenburg and lighting it on fire en route. I’m just
glad I already have a trail name because otherwise I’d get
Smokey’s Nemesis or something.

The next several entries after this one are really great, by the way … Katie seems to be the Emerging Voice of the Trail this year.