Weekend of the 25th – 27th, MAR11Friday – The heck did I do Friday night?
Saturday – I slept in today. Not too late, but not early either, one of those perfect wake-ups where I felt completely refreshed, but was still moving around the house by 10:00. I puttered for a while, watching videos and playing games, had a small snack, and then headed out around 12:30, driving towards my hometown. I met up with my folks at the Chinese restaraunt near their house where we had a good buffet lunch. *SEE STORY 1* After eating an amazing lunch we grabbed our coats and headed home, where I visited for a little bit; talking to Steve about the competitions he’s been going to for his miniatures, and showing my mom some pictures from my last climbing trip.The main plan for this weekend was that I was going camping with some friends in Connecticut, and then going climbing at a place called Wolf Rock on Sunday. The group roster kept changing, but as of Sunday it had stabilized into Kittie, Amanda, Ashley, and myself. Ashleys boyfriend was thinking of coming, same as Rebecca, but both of them wishi-washied around a bit before finally deciding not to come. I had already packed my car with all of my gear and the group gear, so all that was left was to buy food, pick up the girls, and get on the road. I met Amanda at the supermarket around 4:30, we picked up everything, then we met Kittie at her work, picked up Ashley at her apartment, and drove out onto the open road.We had some excitement with GPS failing, phones dying, and laptops not working right, but we did finally find our way to our destination; Nickerson Campgrounds. The campground was billed as a “christian campground”, which was a bit of a worry, but it was actually open, and right where we needed it to be, so we delt with it. I paid the guy up front, so we could leave whenever the next day, and we picked out our campsite. As soon as the girls got out of the car they started freaking out and running around; I guess two hours in a car was too much for their hyper-ness at getting to go camping :PWe set up camp quickly, and started a fire to cook dinner on. I had bought Salmon for the carnivores, we had Potatoes, plantains and S’mores for everyone, and Amanda had gotten some extra ears of corn for herself. We cooked the potatoes and fried the plantains first, while I prepped the Salmon (See RECIPE below). Once the potatoes were nearly done I tossed the salmon on, and we had an amazing feast for the ages; included in which was my favorite drink ever: Vikings Blod, a really good authentic skandanavian mead. We drank and talked and ate and roasted marshmellows late into the night, finally crashing around 1:30 or 2:00.
*STORY 1* : While I was in the bathroom stall at the restaraunt, I heard someone asking “is anyone in here?” I replied in the affermative, and he just said OK. It sounded like a mid/young latino guy, but when I walked out the guy standing there was 95 to a day with a cool cane at his side. “All yours”, I said, and he replied along the lines of “Its ok son, I’m 96 years old; I can wait a little while”. From there, we somehow got onto the topic of his age, which lead to the fact that he had faught in WWII; suffering 5 punctures to an artillery shell and dying on the field twice, obviously being resucitated each time within 30seconds. “The first time I died, I could see this massive wall, clear as day. The real thing that I noticed though… the silence. It was clearer and more pronounced than you could imagine, just clear and complete silence. Same thing when I died the second time actually, though the second time the wall was a little bit clearer, more in focus”. From what he said, he had fought in the trenches of France, and had an artillery shell explode right above him, raining shrapnel down on him and hitting him at least 5 times. After that, he said goodbye, and headed into the bathroom. I saw him again walking out of the restaraunt, and I noticed how impressively friendly and polite he was to everyone there; from the other patrons to the busboy, to the woman behind the front counter.*RECIPE* Grilled Orange BBQ SalmonPer Person – 1 salmon steak, ~.5 lbsPour a dot of Olive Oil onto a piece of tin foil big enough to fully wrap the fishPlace the fish SKIN DOWN on the oil, and apply seasonings to taste (Pepper, Garlic salt, mix of Italian seasonings)Put a small dollop of BBQ sauce on the fish, and put half of a small can of Mandarin Oranges on top (1 can = 4-6 oz)wrap the salmon in the foil, and place on the gril SKIN DOWN, do not flipLet cook for ~10 – 15min, checking periodically to make sure the meat is cooked through. Don’t worry too much about it burning, since the skin can burn and the flesh will be fine.
Sunday – Where Saturday was an excellent relaxing wakeup, Sunday was quite the opposite. None of us had felt drunk when we went to sleep, but the hangover fairy came and blessed us anyways, Kittie worst of all. And since I was sleeping cuddled up with her in a pair of zipped-together sleeping bags, that meant that I was also waking up early to help her nurse the hangover. After about an hour the girls got up from their tent, feeling fairly good but still a bit groggy and hungover. I started up a fire using the copius amounts of leaves and sticks around while Kittie walked around trying to cure her sickness and Amanda and Ashley explored the playground nearby. For breakfast Kittie treated us to home-made vegan pancakes (not as bad as I thought they’d be), and Ashley and I cooked up some maple sausages to go with. Originally we were going to have eggs as well, but… I may have grabbed the wrong box of eggs when I left, and got my roomates “expired in February” eggs. So… Ashley had one, being adventurous, and we just tossed the rest of the clearly-old eggs. Once breakfast was finished we packed up camp, filled the car, and headed out towards Wolf Rock.Wolf Rock took a little bit of adventure to find, but once we hiked in we found two amazing cliffs that reminded me a lot of Pawtuckaway in their spacing and features. We set up a toprope at the best looking climb, and started sending people up and down the line. We ended up only getting two full lines in before we decided to head out, but MAN were they good climbs. The first one was a nice layback-crack with a perfectly shaped roof about a third of the way up that added a really neat little challenge to the climb. The rock here was really strange for New England; it was fairly similar to the soft-rock out west in regards to the small huecos that we found, and how rounded and weathered the rock appeared; not sharp and defined like the granite of Northern New Hampshire. The second route showed off these features even more; the two start variants were completely opposite styles, but both were really hard and really fun. One variation was a hellish balance/reach problem that Ashley couldn’t get, and I could barely finish out due to having an extra inch or so worth of arm length. The second variation was a very overhanging side-pull crack with a nasty mantle bringing you up to the meeting point between the two variants, where you got to do a nice heel hook or toe-jam into an inside crack, but it was by far my favorite set of moves of the whole day.After cleaning and packing our climbing gear we headed back to Boston, taking the scenic route (by “scenic” I mean “Well… this road goes North, and its a main road. It MUST hit something bigger that we’ve heard of before. Lets just stay on it”). Thats the fun of not having a GPS… you get to actually adventure and explore. Just think, if we hadn’t done that, we may not have found ourselves driving through UConn, being impressed with their huge barns and agri-classes! We stopped in at one of the rest stops once we got onto I-90 in MA, but besides that the ride was a pretty clean straight-shot home, filled with good music and interesting conversation.I finally got home at around 8:30, after dropping everyone off at their respective houses, and crashed nearly immediately; I think it only took until about 9:30 for my head to hit the pillow. I had been eating mini-bagles fairly constantly for the ride home… not to alleviate hunger, but to stave off the pain in my throat. my tonsils had been hurting since I woke up, but by the time we left Wolf Rock the slight discomfort had bloomed into full-on pain; I had to take a few advil just to keep myself sedated enough to fall asleep. But I was asleep, and thus everything was right in the world; tomorrow would bring work, conversations with my boss, and the onset of my seasonal “fuck you, the-common-cold!”, but for now? I was content.
Weekend of the 25th – 27th, MAR11Friday – The heck did I do Friday night?