Weekend of the 29APR11 - 01MAY11 Pre-story to the weekend: All through the week I had been planning out a big trip to Rumney for the weekend. The idea started with my friend Aaron St. Pierre, when he invited Kittie and I to come out to Rumney with him and his buddy. I posted on the NUHOC baords (to be polite), and brought Dave and Rebecca and Daniel into the trip as well, thinking to re-create the amazing trip from two years back with Mags, Daniel, Dave, and Zack. That was not to be, however, since immediately after posting on the boards, Daniel decided that this was his trip, and that he'd be planning everything out. Turns out Him and Stef were already planning on going and camping out, but weren't going to bring anyone else along, but he thought he may as well take the reigns, since he'd be there anyways. Friday - Today was packing, prepping for the weekend, making last minute phone calls and deciding where to meet up tomorrow morning. After I finally got everything packed up, I headed over to Rebecca's place to make a quick showing at her goodbye party before heading out to pick Kittie up from her work. Rebecca's party was pretty cool, with lots of neat food (upside to having nerdy friends I guess... they all make sure to bring food so they don't look bad) and some fairly cool folks. Most of my conversation was with Daniel though, planning out where and when to go, and what people would be doing. The baseline of the conversation turned into "Well... I was going to lead the trip and take eveyone out. But you decided to take over, so... now its up to you man. I'm going to go do my own thing and have fun, and you get to teach all the newbies how to tie in". I almost felt bad for leaving him with all of the new kids, but... only almost. The night got significantly more interesting when I tried to meet Kittie. Turns out I must have done something to piss her off royally (To this day I still don't know what it was... we had a quick conversation about how I couldn't pick up a flea collar for her cat, but thats is), so she wouldn't pick up her phone or reply to text messages. I did see her biking away from the theater, but she didn't reply when I yelled out, and I couldn't spin a quick U-turn thanks to an accident that happened ahead of me. So instead of helping Kittie pack and crashing at her place, I headed home, listened to a bit of music while sipping a glass of scotch, and hit the sack early. Saturday - I woke up at 5:30 to Dave's text message, telling me that he had comandeered a spare Harness, just in case I didn't have one for him already. I'd already packed a spare for him, but the text was pretty key in motivating me to actually move myself out of bed and onto the path towards Rumney. I texted Kittie quick, "to make sure she was ok", although in my heart I knew what she's be replying. I was proven right by her text, as shown below: "Alive. Pissed as hell at you. Not dealing with it anymore. Not coming. Not talking to you." I replied with a quick "huh, why? Sorry, I'm a bit confused...." text, but never heard back from her. I was pretty sad about it, but had been expecting it since the night before, so had enough time to cosole myself against her message. Only later did I realize what it meant... SHE HAD MY SPARE ATC! DAMNATION! I met Dave at his place around 6:45, and we started out onto I-93 towards climbing. Grabbed a quick breakfast and re-fuel in Manchester, and busted into the parking lot by 8:50 or so. We chilled around for about 20min, relaxing and playing with the small football I had won at Dave & Busters a few months back. Once Aaron and Liam arrived, we finished packing our gear up and headed to Jimmy Cliff for our climbs. The day was an amazing success, with TONS of climbs being knocked out by Dave and I working as a pretty damn solid team; though the Peanut Butter & Jelly & Cheese on a Tortilla wrap definitely didn't hurt the situations :) Climbs busted out:
- Clip-a-dee doo-dah – Sport, 2 pitches
- Pine Tree – Trad, 2 pitches
- Some really cool Sport 5.6 with a sick roof
- Pee-Wee’s adventure – Trad, really awesome placements
- Scalliwag – Sport, really fun Chimney Climb
- “Commodore Von Huttenstein” – Sport, route on the face to the left of Scalliwag. NEW ROUTE!!!
By the time we had finished cleaning up Commodore Von Huttenstein, Dave and I were exhausted, so we headed back towards the parking lot, to meet up with Aaron and Liam, and Daniel and his crew. Before heading out to Pawtuckaway to camp, Dave and I shot the shit with everyone for a bit; saying goodbye to Aaron and Liam and grabbing a quick slice of pizza with Daniel and Co. We all swapped stories about the climbs we had done, and had some very entertainingly heated discussions about things that I have absolutely no recollection of, but were clearly very important at the time. After a quick game of semi-tackle football in the parking lot, Dave and I headed onto the road again, to hunt for a campground. On the road to Pawtuckaway we grabbed a burger at Tilton Diner, and then pressed on to find the campground at Pawtuckaway. After one or two wrong turns and some bad directions where the GPS tried to bring us to the middle of Pawtuckaway instead of the campground, we finally arrived and set up camp. Dave gathered a ton of loose firewood for us to burn while I set up the tent for him and the hammock for myself, and then we set about making the biggest fuck-all fire that we could :) After drinking a few beers, smoking some shitty cigars, and burning some of Daves "researching conciousness" (AKA "hippy 'one with the universe' bullshit combined with 'Eve was so much better than Adam' crap") textbooks, we proceeded to chill out around the fire for an hour or so, just watching the logs burn up and the embers slowly die down. After the last few flames were out, we doused the remainder of the fire around 01:30 or 02:00, and crashed like only someone who'd been climbing all day could do. Sunday - I woke up to the sounds of a speed-boat tearing across the lake that we were camped by, and shot awake scared that it was the park rangers coming to fine us for camping out. See... while the gate to the park had been left open, there WAS a large sign stating that the campgrounds weren't open, and wouldn't be until the middle of May. Not something to stop me, but something to keep me slightly worried and paranoid. The boat turned out to be some fishermen, but the damage was already done and I was awake, ready to start the day out right (right meaning "in the afternoon", since it was already noon) Dave and I ate a quick breakfast, explored the area a bit, then went about breaking down the camp and packing everything back into my car. Once camp was cleared and everything put away we headed back onto the open road, with two goals in mind: getting lunch somewhere in Manchester, and going shooting at a range that Rich and I had shot at before. The range came first, so Dave and I parked and headed inside to pick out a gun, buy some ammo, and put a few holes in some targets. We had already decided on renting the SCAR-19, a new rifle designed by Bushmaster to be the new main rifle for the military, replacing the old-school M-16. The only real SCAR-19's that the range had were already rented, unfortunately, so we picked out a Bushmaster ACR with a holographic sight instead; pretty much the same gun, but designed for civilian use. With two boxes of 50 rounds each in hand, we donned our eye and ear protection and headed into the range. I've said that my favorite gun to-date is the old Chinese SKS that my Dad owns... but thats changed now. The ACR is an amazing firearm, with medium recoil and a really good layout for the safety, slide-release, and magazine lock. Dave and I went through the 100 rounds in fairly short order, using magazines of 10 rounds each and swapping out targets about halfway through. Dave was obviously a significantly better shot than I was, but I still did pretty well for myself; we decided to shoot at 60 yards for most of the sets, and at no point did I have a spread larger than about a foot... not bad for a untrained shooter from a standing position. After firing off all 100 rounds, Dave and I headed back out front to trade the gun in. See... we had been debating what to shoot, and I remembered something from the website about "historical machine guns"... AKA A Thomson SMG. Thats right, we wen't full auto on that bitch. We only bought one box at first, but when all 50 rounds were used up in "Automatic-weapons training", I decided that this was a special enough occasion that I wanted two more boxes. See, the gun's magazine took 25 rounds of .45 pistol ammo, and a single magazine goes QUICK when your on full auto. As in... 15s or less... Dave and I legitimately took more time reloading the magazine than we did shooting the gun. It was AMAZING though, working to control a gun firing like that was a real experiance, and gave me a huge amount of respect for the guys back in WWII who were shooting those every day. After shooting we cleaned ourselves up, checked out, and headed into town to grab some lunch. My target sandwich shop was closed, so we headed to a little irish pub I'd heard about while working at DEKA. We had some quick burgers, but before we left we started checking out these "beer olympics" that were going on in the back room. Turns out we arrived just as the games were starting; Beer Pong, quarters, flip-cup, 1-mile beer run, the works. Dave, of course, needed to do the beer run... so we signed him up and he started warming up for the run. The goal was to drink a full beer and run a full mile (on a treadmill) as quick as possible. Dave decided to up the ante by doing the run barefoot, and so started out sipping and walking, running and chugging. He did the run in a bad time for him, but a nearly unbeatable time for all the semi- drunk "large" dudes competing in the competition; 8min 24sec. Victorious, Dave and I headed back out to the car, and started on the road back to Boston. After a quick U-turn to pick up Daves wallet that he left on the treadmill, we were on I-93S, getting back to Boston in pretty short order. I dropped Dave off at his place, and headed back to mine to unpack and decompress, a great weekend and a camera full of memories at my back.