Weekend of 28MAY11 - ACADIA!!! Friday - ACADIA!!! My brain was shouting it out all day long at work, tearing my focus away from projects and plans and training, and locking my attention solely on leaving early to get an early start on the drive up to Acadia in Maine. I finally left work around 13:30, rushed home, packed the car up, and booked it out of town. I instantly hit massive traffic when trying to get onto Storrough, so I rocked all my back-roads knowlege to get myself around the worst of the traffic (even running into Erin McGuiness again), until I was battering my way through I-93, busting out onto I-95, and finally making into Maine. The Maine portion of the drive was long and slow, though I did get a nice break where I stopped in to visit a friend of mine on the road up. We hung out and played around in the woods, desecrating some poor kids deep-woods campsite and generally acting like horny highschoolers. After I got back onto the road I lapsed into my driving coma of listening to music and staring into the distance, and before I knew it I had passed over the bridge onto Acadian soil. After I arrived I walked around for a bit, waiting for Daniel and his car to finally arrive from Nemo's (a BBQ pit nearby) for us to set up camp. Once everyone was accounted for and camp was set up, we relaxed for a bit, and then I started fire-hopping. I had hoped to start my own fire on Friday, but since I was the only one interested in starting it up We canceled that plan and I wandered around saying hi to everyone instead. I finally settled down at an old friend of mines campfire (Him and 8 or so others I hadn't met before) where I heated up a can of Chef Boyardee as a late dinner. We talked and relaxed while I finished my dinner, passing around a bottle of Mead and catching up with everyone. It had been months since I had seen most of these folks, so it was a really great chance to reconnect and remember old times, catch up on the present, and plan out some new trips for the future. When I did finally decide to sleep, I jumped in my hammock (I actually set up both my tent and my hammock, in case I needed a place to change) and was lulled to sleep by the sounds of fires crackling and acoustic guitars playing their notes, trying to impress the cute new girls. Summary: Leave work early Traffic = hell Arrive, chill for a bit Daniel and Co. arrive - set up tent city - chill No fire, so go fire-hopping and eat Chef Sleep Saturday - I tore myself from my sleeping bag on Saturday after hearing someone mentioning that the Bagles were almost gone. Hell no I wasn't going to loose out on Bagles! I had been awake for an hour or two at that point, just dazing off and relaxing. After I had fully mobilized myself and gotten blood flowing again, I made myself a quick bagel with creamcheese, stacked up a PB&J&Cheese sandwich with trail mix, and headed out to find myself a trip. Climbers were nowhere to be found this year, and Daniel seemed pretty dead-set on not leaving anytime soon, and definitely not climbing, so I started hunting around for an interesting hike to join in on. I ended up with Aaron, an old friend of mine best known for his amazing chiropracty, epic height (he's 6'9"), and overflowing personality. We searched for some others to join us, found a few cool people, and headed out. Another group was planning on meeting us on the trail, so I gave the girls my phone number so they could hunt us down, and then we headed out. Our hike was Flying Mountain, over Acadia Mountain, and continuing around a long loop until we found ourselves back at the car. We met up with the girls at a beach where we were hunting for crabs and skipping stones, then continued on bagging peaks. We couldn't hit Acadia Mountain since it was full of Falcon nests, but the rest of the hike was quite pleasurable and relaxing; nothing too strenuous, but enough of a challenge that I was glad to be doing it. After the hike we headed into Bar Harbor for a quick Brewery Tour, where we got more of a "taste-tour" and less of a "physical-tour". Not complaining though, because the beer there was amazing, and they even made us a mix-beer for some extra fun (Black and Blue; a stout and a blueberry ale. Amazing). After the beer tour, we took a quick wine tour, and then headed out perfectly buzzed hoping to rent ourselves some bikes and hit the carriage roads quick. Unfortunately by the time we got there they were only an hour and a half from closing, so we headed back to camp instead. While we were waiting for dinner to be ready and for the sky to darken enough for the fires to be set, I got a nice big group together for some old-fashioned Acadian fun; Beach Volleyball. We weren't technically on a beach , but the campground had a huge sandpit with a volleyball net set up, and that was more than enough for us to have some fun. One of the Alumni, Melinda, pulled out her old volleyball, we racked up teams, and started in. My team carried the first game, with 8 aces going to be on a single serve rotation (of course, I missed almost every other serve after that. Damnit.) From there the teams started to get a bit more fair, and we continued having an amazing time. The game was brought to a painful halt though, when Melinda collapsed with a scream. In jumping for a spike, she had landed badly, and re-dislocated her already damaged knee. About a year ago she had surgery to bring her knee back into alignment, but I guess it didn't fully take, because before you knew it I was lending her my tent to change her pants (so we had better access to her knee), and strapping an icepack onto the kneecap. A guy named Dennis and I helped her around camp for a bit, while the others finished out the game, and it was honestly a rather fun time, acting as a palantine bearer for once :D About the same time that Melinda was tucked away into her chair by the fire, the "dinner yell" went out, and Mike finally arrived right on time for food. We all lined up for burgers, dogs, mac & cheese, and all sorts of awesome food, started up the fire. As we chowed down on dinner, we started into the other Acadian Tradition; drinking way too much. I had brought a full bottle of Mead, which was started around the fire for everyone to share. See, everyone brings Rum or Vodka or something, but only a few people think to bring Mead to a camping trip. I am one of those guys, and before too long I was traveling between campfires, sharing the honey-liquor with everyone. We spent a lot of time at the Alumni fire, hanging out, listening to music, and playing random games of flipcup. At one point Daniel and I cut a hole in a Watermelon, shoved a bottle of Vodka into it, and let it sit for an hour or two. The end goal was a watermelon with enough booze in it to knock out a horse, but it turned out that there was way too much water already in the melon for the vodka to properly absorb, so it just came out minorly alcoholic. This did nothing to deminish our fun though, and the fun went on long into the night. I did finally crash a bit after midnight though, the world spinning in my hammock. I headed out to the bathroom once, realized I just wanted to sleep, and then walked right back to my hammock. Which, upon arriving, I realized was VERY spinny, at which point I made a beeline back to the bathrooms to void my stomach of its poisonous contents. After puking for a bit I felt much better, and went back to my hammock a much happier (and soon to be much more asleep) man. Summary: Wake up, try to find climbing, none Chill for a bit, have breakfast and make lunch Meet up with Aaron, have 3 groups join + bail Go hiking, meet with Lisa and co. on the trail Fun hike Bar Harbor - Chinese place, awesome drink, share lunch w/Sam, fun with Lisa Brewery, fun, chilling around try to go biking, denial, head back to camp Volleyball - Melinda hurting herself, us carrying her around Chilling, dinner, fun Drinking time! Alumni camp, lots of fun Midnight celebration, bucket, nope, not happening drunk and sleeping Sunday - I woke up at around 6:20 on Sunday when my phone alarm went off in my pocket. Damn. I had forgotten to shut that off. Ohh well, back to sleep. And back to insane dreams, more single images, burned into my mind for a second before fading. First; Lisa was walking up to my tent and I vividly remember EXACTLY what she was wearing, but thats all I could understand. Next; I look out of the hammock to see Lobster traps covering the campsite. And this progression of strange images continued on, until I finally forced myself to ignore my headache and get out of Bed. Breakfast was another portion of Bagles with Cream cheese, during which I planned the day out with Daniel, Mike, Lisa, and everyone else. We were to meet in Bar Harbor, pick up the bikes, and then kick it around the Carriage roads for the day. I didn't pack a lunch, instead trusting in my handy JetBoil to heat up another portion of the all-awesome Chef Boyardee. After significantly too much time spent dicking around, we finally left the campsite around 11:00, and tore over to Bar Harbor. In Bar Harbor we checked into the bike place, but held off on actually renting the bikes until we could get a quick bite to eat and a few coffee's for Mike and Lisa. I grabbed a large smoothie to hold back the Hunger, Mike grabbed a sandwich wrap for lunch, and then we headed back to the bike shop to pick out our rides for the day. We strapped on helmets, mounted up, and headed out into the streets of Bar Harbor. The ride up to the carriage roads was windy, steep, and on a highway. In other words, perfectly fun and a great little warm up for rocking out around the carriage roads all day. I did get a nice little ego boost from having to stay slow for Mike and Lisa, but I really shouldn't feel too proud of myself, since I do happen to bike literally every day. We walked the bikes a little bit, rode a bit more, and finally arrived at the shore of Eagle Lake, where the carriage roads started. Once on the carriage roads we made pretty good time, although the paths were significantly steeper than we were lead to believe. We took it at a fun pace, not rushing anything but not slacking off too hard either. We rode and played around for a while, taking some time to take pictures, relax, and take some video's of us power-sliding through turns and pulling 180s every so often. We picked out a spot by Witch Hole pond to have lunch, which turned out to be an amazing decision, and a horrible decision. See, Witch Hole was really pretty, but it was also infested with little bugs. We had some hefty bugspray on already, but that was only keeping them from biting, not stopping them from flying into our eyes and being general annoying pests. So I quickly ate my Chef, Mike devoured his wrap, and Lisa chowed down on her... sandwich, I think, and then we headed out before we were eaten alive. The goal was Bar Harbor; since we had finished a pretty big loop and it was nearing 16:00, we wanted to get back in time to get the half-day rate on the bikes, instead of paying the full day price. We got to the bike shop with 15min to spare, returned the gear, and headed into town to hunt ourselves down some Clam Chowder. We spent a good hour relaxing in town, napping on the town green and eating our chowder like it was the first meal we'd had in years. We saw a good number of NUHOCers while relaxing, most of which were hunting down ice cream, coming back from kayaking, or just relaxing like us. We debated getting some lobster icecream, but in the end decided against it, in favor of heading back to camp. Back at Bass Harbor we started up a new game of volleyball, one that Mike Lisa and I clearly dominated the whole time. Sort of. Not so much. At one point we had to pause the game so we could rescue a frisbee that had gotten stuck in a tree... we tried throwing the volleyball at it, climbing the tree, nothing worked. Nothing, until Mr. William Austin (the guy running the weekend) showed up with dark sunglasses and a huge fuck-all stick that he used to literally reach up and grab the frisbee. Yeah... Will wins. Mike Lisa and I then headed back to her camp to grab something to drink, and ended up having Box Wine in an old washed-out beer bottle, since we couldn't find any actual glasses. Recycling, we do it. After another few extremely solid games of Volleyball, Mike and I were shanghai'd into helping gather firewood for the evenings bonfire. Mike and I hunted down a felled tree, chopped it into a few movable pieces, and with some help hauled it all back to camp just in time to start eating. Brian hooked me up with a few extra burgers, since they "looked bad" and he didn't want to serve people "ugly burgers". No complaints from me, I ended up getting three or four extras thanks to their horrible looks. After dinner the fire was starting to go, but it was rough going thanks to wet wood, and Sam having lit the fire a bit too early, before we were actually able to build it up enough. Since no one else was stepping up to help out, I ended up taking over fire-lord duties, getting people to fan certain areas, poking parts that required poking, and generally just strategically placing every piece of wood I could find onto the fire. Literally, everything we could find. I don't think a single campsite had a piece of Bark left over by the time we were done. I took a quick break from fire-duties to walk out to the lighthouse with Lisa, where we just hung out, relaxed, and discussed life and NUHOC... Its a really interesting group when you get to know the inner workings, and I'm always amazed to learn more about some of the side-groups that hang out with the club. The dynamics are somehow always changing, and yet still in the same paths that they've always been... Its amazing, and I'm really surprised more Anthropologists haven't come to study us :P After we got back evertyone had settled down to a perfect chilling harmony, with couples paired up around the fire, people chatting about the days adventures, and bottles of drink being passed around between everyone. I added my mead and Blackberry Brandy to the circle, and sat down to watch the fire for a bit. We had a few interesting incidents with drunk people, including one girl alternating between hitting on me, flirting with her boyfriend, trying to convince him and I that we should have a threesome, and feeling Daniels face while Stef repeatedly introduced herself as Daniels Girlfriend. The best drunk situation was, of course, the trashed couples who forgot where they were, started making out, fell over, and just continued rolling around beside the fire. Luckily a few E-Boarders showed up and helped us move them away from the fire, so we didn't have any roast-NUHOCers that evening. My night was winding down at this point; I had left off control of the fire since it was burning quite cheerily on its own, and was cuddled up with Daniels older sister Katie. See... Katie and I cuddle up every year at Acadia, and then never talk again. Its sort of a tradition of cock-teasing, but one that I'm willing to roll with since its nice to have someone that I know I can rely on for wamth and light backrubs :) I promised her a poem about our o ne-night-life, and it can be found later on in the post. As the fire died down Peter and I decided we needed it to go out with a BANG instead of a little fizzle, and so we broke out the bacon grease. Pete got two amazing fireballs, but I unfortunately only had the dregs to work with, so mine was a much smaller burn. Still really fun for my first time lighting grease-fires though, hehe. After the Fireballs people started turning in, and so I headed out to make sure Mike was doing ok, since I hadn't seen him in a while. I found Mike rocking over my the Alumni fire, completely trashed and yet somehow still rocking out with some of the best Zepplin riffs that I've heard him play... I guess booze really does help creativity. I left him to go walk around a little more, but re-met him outside his tent where he was helping some of the other folks deal with the remains of the drunk couple... the guy had finally woken up and was making his way back to his own tent, but the girl was completely gone and unable to even wake up, much less get herself back. So Mike offered up his tent and sleeping bag, and he borrowed a spare bag that I had brought along. It started raining a few minutes after all of us found our ways back into our tents, a storm worse than any I'd been out in from recent memory. Brian and I had an impromptu Kareoke party (he had a LOT more to drink that I had thought), and then everyone crashed for the evening, finally succuming to sleep with the painful knowlege that the weekend would be over the next day. The last line of the day? Brian - "Ben, make Katie stop being Patronizing! She's Patronizing me!" An Ode to my Acadia snuggle-buddy: My Acadian cuddle-buddy We sit together Curled beside the fire Embraced againt the cold night I'll miss this night Until next year Summary: Wake up mostly hungover relax, some bacon for breakfast don't make lunch, just grab Mike and Lisa and go biking bike all around, wow, I'm more in-shape than I thought, arrive chill biking, lunch of Chef and fun, fork problems, yeah. Awesome skidding, shredding the trail, fun times. head back to Bar Harbor, get Chowder, nap on the lawn think about beehive, but denial. back at camp, relax, get a volleyball game started once we get the frisbee down from the tree VOLLEYBALL!!! Boxed wine in a beer glass chilling, burgers, brian hooking me up, start of the fire I take over the fire, we burn that shit to the ground, good times Going to the Lighthouse with Lisa Allie being drunk, with Dennis, with Daniel, with Stef first drunk couple second drunk couple Mike rockin the Alumni fire relaxing around the bonfire with Katie <-- mmmm... cuddles... put poem here starting to die down, bacon fireballs Drunk couple #1 breaking apart Mike being honorable and drunk, the rain falls, sleep, Brian singing, Katie being patronizing Monday - Monday started out as all Mondays do... unwillingly. I slept in almost an hour after I started heading peoples voices milling around, eating and packing up. I wasn't the worst off though... Poor Mike and Brian were both crashed out, only giving painful moans in responce to any enquiry. They had a bit to drink the night before it turns out. I had to spend a bit of time Protecting Brian from Stef, since she decided the best remedy for his pain was to run around outside his tent screeching "Good Morning!" and kicking his sleeping bag... I'm still surprised that Daniel didn't intervene with it. I comandeered a quick breakfast of Bacon and Eggs from the grill, and very slowly started in on packing up my gear. I gave a few quick tours of my Hammock to some curious newcomers, and had pretty much everything packed up and ready to go before 10:00... but the last few parts were what took the longest. I helped Sam and Mike out with packing their gear, and Mike was actually able to get on the road by 11:00 or so, heading back to Boston to get a few quick hours of work done at Lincoln. The rest of us relaxed and delayed leaving; going down to the lighthouse for a quick sit on the rocks, helping NUHOC pack up and pull in the trash, and generally being lazy little bastards. When we did finally get rolling, I followed Daniel and Co. over to the nearest Friendlies, where we had some quick food, and compared pictures from the weekend. And mocked Stef for her vegan-induced inability to eat at Friendlies. Hehe. We Split up again on the way home, since they were going to make a few stops on the way, and I pushed my way through Maine and New Hampshire towards Boston. A few roadblocking accidents, traffic jams, NUHOC vans, and general tomfooleration later I finally got back to Boston. Unpacking took me almost an hour, what with having to go through all my gear, pull my clothes apart (wet clothes = stuck clothes), and reorganize all the gear I hadn't used. Since I was in my room though, I had access to an air conditioner, music, and lots of fun things to drink... so it was a quite fitting end to a quick excellent weekend. Summary: Wake up slowly Mike's dead, Brian's dead, hehe... fun times quick breakfast of eggs and bacon very slow morning pack everything up, help Sam pack go to lighthouse, pictures of water finish packing Friendlies! drive home its over!