Weekend of 25JUN11 Friday - I didn't actually rush to get out from work today, since I was meeting some friends at Copley Square at 5:30 or 6:00. Since this was the last friday of the month, we were riding with the Critical Mass out of Copley Square, getting in cars faces and generally taking the streets back from the cars. Yeah, I know drivers hate Critical Mass, but know what? I nearly get smacked off my bike weekly. You can survive one night a month of us taking the streets back. The ride was really fun, where we went through Chinatown, around to Harvard, and back through Allston. I met a few really cool folks, ran into people I hadn't seen in ages, and had an amazing time rocking out on my bike and getting in peoples way. It was a really nice little ego boost too, since biking to and from work every day has really boosted my cycling endurance pretty nicely. I think I'm going to bike home next weekend, after this ride. After the mass swung through Allston I broke off and headed home. I made some quick dinner and finished packing, picked up Allison at her dorm, and we hit the road to Pawtuckaway to do some camping. Quick note: the corn-dogs you can get at gas station convenience stores? Horrible, but SO GOOD! We arrived and, after a bit of cruising around looking for the perfect tent site, set up camp. Unfortunately none of the lake-side sites were open, but the site we picked was nicely secluded and had a very nice little firepit waiting for a warm blaze. After camp was set up we tried lighting a fire, but the previous few days rain and mist had left everything drenched, so there was no real good tinder to get anything started. We heated up some snacks beside the tent instead, and just seconds after we crawled inside the sky opened up into a massive lightening storm. We zipped our sleeping bags together, and dozed off while hearing the sounds of the rain on the tent, and seeing the flashes from the lightening illuminating the inside of the tent. Saturday - After being kept awake for a bit too long by the lightening and other distractions, Allison and I slept in on Saturday. Relatively slept in I'll admit, since we were at a campsite; we were up and had finished a breakfast of eggs by 10:00. After we cleaned up from eating we headed into town, aiming to pick up some food for ourselves, and my friend who were slated to arrive around 5:00. On the way we stopped in and paid for our campsite, and chatted with the folks running the camp-store for a few minutes. Pro-tip; If you're a single guy camping with friends in Pawtuckaway, go to the camp store. There were four very good looking ladies running the store when I got in, and they all were pretty bored, and it would be easy to convince them to come hang out after their shift was up. Anyways. After picking up some parts for dinner, Allison and I headed to the back enterance of the park to check out the climbing area. It had rained the night before, but I was optimistic that the solid granite of the park would dry quickly enough for us to get a route or two in. When we arrived at the boulder field I realized that I was being a bit optimistic on the dry-ness; the rocks were all coated in a thin film of water, effectively removing any and all traces of grit that the rock had. Smearing was out for the day, but we were able to play around a bit on some of the more over-hanging routes. Seeing that the bouldering area was pretty much a dud, especially for a new climber like Allison, we headed onwards deeper in to the park, looking for the main wall. On the way we ran into some climbers rocking out at an overhanging boulder, something much too hard for Allison and I to do, but still definitely a fun problem. We chatted for a bit, and then Allison and I pressed on towards the main wall. When we found it, the wall was covered in the same film of water that the rest of the boulders were covered in. But these climbs were much easier, with legit holds instead of smears and friction moves... so we set up a top rope and got ready for Allison's first foray into climbing. After the rope was set I showed Allison how to rapell, and then sent her down the rock for her first rapell. She did impressively well for her first time climbing (ourdoors or indoors), and was able to go off the cliff edge on the first try, though there was a good bit of concerned looks and light wimpering going on throughout the "step off the edge" portion. After we both were on the ground we did a few quick routes; they took a bit longer than usual due to the water on the rock, but we were able to get in two good climbs apiece before it got late enough for us to head back to camp in order to meet T and Maureen when they arrived. But on the hike back, I learned that we could have stayed longer; their car had "died" (likely that they just didn't want to come, or had gotten a very late start, and didn't want to admit it) and so they were bailing out on the trip. Annoying, to say the least. All the drinks and extra snacks that we had bought would stay as extras, and the cool ghost stories I had thought up just wouldn't be as cool with only one other person around the fire. On the upside though, it meant that we could fool around a good bit more than we would have otherwise. So Allison and I arrived back at camp, and started up the fire pretty much immediatly, thanks to a bottle of lighter fluid that we had bought at the store. Yep... liquid explosives definitely helped dry the leaves off and get the fire roaring, although the main logs were still quite damp. We had some pre-dried wood with us, and ended up getting a whole other set of wood from a park ranger who came by and hung out with us for a bit... definitely a cool guy, though he did stay a bit longer than is comfortably normal, and was starting to edge into the "sketchy" category. Was all cool though, because he hooked us up with tons of extra firewood. I built a huge fort around the fire in order to dry the logs out, and by the time night had fallen the fire was a beast, roaring up nearly four feet or so. We cooked an amazing dinner of Chicken Fajitas with rice, peppers, cheese and salsa, drank beer and other booze, made S'mores, and had an amazing time. I had bought some packets of metal shavings that, when tossed on the fire, makes the fire glow really cool colors, so that kept us entertained for a good while between S'mores and other desserts that we had brought. After we had eaten and drank our fill, we sat around the fire relaxing for a few hours, just staring into the flames and cuddling up in the warmth. After a while we let the fire die down, did some basic cleaning, and headed to bed. Sunday - We woke up late for camping, and started up on breakfast around nine or ten. I cooked up Bacon and Eggs, with the remainder of the chicken from the fajitas, while Allison puttered around camp doing some basic cleaning and preparitory packing. We chowed down pretty quickly, though for some reason we didn't think to make breakfast burritos... I only think of that idea as I'm writing this, and I'm smacking my head for not thinking of it then. After breakfast we debated whether to head to the shooting range, or directly home... finally deciding on heading home so that Allison could get a head start on studying for her finals. Packing took us 'till around 10:30 or so, and we were on the road by 11:00, after picking up a few extra packets of the metal shavings that make the fire glow cool colors from the camp store. The ride home was uneventful, filled with music and relaxing, and Allison taking short naps when the road got boring. I dropped her off at her dorm by 12:30 (damn traffic), and was home and starting to unpack by 1:00. The rest of the day was pretty chill, full of video games, internetting, and finishing off leftovers for dinner before heading to bed merginally on time.