Weekend of 25JUN11

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 

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.

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