Sunday, 07 OCT 12
After a long night of tending the fire and keeping people from “expanding” the fire to other people, I wasn’t going to wake up early. At least I wasn’t planning on it.
But I did… sort of.
9:00 hit, and it hit with the cry of “Hey! LCs! We need drivers! WAKE UP!”
And so, I rolled out of my tent, packed up my gear and a quick lunch, and went about the process of figuring out where I was needed most. The upside of the chaos of NewComers is that it’s not at all difficult to find a trip that could use an extra driver, so within a few minutes I had linked up with a trip heading out to the summit of Mt. Willard.
Mt Willard, for those who don’t know, is one of those hikes that almost feels like you’re cheating – it’s short, not too strenuous, but has one of the best views in all of the white mountains. Seriously, You’ve been walking for barely over an hour, not really gaining any elevation, and then suddenly: Ideal view of the white mountains. A complete 200 degree view, with Mt Washington rising out from a cloud bank and anchoring the left flank.
Since the hike was such a short one, even with the amazing view and a long lunch at the summit, we found ourselves done with the hike and back at the cars quite early. With the rest of a perfect fall day in New England ahead of us, there was really only one thing for us to do.
So… we did. The upside of being near Maine is that there are tons of little family farms that do the whole “pick your own apples” deal, so we just picked one close to the Loj and wandered around pulling random apples off the gnarled trees lining the lane. Thing I hadn’t known about New England apples – there are dozens, if not hundreds or thousands, of different types of Apple Trees. And each one is just different enough that the orchard had a whole list of information about each different type of tree – how to tell the difference, what the apples were good for, and when in the season to pick them.
When we finally made it back to the Loj we arrived ladened with bags upon bags of apples – I left most of mine in the car, since I was going to head home later in the evening, but the rest of the folks on our trip made a beeline for the kitchen to start transforming the apples into apple crisp.
As they worked on finishing up dessert and starting in on dinner (yeah, we have our priorities straight. What of it?) I made my way around the Loj, saying my initial goodbyes to the people I probably wouldn’t be seeing again before I headed out for the evening.
The dangers of saying early goodbyes is that… they’re never just a goodbye. They turn into discussions and stories, long conversations and heart-to-heart talks. I ended up staying at the Loj until nearly nine at night, just chatting with people and talking about the trips we’d been on and where we wanted to go for our next adventures.
A good way to end a great weekend – discussing not only the fun times in the past, but how awesome the future is going to be.