Some days, I’m just not productive. My brain isn’t working, I’m distracted, or things just… somehow don’t ever work out right. Monday was one of those days.
But you know what? That’s the whole advantage of being a salaried employee with flex-time – if I can’t seem to get anything done one day… I can always just stay late on a day that I can get things done. And on the day that I can’t get things done, I can go home a bit early.
Today, I chose that option.
Granted, it was only an hour early. But when the sun sets right when I normally leave work, that hour makes all the difference. I escaped, drove home, and immediately tossed my little inflatable dinghy into my pack before stepping out the door.
It was glorious.
Beautiful views, excellent river-sounds, and basically nobody around since it was barely above freezing. I stayed close to the shore, because of the mentioned temperatures, but ended up tying up to a nearby dock and just… floating.
The river rushed by, swollen by the recent rain, and I just stared at the sky, caught up on messages from friends, and read my book until I couldn’t quite feel my hands.
What to do on a Friday night, when I don’t have any plans until Sunday… why not go to the Loj?
Friday through Sunday, 18-Apr-2014 through 20-Apr-14
My favorite part about being on the Loj committee is that I can always escape the city if I want to, and go up to the Loj.
So when I found myself bored on a Friday evening, with no plans to meet people or do anything until Sunday afternoon… well, it doesn’t take long to pack a quick overnight pack, put my tent and sleeping bag in the car, and start out onto 93 Northbound.
First stop on the road to adventure was Chilis, for some delicious baby back ribs. Since it’s passover, burgers were right out… same with Nachos, I’m afraid. unfortunately the chef was a little mistake, and didn’t put any of the delicious into the ribs when I showed up; fortunately, I had Farenheight 451 with me to read, so that distracted me from the fact that the ribs were horridly dry. I think I’m going to start cooking my own ribs, from now on…
(Ed note: look forward to Ben posting a babyback rib recipe soon!)
From there, the highway called. So tunes were cranked up, the top was put down, and I roared off toward Gorham.
The night before I had set up my tent out back, in my usual little spot, and spent a bit of time chatting and catching up with the folks who’d showed up to the Loj. From there, and after a bit of breakfast, I started walking out toward Shelbourne-Moriah…
I’d found a pair of snowshoes near the Loj, evidently just now thawing out from the winter. Nice. Took them along, because I heard rumor that the snowpack was pretty deep up near the top of the trail.
Getting across connor brook was… interesting. The snowmelt had raised the river, so I had to do a bit of dramatic rock-hopping to make it across.
Honestly, the rest of the hike blends itself together. I stopped by the river for an early lunch, and then followed the trail up into the woods as far as I could go. Snowshoes became necessary when I went above the melt-line, but aside from that it was just a standard-issue relaxing hike.
Read some more of Fahrenheit 451; it’s a good book, once you get pack the excessive prose.
Didn’t get all the way up, thanks to losing the trail in the snow, but it was still a quite successful day of walking and relaxing and eating.
headed back to the Loj, arriving with a few hours to spare before sundown, and relaxed around the fire until it got dark, finishing up 451 and moving onto my next book – a Warhammer novel that my step-dad lent me.
Dinner consisted of a variant stir-fry; apples, chicken, onions, pinapple, and some other extras thrown in on top. Quite delicious.
Evening spent relaxing before bed, then heading back to the tent.
Sleep was… difficult. The pad was comfortable enough, but unfortunately I was leaving early in the morning to meet a friend… which meant sleeping early. But I was the only one aiming for that – I’m pretty sure there was some full “ritual of spring” going on at the Loj that evening. Whatever it was, it required large fires, lots of pots and pans, and definitely kept on into the night…
Woke up early, and made myself a nice light breakfast for the road. The goal was to be leaving before 8:30, and I was walking down the trail by 8:35. Not bad.
Took a few things of trash – the advantage to a convertible is that it’s really easy to haul stuff like that, as long as it doesn’t leak. Thankfully, none of them did… but I made sure to put a small blanket down first, just in case.
The drive back to Boston was ideal – relaxing, warm, and sunny. I enjoyed myself immensely.
Once home, relaxing and working in the garden. Crysee was supposed to meet me around 14:00, but unfortunately she got sidetracked meeting up with some friends… which was actually nice, since it gave me some more time to work through the front yard, getting it ready for the coming summer…
I think I remember why I stopped reading, back before high school.
I should clarify that – I never stopped reading, but I stopped reading as voraciously as I had before. In grade school and middle school, I read through literally every Star Wars book that they was. I was waiting for new books to be published, so that I could escape back into that world. In high school, I did keep reading… but at a much slower pace. I did other things with life – I talked to people, played video games, and above all studied… sort of. Mostly homework. That’s incidental.
Finishing up “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” today reminded me of the deep melancholy and sadness that hits when you finish a story. I finished reading in the park, paging past the acknowledgements and shutting off the kindle, and wished that I could return to those characters… to hear more stories about what happened. I wish that it had ended differently (though I know that it had to end the way that it did), and that I could hear more stories about Lettie and the unnamed narrator, and how they traveled the world working magic and protecting us.
But, it just ended. It ended in the way that it needed to – this is a Neil Gaiman book, after all.
I’m still sad though…
I think I’ll read it again. Maybe re-read American Gods.