Monday, June 18, 2012


I went camping with Geoff this weekend.

We were with the Boy Scout Troop and were supposed to participate in an annual Saco River cleanup around Fryeburg Maine, but the water was so high there were no banks to clean up. The water was up in the woods. So with no banks with trash on them, and high dangerous water, there was no point to clean up anything. They canceled the canoeing portion of the trip. Our troop leaders made the decision to still go on the trip, because we would be camping for free (that's part of the exchange for doing the cleanup).

Geoff was incredibly disappointed, he didn't want to go if there wasn't going to be canoeing, but I was slated as one of the drivers, they needed me to go. I told him it would still be fun, it'd be great.. He doubted it...  we fought about it. I told him he had to go because I wasn't going to go by myself on HIS camping trip. Reluctantly he agreed.

We've stayed at this campground before, but this time, because everyone was canceled for the canoeing NO one was there. Except for us. We had the whole place to ourselves. It was fantastic.

We got up there at 9pm, pitched tents, built a fire, and had some fun. The morning came and we went hiking instead of the planned canoe trip.

Our assistant scoutmaster told us it was an "easy" hike. About a mile and a half. Easy. I've been walking a lot, I've lost about 20 pounds. I was feeling really good about myself... until I got to the first incline.

Oh holy shit. I'm not in better shape. I'm still a big fat giant bucket of lard. The boys were halfway up the hill, the "MOUNTAIN!" and I was struggling to get along.

My friend Sheryl walked with me. She could have been a mile ahead but she walked with me. Kept me focused on getting up the hill.

Eventually I made it. And not THAT much further behind the group. I could see them the whole time. A year ago I think I might have died, but ... I made it. It was hard. So hard. But I did it.

The funny thing was I had brought this cross with me. My neighbor Thane had made it in shop class, and left it in my car. When I realized it was there, it made me smile.

I tied it to my backpack and said "I'll take Thane with me." He wasn't on our trip, he would have been but he had a workday at the summer camp where he'll be employed this year.  In walking up the hill, the knot slipped and the cross ended up dangling down the full length on the rope. Luckily it didn't fall off the pack, but ...

It kept swinging, and poking me.

In the butt.

Which made me start laughing on so many levels. It was like God was prodding me on. Poking me. Or Thane was... I was giggling at the concept, and it kept me going. I told Thane when I got home and he thought it was funny too.

There was an old mine at the top of the mountain and the boys had fun sampling rocks and working with two of the scoutmasters on a lot of geology... and throwing rocks at each other. We ate our lunch at a beautiful overlook.

The hike down took less than a half hour. It's fun moving downhill.

One of the scoutmasters has a family summer home nearby on a lake, so we went over there after the hike for swimming and kayaking. I sat in the shade with my sore feet elevated and watched the kids play on the float they assembled for the family and pulled the 50 yards out into the lake. They played King of the Float for over an hour. It was a great time.

And for the boy who didn't WANT to go on the trip because there wouldn't be canoeing... he didn't get into a canoe once and still had a very very good time.

That night, we had a big bonfire and played a game called "mafia" which was a screaming, rousing success. Geoff got to play "storyteller" for most of the stages of the game. He was incredibly funny. Each time, he stood up, put his hands behind his back and opened the tale of how the victim was slain and why. And each one he made up on the spot, and they were incredibly funny.

I slept like I was dead.

All told, it was a great weekend trip. I spent a lot of time with Sheryl and with my friend Jay, new to the troop but not new to me. His son is one of the new Scouts in the troop as of March and it was so fun to hang out with him this weekend. He cracks me up. Here he is pontificating and preaching in the pulpit of Bacon. We had 4 skillets going at once, each one cooking a pound of bacon. Yes we did. And it was good.

I still feel like my legs are going to fall off, but I took a 1.6 mile walk at lunch today and it felt good after about a mile.

Maybe I am getting stronger.

Pictured below, me and my son. Jay almost got him to smile. And I just look like someone beat me up, but ... I did it.


  1. yeah, they had to go somewhere. i need them to see in the camera because i'm blind without them.

    but they are NOT a fashion statement!