Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The saga continues

I think I forgot to mention that Chris has to teach a lesson on principle three, Disposing of Waste Properly. Everyone likes this lesson, because it's about how ARFE poops in the woods and whether or not anyone notices. The thing is, the Crew Minion has already pooped in the woods, and she's discovered that the lovely hobble-bush, which grows at low elevation in New Hampshire, is terrific as nature's TP. Props to Chris and Christian both for passing on the knowledge!

Hobble Bush leaves. So soft! So fluffy! Comes only in single-ply, regrettably.
...Chris and Pamela sleep outside and wake up with zero bug bites whatsoever. By contrast, the Crew Minion wakes up feeling sore and sticky, although not from any mere bugs: she's slept with a rock and a tree stump under her calves, and Kathy and Amber are equally maimed, from having slept on a slope that has them sliding towards the foot of the tent every four minutes. Oh well, we say, all in the sake of Leaving No Trace shall we suffer.
Chris shares some more insight on digging a hole to poop in. He also demonstrated some lovely, ur, stances for pooping: the Orangutan hang, the Warrior Two, the...oh, never mind. We're sorry we didn't get pictures. No points to Jim for leaving the camera back at camp while Chris was showing us how he drops the kids off at the pool.

Brekkie was oatmeal and coffee. Huge props to Amber for bringing along her French Press!
We packed up (Crew Minion's stuff was strewn everywhere) and moved on to our next campsite, a whopping 2.7 miles away. Christian, Jim, Jeff, and Kathy moved on to the actual campsite, which was going to be a challenge: Christian had made it our jobs to find a suitable "pristine" camp area, one that had never been used before.
When we got there, the master's crew was gone looking for the site, and we encountered a lovely family and their dog, which reminded us of both Principles six (Respect Wildlife) and seven (Be Considerate of Other Visitors). More on that later.
We settled at the camp site and quickly decided that a day at Christian's favorite swimming hole was in order. Chris brings along his 700-page Poker Bible to peruse as he sunbathes. The rest of us take a REALLY QUICK DIP in 50-degree water and emerge feeling reborn.
Christian teaches us a very important Inuit word: Nuan'aar'puq. It means "to take extravagant pleasure in living." The Crew Minion thinks she is feeling a little bit like that, as she absently scratches at a black fly chew-site and Takes Extravagant Pleasure in It.

Jim goes in for a dip and comes right back out again. Brrr!
Chris and Crew Queen go for a run.
Jim and Crew Minion drag back to camp; Yi Shun is contemplating the emerging blister on her left big toe from ill-fitting Tevas. She contemplates further the purchase of Chacos when she returns to Plymouth and Takes Extravagant Pleasure in That.
Together again, Amber points out an Indian cucumber plant. She shows Yi Shun how to dig it up, which proves to be an enormous mistake, because Yi Shun eats one teeny little root and decides she wants a whole salad of them. Amber immediately reminds Yi Shun of Principle Number four, Leave What You Find. Yi Shun feels sheepish but then quickly recovers.

Mmmmm. Indian cucmber.
Crew Queen takes us through the rest of the lesson, pointing out that there is a fine line these days between artifact and Stuff That Just Doesn't Belong. She cleverly hides some pretty glass bottles, an ancient beer can, and some other things and challenges us to discern which are garbage and which are artifacts. The whole crew decides that it's all garbage and needs to go.
There is a curious pair of New Balance sneakers that look relatively new. They are paired together and the team wonders if we should look for a body to go with them.
Yi Shun abandons the idea in search of more cucumbers. She is quickly curbed by the voice in her head reminding her once again of Principle Four: Leave What You Find, Leeeave What Yoooou Finnnnd, Leeeeeave...
Back at camp, we discover a little abandoned mouse's nest. We all want to take it home, but we hear again: Leeeeave What Yoooou Finnnnd.....We step around the mousie nest, even though it's REALLY REALLY CUTE!

Mousie nest. Insert squealing noise here.

Later that night: Curious sound of cards shuffling. Chris has morphed into some sort of gambling enabler and has taken Crew Queen under his wing to produce more of his poker-playing ilk. More on this later.

This is an ominous vision of things to come.
As part of Kathy's lesson on respecting wildlife, Christian teaches us about Bear Hangs. He employs a pretty impressive pulley situation that the Crew Minion hopes someoone wrote down somewhere.

Christian, bear-proofing. Chris, in the foreground, thinking up poker strategies.
Kathy leads a lively discussion on dogs and how they ought to behave in the woods. Both the Crew Minion and Kathy admit to preferring their dogs to run with them off leash. Christian says something about "Personal Ethics." Sigh.
We awaken to a really nice day, temperature wise, and a nice challenging uphill hike ahead. The vegheads go on ahead, which the meat-eaters, having packed on many packages of tuna in the previous days, drag behind. We have lunch in a stream and continue uphill to our last campsite, an AMC shelter.
Tune in later for more on principle seven and news about our last day in the woods.

No comments: