Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV)
My goodness me, have eight long days gone by since I last got my Internet fix? It feels like the blink of an eye… a very, very long blink. Maybe more like closing your eyes and going into a coma, like Terry Schiavo, but being luckier than Terry because you then open your eyes again much later. I have a lovely 2,000-word blog written about our cross-country drive, detailing each stop and how much we paid for gas; but unfortunately I left it on my computer at home and this blog is courtesy of Gordon Library Lab Computer 17. So I will suffice it to say that we have fully recovered from the trip, and I will ultimately post that blog along with wonderful photo illustrations at some later date — namely, when Verizon gets a move-on enough to provide us with the DSL we so desperately desire.
First, a quick explanation about the previous post: I wrote it at 4:59 in the Campus Center at WPI as the employee urged us to get the heck out. So I was in a bit of a hurry.
This weekend Ian and I joined forces with Michelle, Brian, and Darren for a wild and crazy camping adventure. We went to Franconi Notch State Park in New Hampshire (a good 3 hour drive from Worcester) and stayed in the Lafayette Campground. We arrived as a group around 6:00 in the evening after some interesting meeting-up hijinks. I got to set up my new tent, and as Brian and I set up Michelle’s giganto-luxury tent that’s so tall Ian can stand up in it… as we did that, a photographer from some local paper came, took photos of us, and told us we might be in their paper in a month. Which would be interesting.
The highlight of the evening was spending three hours working to light a fire so we could cook sausages; then, after a slow, charcoal-infused success, being mobbed by gigantic man-eating beetles and moths. Darren, Ian, and I also laid out on benches under the vastness of the sky, seeing the Milky Way and slowly watching dim stars appear as our vision adjusted to the darkness. It made me ask those trite but honest questions about self and other life, which I will leave for another blog.
Saturday we hiked up Liberty Mountain. This entailed a smooth first mile along a bike road followed by a rocky and steep two and a half miles up the mountain. I speculate that these trails were made before the invention of switchbacks, because this path blazed straight up the hillside. We climbed boulders until it felt like we had entered a strange, rocky stairclimber. Darren, Michelle, and Brian easily ascended, while Ian and I lagged behind, gasping and frustrated. Nothing makes you feel weak, flabby, and out of shape like fit people practically running up a mountainside… unless it is those same fit people waiting for you to come straggling up, gasping, only to take off again moments later. Although I enjoyed the hike and found the view from the top stunning, the frustration and low-self esteem continue to linger, forcing me to wonder if the hike was such a great idea.
Saturday evening it rained, and I went to bed early after eating a few toasted marshmallows. I wanted to think about my flabbiness and how awful I felt at thinking I might be a little bit fit, but then having my tiny hope squashed like one of the giant bugs that attacked us Friday night. Even so, I enjoyed the spaghetti and veggies dinner, and some of the time we had hanging out.
Sunday we slept in, grateful that the rain fly on my new tent worked. Then we packed up and checked out. We parked our cars in the parking lot nearby and hiked to the misnamed Lonesome Lake. Quite a crowd of people hiked along with us, and a virtual cloud of insects hovered around us at all times. However, when we reached the lake, it proved quite nice: moderate-sized, for an alpine lake (using the word alpine in the broadest possible sense), nice for wading or swimming in, and quite picturesque with the hills behind. Michelle and Darren did in fact take a refreshing dip while I lured what looked like a red squirrel close with peanuts from our trail mix. Eventually, however, all good things end.
So we hike down and drove our separate ways. Ian and I got back home after an endless stretch of time stuck in 97° stop-and-go traffic. Our Hershey’s chocolate bars had melted into liquid and my legs had been burned to a painful lobster red by the time we got to Marlborough. Even so, I still aired the tent and sleeping bags and got everything put away like the responsible adult I am currently impersonating.
Tomorrow: Lunch with Michelle, then a physical. My new life as a 40-hour-a-week worker begins next Monday. Between now and then I hope the ants in the kichen will die and my Internet will return soon.