To begin, it’s strange to see anyone hiking in Vermont this time of year. Hiking for the day is pretty common among Vermonters, however overnight camping in the woods is pretty much done by this time in the season. It’s just too cold for people except for hunters and crazy hikers like myself. Since there aren’t many thru hikers pushing through, and you can’t hunt on the Appalachian Trail, there aren’t that many people around.
Imagine my surprise when I roll into a shelter mid-afternoon and find a veritable colony of New Englanders. All told, there were about 30 at this site, tents strewn all over the hill, fire raging, cigars smoking, and beer flowing. It was amazing. Amazing enough to convince me to stay.
To be fair, it wasn’t just the people who convinced me, it was their food. I ate well last night: steak tips, pirogues, soup, escargot, and all capped off with booze. By the time the sun set, I was choked full of great experiences for the day.
I was sitting on a log, fairly buzzed and content laughing at some of the rediculious things one of the patriarchs of the group would blurt out. Keep in mind, these are New Englanders, they’re rash, abrasive and speak their minds as a matter of participating at a black tie event. We’re in the woods in the winter here. There was no filter. It was hilarious.
Then I noticed some newcomers. It was well after dark, and a woman and her two daughters appeared out of the woods. The woman reminded me of Stew’s fiancé from The Hangover. “Stew, take your Rogaine, I can always tell when you don’t use it, your hair just looks thinner.” This was that lady…with two daughters around 8 and 13 years of age. They didn’t have a tent, or apparently a plan of any sort, but they did have two Chihuahuas. One of which was wearing a pink jacket.
I can’t imagine a worse nighmare for a woman and her young daughters to walk into. It was out of control. Thankfully, the guy with the tent located farthest away from the shelter offered it up for their use. After they setteled in, they came back down to the shelter and had dinner. I’m not sure if they could catch the gist of the conversations, I think they were just overwhelmed. That’s good, becaue the patriarch, Frank, would have made a Stevidore blush.
I seriously started to think that one of the guys had slipped some mushrooms in my steak tips. The pictures I took with my phone prove otherwise. You can write stuff like this down, but you just can’t make it up.