We rose at 10:30, packed, left, and had breakfast at a local diner. We settled up accounts for the weekend in such a way that at one point we had created some sort of CDO or credit derivative and then parted our separate ways.
Traffic on the way back to PA was hell and Mike and I lost two to three hours over optimum time during the return. Mike mostly slept and I mostly listened to things. Each of us was doing what we needed to.
Back home, I unpacked, found that my dad had given Max the appropriate pills in my absence and prepared Mike and I dinner. We chatted; the Mike and Terry addendum to yesterday’s man-talk; and Mike left.
The weekend scratched a weird combinations of nerves. My original mental plan was for Joe, Pat and I to go camping as a farewell to Pat before he left for Rochester. This time, I was saying “good bye” to Pat and “hello” to Spinrad as this was the first weekend the latter and I had spent in any social capacity. I didn’t mind Spinrad’s company but I found it jarring how little I knew about him despite how present he seemed at some point in life. Maybe it was the goatee.
The Council Cub-o-ree mobilized about 400 participants and around 100 staff volunteers making the camp have as many bodies in it as a very light week of summer camp. The participants were smaller on average being Cub Scouts and slightly more diverse from the smear of white teenagers I usually work with. The camp was in good shape and the weather perfect.
I passed the atlatls over to the group running the station and gave them a primer on using them. I moved on to the group activity stations I had come up with and waited for the staff to run them which never arrived. This freed me to simply take pictures. So I did.
A recent weight victory has been the ability to use Boy Scout knee socks again. Previously, they got stuck on my calf and just fell down, now they come within an inch or so of my knee and I was keen to show this off. The socks went on, I donned my Scout uniform, and went to camp for a day of sock showcasing and photography. The heavy cotton/poly blend protected me from grass, mud, and thorn bushes as I captured toasty pics and it was awesome… until about 10 AM. Heavy cotton/poly socks are heavy socks and my shoes quickly saturated with my own sweat. My legs got quite hot so I rolled the socks down which looked ridiculous as I had two pounds of sock around my ankle. Never again, or at least until September.
Life Lesson: Just because you can wear knee socks doesn’t mean you should.
Dealing with latrines came up today and Marc Spera, the OSR program director gave a suggestion that he picked up from a previous camp:
A Scoutmaster that worked for a fragrance company would bring a collection of very strong fruit-flavored balms with him to camp. If a kid wouldn’t use the latrine because it smelled bad he’d give a dab of a fruit under the Scout’s nose. The balm was strong enough to knock out the kid’s sense of smell for as long as he was using the latrine.
I thought this was a neat trick but even better was the term Marc used for this maneuver: The fruity Sanchez.
The Falls trail is less than 3 miles from start to finish but there’s a good bit of up and down to it in that it’s, you know, along a set of falls. It took us about 80 minutes to make it down. We reached the bottom and to save time took a short path back up. I estimated it’d take us 60% longer to go up, it took us 25% less. I guess I took more time than I thought taking pictures.
Generic single-layer falls
Generic multi-level falls
Ganoga Falls’ 97′ drop. Twas purdy.
One of Pat’s many prosaic comments was “that [the river] did this [the gorge].” To think, there’s a goodly portion think the below was done during the Deluge.
Pat conjectured that it was the Civilian Conservation Corps that did the work, Wikipedia said that was close. There was a CCC camp setup there as the area was to be turned into a national park. The outbreak of WWII stopped that and the trails were repaired when the site was bought by the state. Wonderful work they did, but some of the signs could seem confusing.
One district held their roundtable today and their theme was identical to one I did two months ago. Their presenters were covering for a missing person and didn’t quite fill the time. I asked to comment and 20 minutes later I finished stating the fruits of my previous research and waited for comments. Leaders kept raising their hands and commenting prefacing it with “like Terry said” to drive home points I had brought up, which was fine. Except that even after we switched topics away from winter camping leaders were still saying “like Terry said” first about things ranging from unit operations to their Klondike Derby. Does the phrase confer magical powers of factiness, if so, I need to get in on it.
For Next Time: Leave camera tripod at home. Remember to move 2nd back to vehicle actually going to Acadia. Try to see inside of the park instead of just coast.
There was a bit of a pall over the trip for me as before departing I received news that the EKG I had before leaving as part of my physical revealed what could be a defect in the wall of my heart. My doctor rolled his eyes when I told him I was going camping and Acadia wasn’t nearly as strenuous as I thought it would be.
I took more photos than were listed in the entries which are available as part of the Flickr album. I think the panoramics came out quite nice and wish to get better at taking them.
Today was our first proper day in Acadia and after an incredibly short walk on the “Ocean Trail” we hit, the ocean.
The above pano was made from 28 pictures or so and has some kludge-y parts where it doesn’t quite come together but the image suggests the absolute gorgeousness of the area. I used the polarizing filter on my camera and failed to consider its effects on the image. I repeated this error later, oops. We were continually stunned by the picturesqueness of almost every vista. Some shots looked like the stereotypical Caribbean lagoon with the exception of glacial rock-rape evidence everywhere and others were just… grand.
On the way back Joe and Pat decided to get into a tard fight…
… and then pointed at each other’s junk in triumph (?).
Our next stop was “Thunderhole” that just sounds messy but is named after the natural amplification of the rock shapes to certain waves like in this key-hole:
It took about 10 minutes of waiting to get this spray, and after a few more of waiting a larger wave hit which sprayed my back. I was angry at first until I realized I’d probably decimated my camera if I were looking in that direction and considered myself lucky. I took a neat two-parter here which shows the storytelling power of focal distance. Here’s the first:
To which I added the caption “hm… maybe we should get her out of there” followed by:
which screams “This is a neat rock!”
We took an afternoon nap and headed into town that evening and I noticed three things:
Every store sells ice cream, fudge, something with a moose on it, or something with blueberries in it.
Anything referring to something historic was done in Copperplate Gothic.
Pennsylvania consists entirely of the Amish to the rest of America beating out even Philadelphia and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
At one fudge shop Pat and I were impressed with the attendant’s ability to cut precise quarter pound blocks. Once we brought this to his attention he lost his cooler and was all over the place. I felt bad. In an adjoining shop the cashier asked us what we did and I mentioned “proto-actuary”. She thought I was an aerospace engineer, she probably says that to all the actuaries. That night we had a fire which looks far more impressive and forge-like with the power of long exposure.
Joe enjoyed some face time with the fire as well.
But recoiled when he thought the fire was getting too friendly.
That night we spent some more quality time staring at the top of the tent and had another painful night on the gravel.
Camporee preparation has proven…. difficult. Today I walked the event site and found a collection of gopher holes, poison ivy bushes and meteorite impact sites that sized to perfectly consume the human leg. I paced out sites for the various giant events and traced lines like trying to construct a golf course about Centralia, PA. I was dressed in work cloths as that’s where I’d come from and got not a few odd looks from disc golf hippies, parents and kids regarding the strange man walking about in business casual but removed all doubt of my insanity when I went back to my car, took out my 75 cm exercise ball and started rolling around the field on it testing its resistance to bursting on thorns and such.
Apparently I passed some rubicon of sanity as the park ranger only slowed and stared but didn’t quite stop as I sat on the ball rolling around in a wheat field. Some day I should do a performance art piece and get 10 fat men in business suits to do jazzercise in a wheat field with exercise balls.
During final retreat at the Camporee I got a bit bored standing around and started making loud non-descript drill sergeant noises like ” Whiii hup tooooo!” and “aaafff, awwlight ee marrr”. Some people started giggling while others started going to attention, saluting, turning, tipping their flag and other things sometimes along and sometimes in small groups trying to figure out what was happening. It all stopped when the real guy in charge arrived and I yelled “am riii hooo” and then went to attention.
Wanna command a retreat? Drop every leading and ending consonant on words and quadruple the length of words that end in “o” or “i”. Try it!