[at-l] 2004, August, somewhere in western Maine.....

Tom McGinnis sloetoe at yahoo.com
Sat Feb 27 18:39:33 CST 2010

Message: 10
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 13:06:53 -0700 (PDT)
From: Sloetoe <sloetoe at yahoo.com>
Subject: [at-l] Fwd: Young men's stamina; CHAINSAW;    Re: Hoplite's
    recovery time..

### Having little in the way of huge hiking stories to share
this year, I figured I'd reach into the personal arc-hive and
share a story of one of our list members and their on-trail
kindness. Dang, that was great...

--- Sloetoe <sloetoe at yahoo.com> wrote:
> Date: Wed, 8 Sep 2004 10:15:46 -0700 (PDT)
> From: Sloetoe <sloetoe at yahoo.com>

> --- Mark Hudson <hudsom at us.ibm.com> wrote:
> > <<I needed no "recovery" when I finished my throughhike in
> > '79, nor do I need recovery now, post-6 weeks' worth, nor on
> *any* hike I've done.>>
> >
> > We're all waiting for the Gathering so we can pump a couple
> of 10 year-olds about how they hiked their old man into the
> ground <vbg>
> ### "Pump"? Ha! Just give 'em a second, and they'll let you
> know. To be honest, though, I did pretty well. What I noticed
> was that I was a better "starter" then they -- whether first
> thing in the morning or simply getting up from a break anytime
> during the day, and that *sometimes* I was better at the end
> of the day. But boyyyyyy, during most of the day, they'd look
> back and say "Dad? You there?" or, on a couple of occasions
> (especially if the destination involved a swimming hole[!!!]),
> they'd just light out and were gone, and there was little I
> could do to catch 'em short of running.
> And they always had this evil grin when I got into camp, as if
I hadn't noticed that they'd just smoked my butt. Ha! Nothing
like carrying dinner to insure young men's affections remain
rightly placed.
> One long, hard, wet day that I directly recall having a shred
> more energy at the end than the boys was somewhere in western
> Maine; we'd done some big(ger) amount of miles over tough(er)
> terrain, in plenty of mud (maybe, we wuz beat, most of the day
> was a fogg). We had had our tarp ripped off leaving Gorham
> (two stories for another day) and the boys had no shelter
except for their badly leaking bivy sacs (yet another story for
another day); so we needed shelter space until the replacement
tarp reached us. (Feeling vulnerable? Self-*in*sufficient? Ugh.)
> So, tired and bedraggled, we pull into this western Maine
leanto round about sunset, and find it well occupied.
> Asked hopefully "Is the leanto full"? and rather than a "Come
on in!" or a "Pretty well full!" or something somewhat
conclusive, we got instead some lame-oh answer about "Yeah, it
kinda/sorta/maybe is, maybe."

Now, it's getting on toward dark, and nobody in the leanto was
moving, and the area around seemed pretty packed, and I muttered
to the boys as we passed in back to look for a sheltered bed
space in the thick vegetation "Sheesh, not that hard of a
question. It (the leanto) *is* or it *isn't* full." Grumble moan
> Finding little attractive un-occuppied sleep-space, I said
> "Guys, we need to get water, make dinner, and move on after
> So, in a moment, we're down at the water source getting ready
to make/inhale dinner, when a voice calls down from the
direction of the shelter "Sloetoe! That you??"
> "Why, yes it is. Who's that?" I call back.
> "Chainsaw!"
> After we'd passed by, he'd put two and two together and realized
> "Hey, I know that guy!" and came down to say hello AND TO
> FORMALLY INVITE US BACK TO THE SHELTER -- that they'd all make
> do" as needed. What to do? As my bivy was watertight, maybe we
> could squeeze just the boys in..., but then it looked like it
> wasn't going to rain (maybe), so we could just move on and
> avoid the whole leanto-crush scene....
> As I'm weighing these things, acutely aware of the boys'
> frozen motions (this being one of those occasions where we wuz
*all* beat, but they wuz more beat than me, hence their frozen
motions...) , their ears straining to hear right in back of me,
Chainsaw comes out with
> "Or, you could just borrow my tent -- probably sleep all three
> of you -- the Wanderlust 2for2."
> I looked quickly at the boys, wondering if they'd heard, and
> their hopeful eyes made plain that not only had they heard,
> but what their clear preference was. ("Stop! Now! Tent!") As
the one with the most energy, I knew *I* was running on reserve.
> So, that was that. It didn't rain, but with Chainsaw's help,
> the boys spent a dry and even *relaxed* night in a secure
shelter, worry free.
> THANKS Chainsaw.

### Thanks again, Chainsaw!

Spatior! Nitor! Nitor! Tempero!
   Pro Pondera Et Meliora.

Message: 12
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2005 18:03:06 -0400
From: "David Hicks" <daveh at psknet.com>

No thanks needed.

FWIIW, from my notes/memory.

I had just arrived at Spaulding Mtn Lean-to not too long before you.

The shelter, was overrun with folk's gear.  Folk (6?) on an AMC organized, pay for a leader, meals, etc trip.

I just walked up and said something like, "Hey folks, hoz'bout consolidating some of this stuff and making room."  They were still slowly making room for me when a NOBO Thru moved in.  More grumbling.

Then you showed up. I was about to say something like, "Come on in" when the "leader" gave you the "Pretty well full!", or whatever.  I was toying over how much hostility I wanted to create when I realized it was you.  Then I decided to hell with hostility, I'll give the 'toe the options.

I still think there was more than enough room for the three of you and more. But who knows what the reactions would have been at that point.

While you and I were get the tent set-up, two more NOBO's moved in.  "Hey,
there is only supposed to be room for eight."   But guess what?  Ten (?) fit just fine.

As it was, they became very friendly and full of questions by the time they
saw the 242, my soda can stove in action, my pot cozy cooking a real meal, and the relative weight of your, the NOBO's and my packs to theirs, etc.  Then I stepped in when they couldn't get their all their food bear bagged.  I showed them how to suspend it between two trees when the tree sizes & branch locations make simple text book once-over-a-limb technique difficult, if not imposable.  From that point on the only hostility, which I detected, came from the leader.

In any case, as I'm a slow hiker, I spent the next night with the AMC group, also.  The paying guest were full of questions about long distant hiking, equipment, food, you & the boys, etc.  I told them about this list as a resource.  I wonder if any of them are reading this exchange.


BTW -- I wish I had checked if they had any tents with them and, if not, I
wonder what would happen with a really full shelter.

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