Boys Weekend

Fall 2015

October 16-18


By Joe  Ketcham

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Our 24th year had a small group willing to brave a rather nasty weather forecast predicted for the long weekend. But like with many forecasts, it's better to just ignore it and continue on with the plan to camp and see what happens..... Well low and behold, it turned out way nicer than predicted. It was actually one of the better weekends I've attended. I am now, the only one of our aging group, that has made it to every event since we began doing this. Where's my prize boys?!

Friday began with me getting an email at 6am from Mal's friend Mike, stating that he and Mal were broke down in Bennington, and were going to be finding out whether or not the 'new' Jeep Cherokee that Mal had just purchased was going to be needing a simple fix, or a complete overhaul. They were determined to camp, and nothing was going to stop them. I ended up getting a call at 9:00am that the Jeep was again road worthy, and that they were once again headed north. All was good, so I hit the road headed to Green River Reservoir. I arrived to a completely empty State Park, and only had a short wait for brother Tom, who was coming up from Rutland. He and I loaded the 17ft Kevlar canoe and set out on the calm water, with mostly cloudy skies and no rain. We arrived at the clean and tidy campsite, and immediately set up tarps and tents before any rain hit (It didn't rain until after midnight). By the time Mal and Mike made it to the site (around 3pm), it had cleared up and was now about 50 degrees and sunny! Mal said it was the nicest paddle in, that he's ever done. I took the opportunity to take a few foliage photos, which I must say was looking spectacular. The Red Maples were looking especially vibrant.

Friday Evening was spent tending to big hot fire, that kept us plenty warm while we partied a bit, which included listening to some great tunes provided by a smart phone docking station that Mike brought. He spun some Jim Croce, Bob Dylan, and other artists that fit the bill. My attempt to entertain the group with a few covers playing my guitar and singing was succesfull. "Joe, that was great". Thanks Mal......"You haven't been drinking, have you?" Music always sounds better after a few Labatts Blues. I lit off a few fireworks, and played a couple more songs, before heading to our tents before the rain hit.

Saturday started out like it always does with plenty of coffee, and nursing the fire back to life. Tom and I decided to do a wood run utilizing the canoe. It work great, we were able to gather plenty for the remainder of the weekend. The weather was mostly cloudy and cool until about 1pm, when it started to rain. The rain turned to snow pellets, then back to rain, then back to snow pellets.......You get the picture. It did this until around 3pm, then the skies opened up and gave us an awesome late afternoon, and evening, with a slivery moon and bright stars, which made for an excellent time around the bonfire. I again lit off a few fireworks, and for the 2nd night in a row, Mal didn't bother setting up his tent, and just laid out in his sleeping bag by the fire. Kinda like a cowboy does...... Or at least they used to do that. Mal's the King when it comes to enduring the rigors of camping in the wilderness.

Sunday we awoke to crisp air and clear skies. The sun warmed up the air in no time. It was realitively calm at the campsite, as it was all weekend, being the wind was out of the north/northwest, and the site blocked it perfectly. We sat around the hot fire and told stories about all kinds of stuff that we did in our youth..... What's told at boysweekend, stays at boysweekend. After enjoying some laughs we  packed up, and headed back to our routine lives, but knowing there are still enough of our old crew that likes to camp out, no matter the weather, made it easier leaving. We'll be back!

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