Here is another pic, since I don’t have any taken today I figured I would upload another one. This one is from my Boy Scout days (thats me on the left, eyes closed wearing a yellow rain jacket, my friend Joey LaPoint on the right). This is sometime around 1981-82. I was a fairly active member of the Boy Scout, even though we were poor my parents scrapped together enough to send me.
This trip was rather hellish – especially since it was a four day weekend. To start it off we (as in my family) couldn’t afford a backpack, so I brought my gear in a suitcase that was bigger then me (I shit you not, I could climb in it). We got to the parking area for the camp. Since we got there so late we had to actually (as a scout troop) camp at the parking area until morning. This was then when my group (four of us) realized we had forgotten the poles to our tent. The first night we had to string the tent itself across a picnic bench and slept under it. We woke up the next morning sore, wet and tired. After a quick breakfast we hiked close to four miles, for a city boy thats a long ways (as can be seen I wasn’t tubby, just a normal kid). This hike sucked even more because all my camping gear was in my suitcase, I had never realized before (and have never forgotten since) that hauling suitcases long distance sucks.
We got to the beach at the end of the trail and the scout troop made camp. Our group, with the help of our scout leader was able to string our tent up using rope and trees. He then told us we should hang our food up high (this is important to note for later in the story). Being the young kids we were, we were in a hurry so we buried the food next to our tent.
At this same place was a small mini-mountain that extended into the Pacific Ocean. It was low tide so you could cross and sit up on top of it (it was a couple of hundred feet tall, ok thats what it seemed like, it probably wasn’t quite so tall if I saw it now). We played on it while a storm rolled in. My little squad didn’t notice the tide rising until it had cut us off from the beach. Our scoutmaster yelled we would have to weather it since we were dumbasses who didn’t come back when told. Long after dark the tide receded and several very wet kids crawled down the mountain and into our tent.
We then laid in the tent and promptly fell asleep. We were woken up once by a Bear nearby (s/he was probably smelling our food) and that was it. We woke up bright and early the next morning. That is when we found our food dug up. Evidently the night before, raccoons had dug up our food and took off with it. They even got our Top Ramen soup packets (they left the noodles). For the next day and a half we had to eat Top Ramen plain. This would explain my adult hatred of top ramen (even if I don’t mind the other stuff).
By the end of our trip I was sick (as in pukey), exhausted, and sort of numb all over. We were wet, cold and had just hiked another three miles back in, before that happened however; the assistant scoutmaster took pity on me and fed me some Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal, with grape Kool-Aid (which I promptly puked up, I have to say grape Kool-Aid is nastier coming up then going down). Before the sickness hit me though, he snapped this picture of me.
Its funny, ever since then I have hated Top Ramen, and Grape Kool-Aid. I have also a fondness for Cinnamon-Apple Quaker Oatmeal. I think part of it, when growing up, we were too poor to ever afford oatmeal that came in packets (especially flavored), so not only was it the first real food in a weekend, it was a definite treat, since we could have never had that at home.
Thats it for that picture… more to come.