For those ITP-Readers who were at the Lake Hartwell hash you know at least one thing that’s coming…
I am ashamed to admit that I took no photos (again), so I’ll try to throw in a thousand extra words to make up for this shortcoming.
Camping? In A Tent? Me?
When packing up for this weekend’s Lake Hartwell trip I made a last-minute decision to put a tent into the car. With two days’ and two sports’ worth of equipment littering the car, never mind all of the ingredients with the grits cakes and extra beer, I knew sleeping in the Jackmobile would be difficult at best.
This was the first camping trip using a tent that I’ve done since probably Twisted Ankle in May 2008 so it took me a few minutes to remember how my tent was constructed. With the aide of two other hashers we had the tent up in a matter of minutes and I was ready for relaxation. Sleeping in the tent was okay but it does add a significant amount of time to setup and breakdown for a two-day camping stay.
Ride, Paulie, Ride : Hartwell Edition
On Friday I made the decision to tote the Red Rocket with me to Lake Hartwell. I kept my Saturday morning ride in mind as I consumed beer on Friday night, “cashed in my chips” around midnight and was up and out on the bike by 8:00am Saturday morning.
The route I mapped out was about twenty-one miles. The weather, which included a lot of low-hanging, cool fog, was perfect for riding. With the route being mostly flat I even considered tacking on an additional four miles. When I erroneously turned down a road (I’ll blame the fog) I had no other choice than to extend my ride. In the end my route wound up being 26.7 miles.
I had my doubts about bringing the bike up there but am so glad that I did.
No Hasher Left Behind?
When I explain the concept of hashing to people one question asked of me is how people are accounted for to ensure that everyone makes it in. In the olden days of Atlanta hashing they used to have a pole on which you hung your hashing bib and took it off the pole when you got in; once the pole was empty, all were accounted for. These days we write down people’s names and check them off when they arrive at the end. The old ways would have benefited me on Saturday.
As we gathered to ride to the start of the hash all participants’ names were written down. Because I was tired from my early morning ride and knew that I had cooking responsibilities, I considered not doing the hash. “You can’t back out. You’re name is on the list already and think of what will happen when they don’t check your name off at the end. They’ll think that you are lost and have to go find you.” someone said jokingly. “Yeah, you’re right.” I mused.
The trail was predictably long and tough, but I was doing well (at first). About two-thirds through trail I made a poor decision to start following some of the short-cutting walkers, and upon realizing that they weren’t following trail I turned around to find trail again. Because of the time it took me to return to true trail I knew that I’d lost ground on the pack. After some time hashing alone my spirits were slightly lifted when I was asked by those swimming across the lake “RU?” Therefore, I couldn’t possibly be DFL (Dead Fucking Last) — or so I thought.
Hashing alone permitted me plenty of time to think of witty things to say at circle. With one of the hares being a punster and his trail going to the shoreline and back I started thinking.
“Man this trail was such a beach.
I’m shore that you had a lot of fun laying it.”
Oh, I was going to be the most jovial person at circle…
As I struggled to find the remainder of the trail alone I finally saw the BN (Beer Near) marking and was pleased that the trail was nearly over. Up a steep hill, through some more trees, and I located “ON-IN” — the marking that means you are done with trail.
But wait. I was there alone. This was not possible!
I obviously knew that I wasn’t an FRB (Front Running Bastard), but also knew that I wasn’t DFL.
We were told that there would be beer at the end, and I knew I wasn’t that far behind other people. Certainly they haven’t packed up and left.
Maybe the pack moved to get out of public view? I walked all around being quiet, listening for the group and when I heard nothing I started yelling “RU” at the top of my lungs expecting someone to emerge from around the trees or down the road.
Perhaps they were shuttling people to back to the cars at the start? If so, why wouldn’t they leave one person behind to explain the deal to those of us just finishing?
As the heat and further exhaustion set in I started to get incredibly pissed off. I walked about a quarter-mile up the road to see if I could figure out where I was. Perhaps I was withing walking distance of the start? Nope.
An elderly man in a pickup truck drove by and looked me up and down. I can’t say that I could blame him as I was drenched (part of the trail required swimming) and was wearing ripped shorts and running tights and shoes which were held together with duct tape (which was lost swimming) at the trail’s start. I probably looked like some wandering homeless person.
The only thing I could do was walk back to the “ON-IN” and hope that the people who, I was certain were behind me, would arrive and we could be commiserate together. But no one arrived. Out of frustration and exhaustion I sat on the road flummoxed.
What was probably no more than five minutes later, which of course seemed much longer to me, a truck arrived with apologetic driver and rider as they explained that I was accidentally abandoned. This was unconscionable to me. “We brought you a beer.” I heard. “No thanks.” I groused as I got in to the truck for what was going to be a quiet ride back for me.
I’m not going to lie, I was furious! I wandered alone looking for the end that I was at for nearly fifteen-twenty minutes. I was ready to follow my pattern of cutting my camping trips short by packing my shit up and taking off on Saturday night. However, I don’t want to be “that” guy and I had dinner responsibilities to honor, so I blew up for
a few about twenty minutes and then let everything pass like water under a bridge.
I heard later that it was a simple mix-up. Somebody thought they saw me and because I had been mid-pack no one could figure out how I fell behind. It wasn’t until everyone got back to camp that it was realized that I was nowhere to be found.
No Rest (Area) For The Weary
Upon driving home yesterday I was saddened to see that the Rest Area on I-85 just south of I-985 has been closed for good. I have a romantic attachment to the modest highway Rest Area. Don’t go there, it’s nothing sexual. In fact, last week’s entire This American Life episode was recorded at a New York Rest Area.
Because I love to drive, most of the time doing so alone, the Rest Area has always been a great place to stop for a few minutes, stretch your legs, take care of “business”, and peruse a map or two before getting back into the car to continue on my journey.
Here is the news blurb that I’ve found about the closing of this Rest Area as well as another along I-85.
UNDATED – Two north Georgia rest stops on Interstate 85 will close due to rising criminal activity in the area, among other reasons.
Georgia Department of Transportation officials said the I-85 northbound rest area in Franklin County and the I-85 southbound rest area in Gwinnett County will both close Aug. 25.
“Safety is definitely a factor in this decision,” said DOT District Engineer Russell McMurry. “The condition of the rest areas has deteriorated and the cost to maintain them is high.”
McMurry said private development in both areas now offers the same services once solely provided by the rest stops.
DOT spokesperson Teri Pope said the welcome center in Hart County near the state line will remain open, but she said more area rest stops could close in the next several months.
“There are 19 rest areas statewide, and these are the only two that we are closing now,” Pope said. “But based on our budget constraints, we could be closing more in the future.”
“Rising criminal activity.”, “Private development in both areas now offers the same services once solely provided by the rest stops.” Both of those are statements which sadden me. Looks like I’ll have to become one of those people that use gas stations or fast food restaurants at pit stops now.
Oh Dear Jeebus! What Have I Done?
Yesterday I registered for the 2011 Inter-Americas Hash to be held in Savannah, GA. Clearly I was delirious when I arrived home.
Stats & Goals
Current Mood – fair
Current Music – listening to the “The Sound Of Young America” podcast
Website Of The Day – I should have used Future Me last week to email myself a memo to be delivered today stating that I knew something bizarre would happen to me up at Hartwell this weekend.
Mode Of Transportation To Work – my car
Exercise (b)Log – Saturday: cycling, 26.7 miles; hashing, 5 miles
Morning Weigh-In – 201 pounds and not happy about this
Foot Mileage – 5 miles, Wheel Mileage – 136.7 miles
Consecutive Days Of Bed-Making (Longest Streak) – 10 (10)
Vegetarian Days – 1, Carnivorous Days – 12
Marta Rides – 0
– Not get fired from my job
– Take at least one photo every day
– Restart work on house, actually making progress this time (note: not successful during August)
– Reduce my weight to 190 pounds (today’s weight was 199.5 pounds)
– Completely read the book 1001 Paintings You Must See Before You Die
– Earn at least $150 through photography sales in order to cover the cost for the renewal of the Jalapeño Beach SmugMug account I opened the other day.
– Save $500 for the sole purpose of donating to charitable organizations of my choice
– Attend at least one professional photography workshop
– Continue backing up all data, including the off-site storage
– Become a proficient programmer in Objective-C (iPhone development) and Ruby on Rails (Black Sheep web page concept)
– Do not create a solution for something which is not a problem