It’s the good girls who keep diaries; bad girls never have the time.
A few days and a couple flights later I landed in Albany, NY. An airport not much worth talking about; the people and events which followed, are.
Trouble [Kate (B2B)] had made a most insightful decision in sending Nemo as welcoming emissary.
Maybe the boots hanging around my neck gave me away and the “hiker trash” sign in her hands would have given her away, but we first recognized trail-true smiles and eyes.
Onward in her tough, cup-cake toting truck to final prep runs and into this land of ever and on woods. A quick stop by Wings Farm to pet the pets, stoke the fire, meet another thru-hiker/allergic to bees bee keeper/Nemo’s hubby, Pouch, and to upload the wedding program to the magic jump stick thingy (as it was variously called). Then further out, ever under trees, to Brant Lake. Nemo said that once upon a time a there could have been Thru-Hiker squirrels because the trees ran so far and thick.
Brant Lake’s most notable features are:
1) The Rainbow house
2) Deer Crossing Diner
3) Naughty Wood Summer Camp for Girls (I can’t actually remember the name…)
It was here amoung old forest, on a peninsula of Lake George, I entered a vast and classy, low-lit lodge, and saw the Two for whom I’d come. Unchanged, Dude/His Dudness/El Duderino’s ZZ Top beard may have been better groomed, though not diminished since the trail.
Trouble beamed and glowed; she sprang about just as the black curls which crowned her.
Hugs were timeless. I was back on the trail, I was right here, I was miles in the future; we were back together.
Family and friends unfurled around them, each as affable as the next. I immediately wished to be adopted by both sides of the family. In each of them, seeing my own people.
Trail Family too began to arrive and we stayed up late into the night, commingling.
The next day, the last day of 2012, the lake was quiet beneath thin ice. Someone apparently fell through. On our end of the lake, everything was falling together. We broke our fasts at Notable Feature #2.
Wedding preparations and guests came together in true trail lackadaisical style. I mean, this is Team Fashionably Late we were to celebrate. Yet everything came together thanks exactly to these amazing people.
A few hours out from the wedding and the bride sat knitting before the bay windows in their room. Then something magical happened; time folded and fast-forwarded into fairyland.
Out of the evening cool which settled across the lake, tiki torches lit the path to the quaint boathouse. Draped as the Greek goddess, Panaceia, Kate and her bridesmaids appeared from the darkness outside to walk up the center of the boathouse toward Dude and his groomsmen. Both wedding parties’ garb reflected the couple’s own dress on the Pacific Crest Trail. Though it smelled a lot nicer; just sayin…
“We are here today because Kate loves Dave, and Dave loves Trouble,” began the officiator. Home spun melodies drifted amoung the words. When we gave blessing and called on those past and present to bestow as well, the room was suddenly full and my skin prickled. The readings were more than words or any one voice could carry. Tears glittered and splintered like diamonds. The love was immense, and profound.
Then to celebrate and herald in the New Year. I found myself surrounded by most of my immediate Family from the PCT! Frog, Granite, Terrapin Flyer, Dude & Trouble, and Mr. Mountaingoat. Catching up on who we’ve become since and because of the trails in our lives. Where are we headed now.
Our conversations took on an aire of authority when presented with PCT specific, marvelous mugs, made by the talented Doug Klein. We had so much to catch up on, and those mugs held more than 8 oz, so we missed the stroke of midnight.
At 3 am the Mawkish Mr. Mountaingoat overrode my grunts and delays, “Fidget. FIDGET. Come on. We can’t let them down. They’re counting on us!“” My Mother
often once told me “there is a place for guilt, especially if it gets something done!” Not only was I getting up at 3 am, but having to admit my mother was right!
A mighty and motley crew were we, 9 lining the back of Frog’s Cross Country Trip Van. Headlamps and snowshoes, up we went. Sparklers at the summit welcoming Dawn; of a new day, of a new year.
Breakfast again at Deer Crossing, where we had begun to establish something of a rapport. Then the pain began and settled in. As loved ones trickled away.
Until we too packed away with the last of it and retired to Wing Road Farm; its comfy couches, snapping stove, and creaking floors. Conversations and company of the highest quality. History ran as deep as the land and in such a short time the stewards did justice, introducing we remaining interlopers to Saratoga Springs, NY.
Thus my soul was replenished, even as the year had but to break.
Also, I bought soap as I will be spending this year amoung the ‘civilized’.
Though I only accept it as pursuit of greater plans of Adventure…