Cold? My darling, I, a newbie, froze clean through! Invited along on our first excursion with the GAC, we-Marlene, Shari-Lynn, Joanne, and Nancy-blithely packed up our oatmeal and thermal underwear, and headed off to the denuded Keji for a romp through the forest. But first we had to sleep through the first cold night of the fall. Shari-Lynn, seasoned outdoor woman that she is, cleverly brought a hot water bottle with her. A "luxury" she called it. Seemed like a necessity by 10:30 that night as Joanne and I snuggled close to share what little body heat we were producing as we shivered uncontrollably. Marlene "accidentally" set the soles of her shoes on fire, which explains why she hardly mentioned the cold.
Thursday morning dawned reluctantly, giving lie again to the weather reports that promised sunshine and 8 degrees. We got cloud and 3-which felt like warmth after the frigid night. Oatmeal still tasted like horse food, but was hot and provided much needed calories after a night spent shaking in my woefully inadequate sleeping bag.
After camp was struck, we headed off on a gentle walk through the forest, looking for an appropriate tree on which to pin our poppies. You'd think that in a wooded space the size of Keji we could have found one closer but, no, we had to walk for 2½ hours until we found the perfect tree. So after expending a whole bunch of effort to leave no trace of our presence, we left a cluster of non-biodegradable poppies lodged in the trunk of an unsuspecting tree at 11:00. Then we kept walking. Everyone managed to not fall into the river as we improvised a bridge out of a stick. And we kept walking until we found the civilization of the parking lot just after 4:00. We saw one chipmunk on our trek, all other four-legged wildlife seemed to have found somewhere warm to hang out and play cards.
Supper at the Turkey Burger was a delicious reward for having survived our first Gonzo adventure. Thank you boys, Wendy, Tess, and Lewis for what I'll call an "interesting and educational" excursion! Let's do this again…when it warms up.