Once again--how many years now? 15? 20?-- a number of Gonzos spent time in Kejimkujek National Park, enjoying the present and remembering the past.
Historically this weekend's weather has not been the best--cold, rain, snow, wind, etc., but 2006 came up a winner. Clear sunny days (14*C) and clear, star filled, nights (3*C). With memories of last year's pouring rain, Keith, Peggy, Greg, Barbie, and the two Brucies, Mad Max and Joey, sat around a blazing fire the night of the 10th, enjoying sausages, hot dogs, crunchettes, mustard everywhere, and on everything, and a few 'pop.'
The aging Gonzos out did themselves, staying up until almost 10:00pm be fore sneaking off to their sleeping accomadations, the Sungod out under the stars (tents are for mosquitoes and/or rain, we had neither), the others in various tents. Tinkle time at 2:00am, the sky was full of stars and a 1/2 moon--could read a book as they say.
Up at 7:00am breakfast, clean up, waiting around at 7:45am for those driving in for the 8:30am start. (make a note, next year on the road at 8:00). Roscoe arrived around 8:00am and we enjoyed some idle chatter. We waited for others until 8:45am, figuring they ran into problems, we headed out on the trail, to be met by Andrew and Stacy Warnica noting they couldn't check out of their overnight Chalet until 8:30am, Gordon and Nancy would be right along.
We were off, the hike was uneventful but absolutely beautiful. We wandered until 11:00 where we had our poppy ceremony, Dipper and Viking reading the time honoured:
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
Lest we forget, eh!
We then moved along to wilderness Site #46, had our lunch, sat around in the sun, returning (via the ranger cabin where we sat in the sun for another 45 minutes) to our base camp, Site #C by 3:30pm--the Warnicas off to the city while the campers prepared supper, again sat around a blazing fire, eating sausages, hot dogs, crunchies,, lots of mustard, and a few more 'pop.'
We only made it to 9:15pm this evening, another beautiful night, falling asleep listening to an owl's serenade.
Brucies squared were off to the city bright and early (8:00am) to meet some committements, soon to be followed by Greg and Barbie. Keith and Peggy were staying on to do some hikes in the Park.
Were you thinking of 'coming out' on the Remembrance Weekend sometime--too bad, this would have been it--we have never had weather this good.