Fun-filled Festivies For the Fourth of...Fuly
Posted July 5, 2006 by John Woltman
I will master alliteration someday. For now though, I will be content to master the posting of images to the Internet. I have a selection of pictures taken during the 4th of July weekend at the Rock Ledge cabin. For those of you new to my site, click the "read more" link below to view the pictures. The pictures are not necessarily in chronological order, but don't worry: time is an illusion anyway.
The cabin is situated along Body of Water Creek, which flows down from the beautiful Big Lump Mountains, in the Ass End of Nowhere region of Pennsylvania. Scott, Mom and I arrived in the afternoon - most everyone else was already there (26 people total once we arrived). I hadn't been to the cabin in at least 10 years. My memory was hazy, but I knew enough to remember that the indoor toilet was a new luxury.
I broke out my camera right away and walked down to the creek. Scott came along and got his rock-skipping skills back into shape while I snapped away. The others soon arrived back from tubing, and we all lounged around the cabin before a bit. When I say "others" I'm talking about everyone who has no real memory of any president before Reagan. And when I say "lounged around" I mean partook liberally from any of the five coolers filled with ice cold beer.
A hummingbird feeder near the porch tempted the flighty pests, but they seemed camera shy. Every so often a hummingbird would flit out of its tree and tease the carefully set-up camera, darting away before I could take a picture. After dinner we sat around and played a massive game of Apples to Apples. It rained a bit that night, though I slept through it quite soundly, tucked away in my cozy sleeping bag.
Scott and Flip went over to the firing range and shot off a few rounds at the targets. While they were blasting away at harmless scraps of paper that had never done them wrong, Mom and Tom were setting up a device more perilous than any gun or canon - the Slackline. This fiendish, diabolical contraption is, well, a strap between two poles. But its simplicity is matched only by its intense hatred of people standing upon it, and its dark deal with alcohol-influenced physics. Although Scott gave it a valiant effort, even he succumbed to its brutal lesson: gravity is not your friend. Rachel gets an A for effort, while Ann gets an Outstanding for grace.
Tubing occurred off-and-on the entire trip, though I did not go until my last day. The water was high this year thanks to the torrential rain we'd had over the past week; rain I cursed the entire drive back from Nashville, but was thankful for once I hopped on a tube.
There comes a time in every man's life when he is faced with the question: if the end of civilization came tomorrow, would I still be able to drink my troubles away? For Tom, that time is now, and the answer is yes. He brought up his homemade distillery, all shining in the sunlight, just begging to create migraine juice. But instead Tom thought it'd be better to run some water through it, to cleanse it of impurities, and test its capabilities. I look forward to, and dread, the day that it begins producing sweet sweet alcohol.
Many moons ago, JT made a bargain with Philip - quit smoking, and I will shave my head. This was no easy task, but Flip came through, and JT, being a man of his word, is now several pounds lighter. No more topknot during karate, no more, heh, ringlets. No, now it is bald time, followed by awkward, scruffy time, followed by normalcy, followed by scruffiness, followed by an afro, until once again his hair is honed into a perfect killing machine. Could take awhile I suppose.
We tried driving to Rickets Glen for a hike, but were foiled by a washed-out road. A different route revealed to us that all the trails were closed due to flooding, so we gave up on Rickets.
On a more somber note, part of the purpose of the trip for Barb and her boys, Owen, Andy, and Tim, to commemorate their sister, Emily, who was killed in a car accident. They planted a tree in her memory, and were to scatter the rest of her ashes at Sullivan Falls. I hope to hear from someone if they were able to do this before they left.
We finally went hiking on our last day - up to Twin Falls. It was a good bit up from the cabin, but the scenery was worth it. Scott and I went underneath the falls, something I realized to be a mistake once my feet went numb and my testicles moved up into my stomach. It was cold. I got some nice pictures though, so I'm happy.
It isn't the 4th of July without fireworks, and we set some off Saturday and Sunday. It was a great display, especially when a few mortars never left their tubes and exploded horizontally. We goofed around with tank battles, but never explored the question of who would win in a fight: Snakes or Tanks?
On Monday we gathered together for the 2006 Camp Portrait. Sarah and Rachel took off afterwards, but I think they should have stuck around for the last bit of destruction...the symbolic annihilation of a flour-filled flamingo lawn ornament. Scott has never liked flamingos, dating back to the Placido Flamingo character on Sesame Street.
Here was his chance for revenge. The flamingo was placed maybe half as close as the regular paper targets. And Scott went wild. Everyone did. So wild, in fact, that little Ben nearly took down Bambi. The deer ran across the range after Ben took his first shot. Better luck next time I suppose. After everyone had taken their time putting holes in the hapless bird, it was time to blow the bird back to flamingo hell. Tom prepped the Powder Wedge, and jammed the flamingo down on top of it. There's not much of the bird left. Here's a picture of the flamingo with two squirrel tails.
Mom and I left Monday evening, happy. I'm very glad that I got to go, and it is too bad that it had to end so soon. Thanks for the great time everyone :)
My apologies for any spelling/grammatical errors - I am trying to get this done before I hit the road. I will attempt to caption the pictures at a later date. If you'd like any of these pictures in larger sizes, email me: repugnant at jwoltman dot net. I also have AOL Instant Messager, my screen name is jwoltman42.