Monday, January 28, 2013

Ruck it

Last weekend I spent some time at my home away from home, Bears Den Hostel, on the AT in Virginia. They were hosting the annual Ruck, or a gathering of thru hikers and hiker hopefuls. This was more of a road trip adventure than anything - lots of driving in a 24 hour period.

Rocket and I left from Philly, and immediately we found ourselves in a semi blizzard before we even left her street. Of course the weather would take a dump, that's what it does to '09 hikers when we try to adventure. Anyway, nearly 5 hours later, and we found ourselves driving down the rocky, snow-packed driveway of BD, hungry and anxious. I finally met the other Patrice, aka Steadee, and her husband Deal - they are the new caretakers of BD. If by them letting us burn last years Christmas tree in the fire pit doesn't tell you how awesome they are, then stop reading this now.

I was able to connect with friends that I don't see often, and make some new ones. Bonus! We spent time with a bunch of the '10 crowd, and the night was consumed with a round of Cards Against Humanity. If you've never played it, prepare to be horrified, and also falling over in gut-wrenching laughter. I laughed so hard I cried. It's not appropriate for all crowds, but it's hands-down the funniest game I've ever played. Thank you Power Pack, I now have a new addiction.

SloGo brought a Cherpeachel, another wonderful new addition to my life. It's a 15lb, 22,000 calorie dessert made with a cherry pie, peach pie, and apple pie stacked up and smooshed, surrounded by a thick layer of vanilla cake and covered in a sugary, white frosting. Very appropriate for the thru hiker crowd. And yes, it was rather amazing.

Sadly, the only hiking we did lasted about an hour - not nearly long enough to burn off the Cherpeachel. But the view from Bears Den Rocks was majestic as always, and everything was covered in a layer of snow. I was just happy to be in the company of new and old friends, laughing about nonsense and forgetting about responsibilities.

I've often thought about the impact I've had on others that I'd never know about. We meet new people every day, even if it's only a quick exchange in the grocery store. I was told by someone that I helped her dig out of a tough spot; I had no idea I was that person for someone. Until this weekend, we had only met twice and exchanged a few emails. That's the hiking community though, tight. I wonder if I'll ever get the opportunity to tell a random person how much of an impact they've had on me.

So that was my newest adventure away from the mundane. New friends, and lots of laughter. And burning Christmas trees.

Deetz, Stucco, Power Pack, Me, Connie and Rocket.
My shorts rule.

Weirdest name for incense ever. Gas station in podunk PA. 


  1. Storm!! I love your mini adventures and that's what's needed to keep our lives fun and experience fun people.
    It can be that chance meeting in a grocery store when you smiled, spoke up with a compliment or just was positive.
    I wasn't sure the You tube video was really your group burning the Christmas tree, but I'm totally in favor of that on many levels!! Haha!
    Laughing at totally silly things is close to the best thing in life!
    Great story!!!

  2. What a great story and fun photos! The dessert sounds wonderful and decadent and a little bit frightening.

    You may want to start traveling with a stomach pump.

  3. Next time pick me up some of that incense. Sounds like a blast Meta. Xoxo

  4. So awesome to finally meet you!! No doubt I would have liked you even if you weren't named Patrice:) What a fun weekend!!

  5. hahaha, you can see those shorts from outer space :-P