View Full Version : Great Gathering Memories
TJ aka Teej
I had a great time at the 2003 ALDHA Gathering at Dartmouth College. A nice drive up Friday morning to Storrs Pond, setting up camp and seeing my Canadian pals Sumac and Undetermined. Being impressed at the number of Life Members, PCTers, CDTers, LTers, and ECTers checking in as I helped out (a very little bit) at the registration desks. Marveling at Raven's pie sized apples, and puzzling over us both being able to recite the same 18th century verse. Giving Magaroni back the journal pages he mailed me during his PCT hike. Getting two wicked cool new ALDHA tee shirts. Giving a lift to two strangers who turned out not to be - they were Deb W and Hikerhead. Seeing Jojo, John O, and Stitches once again. Introducing one of Sloetoe's ten year olds (can't tell 'em apart) to the grown-ups as a Long Trail thruhiker, getting sore hands applauding as each year's hiking class was called out and being very impressed with the 03er numbers. Meeting Pilot and her boy-toy Felix during Simp & Griz's wedding. Getting chop sticks lessons while eating takeout Chinese under the stars, being adorned with a welcoming red duct tape blaze, doing two-degrees of separation at the main campfire and finding out we all 'knew' each other. Making new friends in the parking lot late at night. Waking up to someone calling out 'hot water! who wants coffee? who needs hot water?' and ending up sharing out all of my hot chocolate mix. Giving Grandma Gatewood's daughter a Sports Illustrated from the 50s that had a story about her hike, one she had never seen. Meeting the ATC's good will ambassador Laurie Potteiger, and spending too much at the hiker fair. Fondling all kinds nifty gear and having POG invite me to climb into a hammock. Seeing too many I-gotta-go-there slide shows like Mrs Gorp's and Skeeter's. Going to the 2003 hiker's talk in an over-flowing class room, being amazed at Bumpkin's Bull Moose photos from Baxter, seeing again folks I met on the trail like Trace, 1/3, Jack, Model-T, Wolverine, Old, MuddButt, Birdman, Loser and sweet singin' T-Bird - and folks I missed by inches like A-Train, Hotdog, Skeemer, and Liteshoe. Girl watching with a girl friend. Passing around the 2002 Katahdin register the Ranger gave me after it was full. Meeting angels like Suz from NH and Mary from down south. Saying the "f" word at dinner in front of (oh boy) a Minister. Hearing a youngster say "Man, it's a long trail but it's a small world," like she'd just figured it out. Talking about the olden days with Sloetoe long after lights out. Meeting in half an hour dozens of people like Papa Bear, the just-engaged MonadnockDee, D-Train the Queen of Tent Erection, and AT Troll - too many quick handshakes, hellos, and hugs - and wishing I could slow down time. Trying to help Noel changing the paper towels at the campground bathroom. Going to an AT museum meeting and almost nodding off, going to the business meeting way wide awake after two cups of Dirt Cowboy coffee. Laughing too hard at the Gathering Group photo, and saying goodbye way too many times. I just emptied the camera bag and found four rolls of film - I wonder what other memories are on them? :D
Good post and thanks for the ride TJ. I'm glad to see somebody write something positive about the Gathering. I didn't see non of the crap going on and I didn't hear about it while there.
We camped out near the beach in front of the parking lot....no problem sleeping there.
For the quick time I got there, I had a great time. Most of all I love to see hikers from the current year coming to the Gathering, they at some point if they keep with it will be the future ALDHA members. I arrived late Fri night after working in the kitchen, I wasn't even out of my car when I heard my name through the darkness. It was a hiker from this year, he was asking if I was going to show up at the event. I "quietly" said "Damn, whos talking about me now". To my surprise it was a hiker that had stayed with me. Not being out of my car for more than ten minutes - I was with some beloved friends from 2000 and 3 of my good friends from the PCT in 96. That's is why I love the Gathering. Friends, friends and more new friends. I got to meet Mary from PA, whom I heard alot about from hikers that passed through. I got to see Steve Longley again (The ferryman that used to ferry the hikers across in Maine). Soooo may people. I had to leave early Sunday morn. Regaurdless, I could not go to many presentations, spent most of Sat. driving this years hikers around to the campus, to the campground, the very little time I did spend on campus was filled with HUGS!!!!. I couldn't get 1/2 way across the green without spending 2 hours talking to folks. Some of my favorites Wolf, Bald Eagle, Rainman, Fiddlehead, Pieps, Katishna the Bush Pilot, Weater Carrot, of course all my buds in Billville, Peaches I finally got to see as I was leaving, and so many more I can't even continue to mention. Because I was running about the one day I was there, I missed many. I love the Gathering because it is one Gathering that serious hikers can come to and reunite. I note to mention and I was so sad to have missed it since I went to bed about 12:30 sat. night. My boy Jester, whom is one of the most creative and smartest hikers I have had the honor of hangin with, dressed up as Big Boy, Hamburger intact. I never even got to see the Magnum PI costum. Pictures are online if anyone is interested. I love my friends and I hate bull****. I wish I could have stayed longer. My long distance hiking partners are some of the best friends I have ever made in my life. To see some of them, even if it is only once or twice every couple of years means the world to me.
Well said Blister. I have been home for only three weeks, and already i am longing for the next hiking get together!
I think Jester should open up a "let me organize your next party" thing. He is the one guy who thnks of somehting really funny to do and actually gets it together.
Fun times are even greater when he is around.
I wish we could all live closer and all that...
But the love is strong and wherever it is, i am sure we'll all manage to party a few times a year.
Love to all
Ahh, see what happens? You start a thread that's nice, and nobody cares enough to post. So I'll spice it up a bit. That Jester guy is a jerk. His brother Fester, on the other hand, is a great guy, though he's admittedly occasionally evil.
TJ aka Teej
Originally posted by Jester2000
Ahh, see what happens? You start a thread that's nice, and nobody cares enough to post.
You noticed that too? :D
I blame Fester.
Thanks, VSA, Blister, and Hikerhead!
Fester is hot. Too bad he is gay.
Fester only tells women that he's gay, or that he thinks he might be, but that he's confused. And then he leverages that into getting them to sleep with him because they think they're helping him figure things out. Which is evil. But you're right. He is hot.
Especially when he is wearing plastic hair and holding a big chunk of fake meat.
Back to the point of this one -- I had a great time seeing "my people" and talking about the trail instead of trying to explain the trail. I went to a few presentations and got inspired to do a few more shorter long trails. I skipped a few presentations that I had planned on checking out, but still managed to have a great time all weekend.
Enough about Fester/Jester, more about great times in NH!!
I heard that Fester and Clamp hooked up on Friday night. But other than that, the Gathering was a great time. Didn't get to many presentations, but the opening ceremony was the best of the Gatherings that I have been to. The hiker fair was great as well, I look forward to more new gear next year. When is Funkee going to open up a table?