Who have you meet that made a memory.......

Joined
Jul 25, 2012
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For some reason, folks I've meet when out in the woods have left me with a clearer, often more pleasant memories, than all the interactions I've had when back in "civilization" I was puttering this morning and from somewhere up floated the memory of a young father and his daughter.

They were in a brand new canoe and had those stiff orange life vests that you slip over your head (awful things) and were splashing up a storm. The little girl looked to be between four and five and her daddy was maybe thirty. I was paddling back to the take out after camping; you know you don't look your photogenic best after a while camping. The little girl wasn't too sure about me, but her father hailed me and asked in exasperation "What are we doing wrong?" Well, wishing I was Yellow Canoe, where I might do some good, we talked about there was such a thing as a "J" stroke, and so on.

We paddled side by side for a while and worked on his paddling which did improve. His little helper was more caught up by my Rose (GSD) and the two of them were exchanging looks of love at first sight. After a bit, we all put into the landing and after a brief introduction, Rose and his daughter went off exploring close by.

Turns out the poor guy had lost his wife to a drunk driver about three months before, and he was having a really hard time of it. He was holding it together pretty much for his daughter, but not by anything extra. Maybe me having the three daughters helped make a bridge I don't know; but we talked the longest time, he really needed somebody to talk to. They were camped at a campground that was right there, (car camping grounds) What with one thing and another, I decided to just camp there the one extra night. He helped me set up camp and after supper and his daughter asleep in her sleeping bag, we talked on until he seemed talked out. It was good.

The next morning we exchanged names and all, I think I wrote it all down but then later sent it through the washer. I've often wondered what happened to them, hope thing worked out. Somehow, I think he might be O.K. Now, I'm not much, but I can tell you that looking back on it, I was where I was supposed to be that one time.

So...there's a memory for you, and it didn't loose anything in the sharing, have you got one?

Best Wishes, Rob
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
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I don't think I have anything as poignant as OM's story. In fact, I hardly ever meet anyone when I'm on canoe trips up here. However, I can tell you about one particular type of kid that I meet every year on the school trips. Although the name of the kid varies every year, there are always one or two of them. They are usually quiet kids who are not very good at school. However, when they get into the bush, they become work machines, suffering without complaint, and always with a smile. These kids are very special, I would stake my life on them. Our system is a brigade, and each year, after the big trip, kids get promoted. These kids inevitably rise through the ranks to Brigade leader, where they essentially run the trip. Their quiet ways and intense work ethic set the stage for the other kids. The middle class kids who do really well in school, but struggle in the bush are often in awe of these kids.

When we get back to school, life returns everyone to the social pecking order. Teachers come to me and threaten to haul theses kids off of trips because of their poor attendance or poor marks. I fight for them every time, and usually win. Some of them never graduate, and a few of them have ended up with bad drug habits. But I would still welcome them on any private trip I run. I have seen them at their best, and I know how good it is. These kids would shine in the military, and some of them have ended up there too. It's odd, but for me the "real world" is when I'm out in the bush for a couple of weeks with a bunch of kids. There's something wrong with our society that doesn't allow these kids to prosper, and usually labels them as misfits.
 
Joined
Sep 2, 2011
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Sometimes on canoe trips we click with people we meet and sometimes not. Often I don't have more than passing remarks on the portage.

Yet those people are special. I remember one trip in Quetico where I was triple carrying (ugh) and walking back for pass 2 here comes all my gear.. The party going the other direction was young strong, full of spirits and didn't want to walk empty handed!

On our Everglades trips we have met a few people and had wonderful evenings and pass the time chats. The last couple we met on Jewell Island is from Hartland CT and we hope to meet up with them this summer in Maine.

On day trips we often meet with fascinating folks from WCHA.

OM that is a great story!
 
G

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That's a touching memory Rob. Thanks for sharing it. This thread of yours is a nice idea, and I'd like to contribute to it if I may.
I regret having spent so many trips over the years avoiding people. More recently I've discovered that the occasional encounter of the humankind can be memorable, and well worth the effort to stop and say "Hello."
My wife and I decided to make a beautiful island our base camp destination for a September trip. We'd paddled by it before on other trips, and I'd imagined how peaceful and far from the maddening crowd it must be. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. We enjoyed the first full sunny day languishing around our very own treasure isle before an evening storm blew in. During the storm we could hear a group clamber onto our island haven, and noisily set up camp. (There were two campsites on this island.) The storm continued till noon the following day. Their noise and commotion continued as well. I thought we'd inherited troublemaker neighbours, and expected we'd move on when the weather cleared. Instead, while brewing up tea under our tarp, and waiting for the weather to break, our noisy neighbours sauntered over to introduce themselves, and say "hello". Our end of the island was too perfect a place to swim, sunbathe, read and lazily paddle, to abandon. So we stayed. Over the following couple days we kept to our respective ends of the island, and only heard shouts of good natured laughter from their camp. They seemed undeserving of my initial impression, and so when we were invited over for an evening fire, we gladly accepted. The potluck bonfire lasted into the wee hours, as we shared firewood, tipple of choice, personal histories, and very much laughter. It was a fitting final night for our trip. Early next morning, we solemnly packed up our gear, and quietly paddled away. But, not without a final stop, to offer them my freshly baked bannock, and accept a strong cup of coffee in return. Warm handshakes and smiles were freely given before we headed homeward.
What I'd feared to have been a gang of carousing party animals, had turned out to have been a close knit trio of two brothers and an old best friend, who'd been going on an annual canoe trip since their youth, five decades before. My wife and I had been given the honour and great pleasure to have shared in this party of theirs. It was indeed a memorable one, that started with a simple "Hello".
 
Joined
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Aberdeen, MD
Well, nothing as touching as yours Rob... but as you all can probably tell from my "chatter" on line, I do like to talk... I like my solo time, but also like to share my day with folks around a campfire at night... Longest I've gone is 4 days without contact, and I was talking to my gear and the (other) loons by day 2. So, that said, I remember something about almost everyone I run into in the woods, just because I'm not afraid to ask where they're from, which seems to be a good icebreaker.

I've got a lot of memories associated with people I met on Low's Lake, probably because I go there most.

Conk almost ran me over with a sail contraption of his on Low's a few years back... one minute I'm alone on my side of the lake, watching a guy running with the wind, and the next minute "there he was"... we talked for a good bit about things, then went on. I still have the picture he took of me (hard to take selfies of yourself by the water).

Another year, I ran into a bunch of folks... a retired couple from Central NY who'd spent a whole week on Hitchens Pond (with a car-camping load of gear that they just didn't want to portage over Low's Upper Dam). He had been very involved with Scouting in his earlier adult life. A young couple from PA next to me on Site 22 (She worked for the Susquehanna River something or other non-profit, trying to get it "wild river" status. There was also a man and his son who I was racing to beat to Site 20... I won. He later told me that they had been trying to get there because it was the best site suitable for several tents and several canoes... they were expecting another couple with their kids and his wife (3 adults, 3 kids, 3 canoes) the next day... I dropped "next door" to look at site 21 and am glad I did... it was excellent. They invited me over each night of my stay for their evening fire, which suited me just fine. Good folks, though they carried a lot heavier stuff than I do (folding tables, cutting boards, cooler full of milk, eggs, and meat, boxes (plural) of wine, bags of potatoes and onions, etc). They ate well. They were from the Boston area and the two guys had gone to college together, though their jobs and lives (financial planner and dentist, iirc) kept them very busy.

Another year, during an October trip to Low's, I ran into a couple from Cape Cod... Fritz and Cathy... he was a summer home caretaker and she was an artisan who ran a studio there. I was on Site 19, they were on 20... again, they invited me over for a night of good conversation, and we found our way up onto Grass Pond Mountain together.

I guess one of the most touching (yet strange) encounters was in around 2000, up in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park (sorry, no canoes in this story. I was younger and had a working back.) I was a year from closing my business, 2 years from declaring bankruptcy, and having a really rough time with life, wife, business, and 16 minimum-wage level employees. I had managed to get loose from life for a little "Mountain Therapy" and was on my way to the Appalachian Trail at Clingman's Dome. I had parked in the lot there, and followed the paved access trail to the foot of the tower. I noticed a group of about a half dozen folks at the tower ramp (a few feet off the trail) as I struck off on a dirt trail that hit the AT about 1/8 mile further on... I didn't really know which way I was going to go when I got to the T. I stopped, looking at the sign, and was leaning toward "south" when I heard someone come up behind me... It was one of the men from the group I'd passed... he turned out to be a youth minister from the area, working in Michigan at the time, but home for a couple weeks... In the course of conversation, he said "when you went by before, I got the strangest feeling that I was supposed to come after you, like you needed prayer... would you mind if I went back and got my friends and we prayed with you for a bit?" He did, they did, and I felt like God had sent me some sort of sign of support/understanding what I was going through... I didn't understand it at the time, and though it meant my troubles were over. What it really meant was "Son, you're going to have to ride this train wreck all the way to the end, and it's going to be really ugly, and hurt more than it does now... but I'm with you all the way. I can't stop it, but I can be with you." Took me about another year to lose all of it, 8 months of unemployment after that (5 of it post 9-11) to find another job, and 3-4 more years to climb out of that emotional hole and rejoin the human race... Lost my religion, but gained my faith, if you follow me... Anyway, pretty neat how that worked out.
 
Joined
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You may be underestimating your stories and the impact you've had on others. Sometimes we miss out on those opportunities that are placed in our laps. As you learn to recognize them, you will understand their purpose and why you have been given them. OM, you can rest assured that you impacted both of their lives by the way they have impacted your life.

My most recent experience was not all that impressive (BTW, they don't have to be). I had spent a long day delivering my lovely daughters to their colleges in Milwaukee and attending a powerboat/fishing show. On the 1 1/2 hour drive home I realized that I left my gloves somewhere at the show and felt that I needed to get a new pair at Menards along the way. I drove right past Menards before I knew it and at the last stoplight out of town I contemplated driving home without buying a new pair. Something told me to go back (I was pretty sure that my local Menards had run out of the style I liked). One mile from home, at 10:00pm with a temp of -3 Fahrenheit, I saw a car where I didn't think there was a frontage road. I drove right on by, again. I was not in a big hurry and something about the car's position nagged at me. Turning around , I headed back. I found two exhausted twenty-Y-Olds, cold and at their wits-end, hung up on a snow drift. Earlier I had made a point to put a shovel in my vehicle even though I needed the space for college "stuff" my girls took back to school. All of those events needed to happen just for this one gesture of goodwill--helping them that very cold, dangerous night. The snowdrift bound car needed to be reversed the equivalent distance of a city block to get back on a plowed surface. Having grown up in Northern Minnesota without 4WD, I was able to help them out and send them on the way with the admonition to pay it forward someday. When I reached home, there were my gloves--just where I had left them that morning. I knew then that events had unfolded exactly as they needed to so that that one act of mercy could occur.

When you recognize that events happen for a reason, you will be there for someone who needs exactly what you have to offer them and you won't need anything more than what you have been given. I hope that you have many opportunities to impact the lives of family, friends and strangers.
 
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G

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I've met quite a few.

There was this one pair of old guys we met on an island site in the 'Dacks. They had hauled out their gear and taken up in a shelter overlooking a nice shallow cove. My buddy and I had taken the next site down and they invited us over that afternoon once we got all settled in ourselves.

These guys had a 16 ft deep V and a 25hp motor. They hauled everything in with two trips for ten days. The Adirondack shelter was almost unnoticeable with the tarps, neatly made cots with comforters, night table, etc. There were gas lights hoked up to propane cylinders, hefty folding chairs by the fire and mounds of wood.The tarps covered a kitchen area that was huge with folding tables and enough gear to make gourmet meals for a dozen.
These guys had been doing trips together for thirty years and they were in their seventies. They meticulously plan this trip out every year. They fed us home made fried chicken their wives had sent along and freshly baked biscuits. After dinner, we had a few cocktails by the fire and some brownies. It was awesome!

My buddy and I have been doing all kinds of trips for 26 years now and are nowhere near the age of those two guys, but their friendship made us realize how special ours was and we're always looking forward to that next trip, where ever it may be.
 
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Shohola, PA
I've made my living as an potter for the past 40+ years and when traveling to shows around the country I would try to build in a solo paddling trip when possible. After a show not far from the BWCW I had the good fortune of spending a week on the back country lakes. On the last night of the trip I paddled by another solo tripper and we spent the evening by a fire and shared stories as well as the remaining rum. I learned that he was a tattoo artist and he that I was a potter. 20 years later his art work adorns my arm and trust he is still enjoying the vase.
 
G

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I’ve met some good folk over the years, but a couple stand out as most memorable.

Years ago on a family trip on the Penobscot and Chusuncook we were camped on Sandy Point waiting to cross over to the north shore early the next morning. Towards dusk the storm clouds gathered and the lake got frothy.

A party of seven in three canoes and a kayak appeared. A Keowee, an ancient Mad River ME and two other absolute beater canoes. I watched them as they struggled down lake and beached for a confab 200 yards away.

The lake was getting fuglier by the minute and I walked over to say that they were welcome to, and really should, stay with us.

They had experienced a few gear miscues. They had brought a propane stove, and propane tanks, but not the connector piece. They had been one pot cooking over open fires for a week and refused my offer of a stove and fuel for their last night out.

They had a tarp. I’m not sure who was supposed to have brought the poles and stakes, but no one had. I offered them space under the oversized family tarp, but when the rain commenced to deluge they tossed their tarp over a pile of gear and took to their tent; one giant (and I suspect leaky) tent for all of them.

They seemed to be having the time of their lives, and were determined to finish their trip with what they had brung, in the “style” they had adapted. They departed early the next morning, leaving us a hand made thank you card with a pencil sketch of our boats and campsite and the following verse neatly penned inside:

“Thanks for sharing your site for a while.
Your generosity truly brought us a smile.
(We hope our dog Simon did not leave a pile!)
Thank you for helping us camp with such style
(Ben, Greg, Jennie, Susan, Sara, Carolyn and illegible)”

The other similarly memorable episode was these boys:

Arriving back at Pine Tree I finally met the folks on site 1, two students from Salisbury University, Jared and Alex, who hiked in. I would say “backpacked” in, but neither actually had a backpack, instead carrying their gear in a variety of shoulder slung duffel bags.

Their tent was missing a pole (hence the question mark shape), their sleeping bags were giant cotton batting monsters bundled loosely and tied to the duffels, their surf rod turned out to have only 30 feet of line on it, their (empty) water containers were duct taped to the duffels and every time they picked up their “packs” something fell off.

They were hale and hearty and have a fine time. As they were packing up that afternoon for the hike out I invited them to stop by camp for a copy of my Assateague map. They stopped by and we shared a little of this and that and, upon hearing that the mussels were edible, they returned to the bayside and came back with a quart pot full, steaming them over my fire.

Sensing that they were hungry I pulled out everything that could possibly be added to a mussel meal. A can of New England clam chowder. A can of whole new potatoes. A can of black eyed peas. A can of vegetable chili.

Alex, the cook amongst them, shucked the steamed mussels, added them to all four cans of extra provender and the three of us (mostly them) ate every morsel. It was pretty damn tasty. Those boys were hungry. Thirsty too, as we proceeded to put a dent in my remaining beer and bourbon supplies.

Towards dusk, still dawdling around the fire with Jared and Alex, who had intended to start hiking out hours ago, a voice behind me bespoke “Hi Mike”.

Friend Chip Walsh and companion Andy. When they had arrived at the Ranger station they had asked if anyone was in the backcountry and, being told “One guy on Pine Tree for 9 days” had inquired “McCrea” and received an affirmative.

We now had three aging retirees and two twenty somethings, all great spirits. Late into the night Chip called it quits, and rounding midnight the boys allowed that they should probably start hiking out so they could make class the next day.

Having filled them with food I filled their bellies and canteen with water for the hike out, and concurred that if they simply kept the ocean on their right they would eventually find the parking lot with their car.

What I later heard from Chip, and from Andy, and thought myself was “I admire their spirit”.

Everyone starts with what they have, and refines the art from there. Well done boys, well done.

Young folks like that give me hope for the future.
 
G

Guest

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I do my best not to meet anybody when I'm out.
I've always done the same, and still do. You may be a peace loving soul, just wanting to avoid the crowds. There are other kinds of people though. Some solace seekers are angry in their attitude. I used to feel that way myself. The difference to my attitude in recent years though, is that when I do cross paths with somebody, I do more than fiercely glare at the ground and angrily hump my pack to the other end of the portage. I pause, or even stop, and say hello. In that brief moment I find out if they're in that "entitled to my own space" frame of mind, or have relaxed enough to adopt a "my space may sometimes include others" one. I used to be stubbornly happy in the former, but now am happily relaxed in the latter. I'm not criticizing being alone, or trying to be. I try to be every time I go out. But sometimes it doesn't happen that way. I still encounter gruff attitudes on the trail, but thankfully also cross paths with friendly folks. I'm sure there are lots of bad experiences, but I'm hopeful there are many more good ones. Sometimes all I do is nod my head or smile, as a passing traveller goes by. I'm not needing their life story; just a smile would be enough to confirm that we're not invading each other's space, just passing through them. Sometimes I get intentional cold shoulders, while other times I really do get told a life story, shared over a momentary sip of water.
I once stepped aside on a steep descent of a trail. It was the right thing to do. I was carrying packs, while the ascending party were single carrying everything. My brief hellos and smiles were greeted each in turn by the two couples, with frosty distain and rolling eyes. Hmm. Fancy that? It must've been Lord and Lady Somebody and their entourage! I've often been met however, with friendly smiles and foreign accents. Sometimes we share trail information, water, or even life stories. Usually though it's just a smile. Always we share space. I ditched the entitlement baggage over the years, goodness knows I carry enough stuff on trips as it is.
I may someday pass by you jbull, and be rest assured I won't pester you. I'm looking for solitary peace and quiet, just like you. You will get a smile and a nod. The rest will be up to you. We needn't share life stories, goodness knows you don't want to hear mine. I'm happy to continue on my way, looking for that solitary thing. It's out there somewhere.
 
Joined
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I've met many a soul that impressed me in one way or another. There was a son, father, grandfather trio that I met on my first long trip...I was 19 years old and had never been exposed to close familial relationships (I was raised a little differently:(). They gave me hope, without their ever knowing it.

Then there was another sort of impression entirely.
Only a few years ago, I was soloing in to Long Pond (ADK's) to meet the rest of my group on a Friday afternoon. I happened to paddle past a prominent campsite and the solo gal said hi, I like your boat and other pleasantries. We spoke for just a minute or two, and I moved on to meet my party.
As the sun was setting, I went out for a paddle on the glass smooth water, and a senior lady paddling in a Hornbeck asked me where the put in was. She was clearly in a panic, having just returned from a day long excursion, and could not find the correct carry back to her car. After a few questions, I quickly determined which trail she started from, and escorted her back to the put in. Along the way, we chatted, and I finally got her to relax. Mind you, this was nearing 8:00 PM in September, so it was pretty dim, and very quiet on the water. I offered to walk her to her car, even carry her boat for her, but she said no thanks, I had helped enough.
Feeling pretty good that she would be fine, I paddled back to my site, past that prominent campsite with the solo gal. She was not so pleasant this time, actually yelling at me for disturbing her wilderness experience with my too loud on water conversation. Even explaining to this gal that I was helping a fellow paddler, a senior lady at that, did not change her mood. Well, I certainly changed my mood. I told her in no uncertain terms, that if she truly wanted a wilderness experience, that she should not have chosen such a prominent site. Further, her complaints were disturbing my wilderness experience!! And so I left...
The next day, she pulled the same stunt with some of my paddling party, accusing them of disturbing her experience...

Such is my memorable experience in the wilderness.
 
Joined
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SG I think your story illustrates the varied persona meanings of "wilderness". Long Pond in the ADK's isn't it to me. Nor probably to you either. But for a city gal like Ms. Unpleasant it must have been.. For her, Long Pond might as well be at the end of the world.

I am senior but I swar, It wasn't me!
 
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SG I think your story illustrates the varied persona meanings of "wilderness". Long Pond in the ADK's isn't it to me. Nor probably to you either. But for a city gal like Ms. Unpleasant it must have been.. For her, Long Pond might as well be at the end of the world.

I am senior but I swar, It wasn't me!

I know it wasn't you, this lady was from NYC and was pretty proud of her venture until she got turned around.

As for the other gal, I have long ago concluded that her issues were larger than someone elses on water conversation.
And Long Pond as wilderness... as far as DEC says, it is. I paddled it when the tent platforms still existed, now that was like a little city compared to now. But agreed, there are much more secluded spots.
 

Glenn MacGrady

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a memory . . . . have you got one?

A very memorable situation was watching an ejected raft passenger drown in whitewater on the Sacandaga Flush in New York, despite futile rescue efforts. He made the mistake of trying to stand, got his leg jammed between bottom river rocks, and got bent over underneath the water by the indomitable current.

An illustration from Mason's Path of the Paddle became a tragic reality, forever seared into my cerebral neurons.

Whenever I led less experienced groups down that river after that, I would stop on the bridge overlooking that watery grave to explain how you can die in four feet of water twenty feet from shore.
 
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central NYS - 10 miles from the Baseball Hall of F
I've been waiting to comment because I didn't want to be the first one to post a less than pleasant memory. I see there are others in the same situation as I've been so here goes with two of my "best" memories. The first one was when I was up at Raquette Lake (in the Adirondacks of NYS for those who don't know where it is). I'd just finished a 6 day canoe trip for a program I work in and was enjoying a cup of coffee on the porch of Antlers (the camp's dining hall) which overlooks Blue Mt. about a dozen miles away. As I'm sipping my drink six canoes paddle up to the dock in front of me and their leader asks, "Can you tell me where we are?" I asked him where did he think he was and his reply blew me away..."Are we still on Blue Mt. Lake?" Apparently they'd been put on Blue Mt. Lake earlier that day and weren't sure if they were still on it or not even though they had to have completed a short carry around the dam on Utowana Lake to get onto the Marion River and then down to where they found me. I was genuinely concerned for them and wondered what ever happened to them.

The second experience happened at Raquette Falls while leading another trip for the same program. We'd gotten to the carry early in the afternoon so decided to carry our gear over, set up camp, go for a swim and then come back for our canoes just prior to dinner. The afternoon went off well and the group determined it would be best to have half of us go back for the canoes while the other half started dinner so it would be ready when we returned. I was with the canoe group so we walked over. When we got to the beginning of the carry there, all along the steps leading up from the river, was a person's gear; boat, PFD, paddle, packs, etc. Of course, no one was in sight. Not knowing who was the rightful owner, and not wanting anything to get damaged as folks came up the steep steps carrying the canoes, I had my group carefully pick up the gear and move it off of the trail. As we were doing that a rather strange wizened looking man materialized out of the bush where he'd been tending nature's call. He immediately took us to task for touching his gear. I tried to explain that I had a bunch of novice paddlers and didn't want any of his gear to get damaged as they struggled with canoes up the steps. The next thing any of us knew he began screaming..."It's the Lord of the Flies! It's just like the Lord of the Flies." The students in the group just looked at each other, grabbed their canoes and got out of there; with me right behind them. Once back on the other side of the portage we met up with the rest of our group for dinner. About 45 minutes later as we were finishing up and enjoying each other's company the man from the other side of the carry limped into our circle and dropped his incredibly large pack. Without ever looking at us or saying a word he began to set up his campsite in the middle of our cook groups. Although alone he had a huge North Face VE25 tent as well as lots of other equipment. The kicker was when he started his stove upwind of the tent. A big gust came up and the flame blew very close to his tent. Knowing what we'd experienced on the other side I suggested to my students that we find another place to enjoy each other's company. With that we got up and exited the area. Later on I mentioned our experience to the DEC Ranger and he said this gentleman was a lawyer from New York city who came up each year on a solo trip. Ben (the ranger) also mentioned that he was the most unpleasant human being he'd ever met in the woods and did his best to stay away from him when he rolled through on his yearly trip. Over the course of the next two days we saw him a couple more times and every time he got into voice range he'd call out, "It's like the Lord of the Flies." I still chuckle over that one whenever someone mentions the book or film.

Well that's all for now. Take care and until next time...Be well.

snapper
 
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I've run into both types of memorable people; several years ago while camping on crown land, I had the rather unpleasant experience of running into an "owner" this is one of those guys who believe that they own the lake and all the sites on it. it actually turned out rather funny as I was camping with a friend who just happened to carry a "badge" The conversation went from "GET OFF MY LAKE!"
To "I'm sorry, please don't charge me" in less than the blink of an eye!
The second one was far more pleasant, last year, after a serious back injury and missing an entire season, my wife and I decided to go on a short trip. as we were starting the first of a double portage, another gentleman landed. We carried the canoe and food barrel across and were returning for our packs, when lo and behold- here they come right behind us on the back of the first gentleman and another soul he had gathered on the way. The man said to me "you're obviously hurting, so we decided to lend a hand".
My wife explained about my back injury with tears of gratitude in her eyes, (me too) and the man said it was nothing, maybe we would help him one day when he's having a rough time. :)
 
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Finally arriving on Smoothrock Lake in Wabakimi after several portages on the Lookout River we come to an island where a young German sporting a wet white Speedo is waving a map at us asking if we knew where they were. His map of this immense part was one eight by eleven hand drawn picture.

Eventually we pulled out a map..
 
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Aberdeen, MD
Two short memories, jogged by what I've just read.

I remember watching a young couple (big strapping guy, tee-ninsey little girl about 5-nothing) get a beautiful wood/canvas canoe out of the water at Low's Lower Dam one year. I asked the guy where he got the canoe, and he jerked his thumb over his shoulder and said "ask her"... hmm... stereotype adjustment for me (I'm the father of two daughters, and I still 'assumed'...) Ok, where did YOU get this beautiful canoe? "My dad and I made it last summer. He said he owed each of us (she had 1 or 2 sisters) a college education and a wood/canvas canoe of our own before we went off into the world on our own. So he made them with us." Wow. What a gift... independence, two ways. I never forgot that. and am glad one of my daughters was there to hear that.

The other story is of a guy at that same landing, a couple years later, who helped me carry my 70lb w/c canoe back to my truck after I'd been out a few days. I was really tired, and probably would have had a great deal of trouble doing it without dropping it, or at least scraping it up some. I'm just grateful for his help.
 
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