You ever try to get the guys back together for old time's sake? For years, some of the reprobates from college met every once in a while for a camp out or a canoe trip. Memorable trips down the James River where it's narrow below Charlottesville or perhaps camping at the rustic yet perfect Upper Cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains meant long days of portaging the canoe over shallow stretches (of which, on the James, there are many) along with late nights playing cards, smoking Camels and sipping Obnoxious Gobbler (also known as Wild Turkey). I'd often come back to work on Mondays looking like Edward Norton in Fight Club. But despite the wear and tear on an increasingly middle-aged body, I enjoyed the time away and came away with some great memories. There was the time when we camped in the middle of the James on tiny Dog Island. It was great until the heavy rains came. We cobbled tarps together, made a make-do tent and resumed partying. The River certainly rose but we made out OK. What about good ol' Spew who would get into great wrestling matches with his brother or the time he took off his drawers and threw them into the camp fire. -Violated some air pollution laws on that canoe trip. And of course we did the prerequisite smoking, fishing, shooting, bragging and cussing all along the way. In short, every once in a while we checked off items from The List of Things Dudes Do. Every year, though, it seems to get harder to pull these trips off. Conflicting schedules, family and work responsibilities make getting 'the full roster' seem impossible sometimes. However, THIS year appears different. 'The Jaguar' (he doesn't drive Jaguars, he drives only SNAABs) has risen to the occasion and lined up some fine accomodations, shooting sports and other diversions so it promises to be great. Here are some shots of much younger Hamletonian Campers on long ago outings.
Remember when you could open up a Bean catalogue and get all of that made in the U.S.A. gear?
That's me bugging the dog. The lab remained unimpressed. The Dogs of the Campout were always the stars of the show and were honored guests.'Phineas', 'Blackie', 'Ace' and the rest were always the best behaved. That year, we held it at my famiy's property on the Rappahannock River in Virginia. I posed drinking Tobasco out of the bottle and ruined the picture, I was told. -So, I cropped myself out of that one. Ah, 'The Old Man's' truck. -Not my father's truck mind you. But the guy driving it is nicknamed The Old Man. -Ironically, he is now the youngest looking one among us.