One of the challenges with hiking in the winter is that we spend a larger amount of time in cities than most hikers because of weather. There’s only so much time that we can spend calorie loading in front of the TV watching AMC and HBO movies before Pete and I break down and try to kill each other. Sometimes we have to get out.
One evening in Helen, GA, in an effort to save my sanity and the annoying task of hiding the body after Pete drove me to murder, we decided we ventured out to a pub called The Hayloft where we met a couple of locals for a few friendly games of pool. While rapping with a cool blue haired chick with a carbon atom tattooed on her arm (you figure it out), a squat guy in a leather jacket walks up to us, flashes the ten inch blade he has tucked into his pocket and asks, “You think this is legal?”
I personally think this is always a great start to an evening.
He and his friend wanted next game; so, they joined our ragtag group of players. Though, ever the cautious one that I am, I made sure Pete was consistently between me and our new dagger wielding companion.
An hour and a hundred dollar tab that consisted of nothing but girly shots later, and our knife boy had been slapped in the face, pulled his knife on someone, and asked his buddy where his gun was. Naturally, this is when the police got involved.
After hearing that the police were on the way to escort him to his lodgings for the night, he attempted to leave by leaping over a handrail and down a flight of stairs only to be stopped by a 6’4’’ rugby player and thrown solidly face down to the ground. Standing well back, enjoying the show, it was at this point I was glad to see the police take over.
Sometimes, entertainment like this just happens, and all you have to do is sit back and watch.
Other times when you’re in town for a longer stitch, you have to work a little harder to keep boredom at bay and sanity in check. Occasionally, for Pete and I this includes pulling hijinks on each other.
One of the things Pete relished for a time was to get rid of his gum by putting it on random parts of my body, like my elbow or nose. He got a huge kick out of this, and I tried to humor him. My humor lasted until the moment I rolled over and found my shoulder blade stuck to the bed. It was then that I chose to retaliate. I did so by taking the gum and sticking it to his chest. Anybody ever get gum in your hair as a kid? Yeah… the next twenty minutes were spent giggling guiltily and watching him cut the gum out of his chest hair. I felt a little guilty, but I figure, he hasn’t done it since. So, I guess I got my point across.
No matter how you do it, it’s important to keep a good attitude when you can’t be on the trail. The key to enjoying the journey is to take whatever it throws at you and have a blast with it. Sometimes the unexpected or odd things that happen bring the most joy.