Sometime around November we would go to the potential camp site and gather wood for our February trip.  This year we came
up to an unexpected surprise.  About 50 feet from what we thought would be where we were going to stay was an open field.   
We had noticed in our past visits of this site a few trees were marked with a yellow ribbon.

Well,  those ribbons were not tied there to welcome us back or a symbol for our troops overseas.  Here is where a clear cut was
done.  For what? Is still a mystery.   In any event, that meant that if we had stayed there, the feeling of being out in the woods
would not be felt.  

So this year was a bit more challenging than the past.  We did find a great site just down a ways and across the brook.  The
access was thought to be impossible but to no avail we found a great spot.

“We’ll be back here again”

Plenty of wood.  Definitely a virgin camping area.   When we got there we didn’t have to travel more than stones throw to get our
wood.  I would say about 70 percent of it wad black birch.  We did manage to find a couple of huge limbs from some oak trees.  
This gave us a good base of hard splitable  wood.


Our adventure this year began before the trip even started.  Traditionally we will start out on Saturday morning and have a
breakfast before the hike out.  We are all ready and packed and off to the Village Kitchen we go.  As we enter the restaurant we
walked around a few tables trying to find a table for all of us to sit.  This seem to take a little longer than the waitress wanted.  So
she blurts out, "First time in the restaurant Boys?".  

We eventually took a table and she came over to take our order.  Bob being a regular there had his tea and water served and
she proceeded to pour the rest of us coffee and then take our order.   So we all ordered but she seemed a bit unnerved and
rushed through the order taking.  Needless to say Bill wanted to add an orange juice to the order and she chooses to ignore the
request.  

After serving all of us she then says "Oh you wanted a Orange Juice?"  So now the tone seems to be set for the morning.  Bob,
feeling a bit uneasy mumbles under his breath, "I guess I won't be back here for a few months.  Bill takes advantage of the
situation to try to clear the air.  He calls over to her and asks her name.  Now, Bob is just about to crawl under the table.  She
replies. "Sherry".  

The breakfast was complete without another incident till we left the restaurant.  A rendition of "Sherry Baby" from the Four
Seasons breaks out.  Laughs were had by all.

Now we're ready to head off to the tail head.  Well, we thought were ready.  Mike can't seem to find his boots. It seems he had
left his boots back at the Murray's.  So Bob, Dave B., and Mike head back to Murray's.  Bill, Steve, and Dave H. decide to wait at
the restaurant until they get back.  Those three head back into the restaurant and wait.  Hot chocolate was ordered but that's a
story for another time.

Here are some other crib notes of the trip.

Bill was tired from all the excitement and early celebration of the up and coming trip, so he went to bed early.

Dave H. probably won't have 'Cream of Wheat' again.

The fires were so hot the night before the coals were hot enough to start the morning fire.  Only one match was used the whole
weekend for the campfire.

Dave B. had a warm camp trip.  New boots and gloves did the trick.

Steve brings digital pictures and movies of chopping wood.  Bill came across a throw away digital camera that took great
pictures.   We have come a long way since Bob the original photographer took his first pictures.

Bill doesn't seem to keep his balance to well on ice.  

Bob decides to start a new game in the woods called Woodpile Jenga.  So he successfully pulled out an 18” diameter hole of
wood from near the bottom of the woodpile (that’s where the “good” wood was), pulling at a piece of wood and hearing rumbles,
he decided to leave the rest alone. Then comes Billy’s turn (Bob didn’t tell him about the last piece of wood). After a few pieces
are dislodged from “down under”, the whole 3 foot wide, 6 foot tall pile of wood comes tumbling down. Billy is not amused.

More entries to folow.
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End of trip.  Back home about to unpack truck.  Mike figures out he left his boots back at Murray's.  
The good news is he'll have them there for next year.
Tales of 2005
2005 Smarts Brook Trail