No matter what Labrador, Schemer and Spooky said, HL would not join them on their treks . Fearless Den Leader got stuck in the Meatgrinder, near the end of the crawl, and had to do nearly the entire run again - backwards. Duuuude.
The commercial tour was included, and that was worth it. Even with the lake down by feet due to last year's drought. The trout were very friendly with the boats, and seemed to be playing flashlight tag with some of the boys. Those suckers can dodge.
The guides were mountain goat/human crossbreeds, who seemed to relish in the history of the caves, including the one joker who hid himself in the ceiling of the blast tunnel to startle the unwary.
While the trip up the stairs (137 of them) did not further aggrivate the knee, the musculature surrounding them was SCREAMING, in harmony with my lungs, by the time I got to the top. I am so woefully out of shape.
The trip back was okay, and not the nail-biter that the drive up there had been. Caravanning is always such fun when the leader of the wagon train decides to push the warp drive to its limits. The radios made the trip a little more workable - "Blue leader, we are stopping at the next rest stop." "There's a rest stop? Whe - Cheezit, there it is!" On the way back, I was able to travel at a safe and sane speed. If you think that makes me sound like I drive like an old lady, you obviously have never ridden with the old ladies in my family. It took me about four hours to make the drive - I'm pretty sure Mama would have taken the trip in two-thirds the time.
I have returned form the depths of the wilderness where I have confronted my addictions, and found myself wanting. I did not know I was quite so reliant upon one in particular, which I find disturbing. Being cut off from the Internet was worse than making a pack of cigs last from Monday morning through Thursday noon.
Hyperactive Lad's Webelo den was camping in our back yard last night. We experimented with foil pouch pasta and meatballs (tip- do not forget the ice cubes) and went over the rules for playing with fire. I must now inform you this was in no way, shape or form an official scouting event. Because you are not supposed to perform third-shift fire-watch while splitting a case of beer and smoking cigars. Yes, they were my cigars.
I actually got to talk shop with someone who is also an unpublished writer. He's got a broader spectrum in his styles, but the conversation also veered through classic horror movies vs. current slasher flicks, does humor belong in music, and the importance of assassins to the economy of Renaissance Italy. This guy is also HL's den leader. I'm hoarse from talking for almost eight hours.