! =P Can you believe it? Hell I couldn't. In fact, I laughed hella hard about the whole thing since when he did call, I thought it was another radio/press person so I answered the phone all professional-like. "Hello, this is Shannon." =P ANYWAYS, we ended up making a stop for dinner and it was good fun to get to hang out again and catch up. Gabe was in great spirits considering everything that happened. He had finally gotten set on going back to school and now the campus was under water. He and his friend were able to get out of the city despite horrible traffic and stay in Birmingham for a bit to see if they should just wait it out. Of course, by the end of 3 days, it became very clear that it was going to take a lot longer than a few more days so back to Chester they went. He still doesn't know what's going on with his apt, whether everything is soggy or looted or who knows what and hasn't heard from one of his bosses. Damn. On a happier note, we made plans to squeeze in a quick camping trip over the weekend on my day off.
New Hampshire was a bunch of light days as well. We went up to the White Mountains and tabled at the Rubber Ducky Regatta (Rebecca scheduled that one since I had secured our CT stops) and Keene State College and had a press event in Concord. The Rubber Ducky Regatta was hilarious since it involved most of the North Woodstocks townspeople and few hundred yellow rubber duckys. I have never seen that many grown adults (including my co-captain!) so excited about floating the ducks downstream through the finish gates. Hey man, whatever floats your boat, no pun intended =P. Haha, anyways, it was good fun and beautiful scenery to set up in. We squeezed in a roadtrip of the White Mountains since Rebecca hadn't seen them before as well as a quick hike before the day was over. Keene State was our first college stop and it felt weird as hell since I haven't been around my peer group for pretty much the entire trip
. I felt like it was back home except that instead of 'Try Vegetarian! flyers, I was handing out Arctic Refuge Action sheets =P. We got a recommendation to go to Goose Pond for an afternoon dip but when I invited a 'townie' as his called himself to come along, Rebecca opted out and I ended up getting the opportunity to spend some one on one time with a local, self proclaimed red neck named Jeremiah. He was a riot only because along with being the most Republican, pro-Bush, ask-no-questions kinda guy that I've ever had to spend a prolonged amount of time with, he was also the most well mannered dude as well. Guess you get the whole package on that one =P. It was great though, I got to corner him a bunch of times as we discussed foreign policy, patriotism, etc-- all in good fun though and with lots of laughing in between.
Concord's press event in front of the state house was mildly amusing in that there were people from all sorts of different groups: Sierra Club, Greencorps, Defenders, etc. except for the ones that were really important-- THE PRESS. I volunteered myself to be the polar bear since I didn't want to have to give a speech but Rebecca said she felt like she was addressing a crowd of buildings instead of people since there was ONE newspaper there. We had signs galore and even a picket circle but no one there to give a hoot about it =P. Haha, there was one dude was held my attention for a bit with his wacko conspiracy theories. 'You all don't need to be doing this to save the arctic' he said, 'just find the documentation that says the refuge is the private property of such and such and then you can prove that it's protected'. He had this whole story about how the messenger of the deed was murdered and his body is in an abandoned police car somewhere and that the policeman who is working on the case is the one who did it. Um, WACKO! Man, and the whole time he was yabbering, I was supposed to be waltzing around as the polar bear! =P Hehehehe, like I said, I'm meeting the types of people on this trip that I will probably never meet again in my life. That is, as long as I keep myself out of some backcountry nut house. Ok, that was mean, but you know what I'm saying =P.
After our stint in CT, we headed up the scenic highway along the NH/VT border for our last visit through Bradley/Bass territory. The most hilarious thing happened on our way up from the CT zoo. So some background first: shortly after our camping trip to the White Mountains back in July, my friend Gabe went back to New Orleans for school and work and life. We kinda kept in touch, I remember calling to wish him a happy bday in August, we chatted a bit, but nothing big. Of course, then the freakin hurricane hits and I assume that he's ok even though in the back of my mind, I still wanted to know for sure. Long story short, his cell's completely shot so I give up and end up calling his mom in VT on Thursday only to find out that he's AOK and just got back home! She'll pass on the message that I called, she says. Then, of course, because life is just chock full of random coincidences, Gabe gets back to me as we're leaving the zoo on Sunday just a few hours before we supposed to drive within 7 miles of his house