7:25am and the telephone’s ringing straight into a Saturday morning. And it’s Flood.
For those of you unfamiliar with teh man’s particular charms, he’s a vibrant and full on young man who is always set t maximum. We were scheduled to leave at 10am, but he’s been up all night itching to go, laying in bed smoking Camels. A shower later we’re on the road to Ohiopyle State Pakr, where we’ll sip through a 30 pack of Busch cans around campfires and the Youghegheny River, a tributary to Pittsburgh’s Monongahela. It’s all old Indian names from here on out.
Flood couldn’t resist the lure of fireworks, the districbutor and the local Guns and Bait Shop, and while he was in the latter a beat up Nova pulls up, spearheaded by a thick with gray and dirty black beard almost completely covering the permanent sunburn on the driver’s face. His mouth is a slab of bent teeth, Copenhagen, and redneck grammar. He goes beyond redneck, he’s purebred, hillbilly.
“What, they givin’ it away for free or what?” I have no clue what he’s talking about but in Nowhere, Pennsylvania, outside of a fishing bait store with a beer and a half in before noon, so it isn’t all that alarming ot me.
“What’s that?” I answer back, despite my instincts shouting at me that I should know better.
“Last day for dope and papers,” he grumbles. Flood gets back just in time and we’re out of there. I eventually put together that he’d actually said “Last day for doe licenses,” as in the hunting variety.
We spent the next two days swimming and whitewater rafting, emptying cans around the fire and shooting darts with the locals in the basement bar of a place simply called the Cafe. Small towns lucky enough to have a cafe don’t need t push said luck with a fancy name.
One late night a ranger slips into our camp through the darkness of a clear moon night under canopy of trees and, discovering our mini-bar’s worth in a non-alcoholoic campsite (all state parks in PA are alcohol-free), then proceeds to let us off with a warning, but not before making us dump out our drinks. For one of our companions that means a half bottle of Jack Daniels. He pours it out at a pace slower than molasses on the moon. He’ll be trapped in disbelief for the rest of the night.
Ohiopyle is highly recommended by this traveler.