Tuesday, October 06, 2020

2020 Venture Vermont: Tell your best campfire story!

i'm a big fan of the true story. i used to work as a storyteller and i used to tell folktales, and unless i have been asked specifically to tell a folktale at a campfire, it feels too performative for the venue.

also, i don't like ghost stories at campfires- there are enough noises and beasties out there in the dark and life as it happens is scary enough. but the act of telling stories around a fire is as old as language and human mastery of fire, so if you have people and fire, there will be stories.

so recently out at osmore pond i had the opportunity to tell this story of a time a couple of summers ago:

So i had just arrived on one of the remote sites on the north end of Waterbury Reservoir and it had started out as a beautiful summer day with a cloudless sky but all of a sudden - and you KNOW how you're slotted in tight under the ridge there- this giant mass of black cloud comes up over the mountain and i can see it's got a great deal of rain in it and probably a lot of wind, too so in a hurry i drag all my bags up to the site and pull out a tarp just to get my stuff under cover and by now this monster is ALMOST HERE and i can see it's POURING on the west side and i haven't got but a handful of seconds before that rain gets to me and i did what any sensible person would have done in the circumstances, and i pulled off all of my clothes and stuffed them under the tarp with my gear because i had been planning to wear those clothes later and i wanted them to be dry.

by the time the front of the storm hit me i had all my gear under tarp and i was just tying it off so i could work under there when OH MY GOODNESS it was suddenly gale force winds and i had to redo a lot of my ties and i bent over to secure a line and a giant gust blew a whole bunch of leaves and sticks RIGHT INTO my butt crack at the same time a large brach near me came crashing to the ground and i remember thinking "this is not how i wanted Chad to find my body".

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