Fri, Apr 9 2004 - Amicalola Falls Pioneer Camping (View Original Event Details)

Trip Leader(s): Katherine Martin
Participants:Katherine Martin, , Phil 'Foz' Parkerson, Michael Aubertine, Pamela Davis, , , Alan Ward, Dick Jetson Brown, Rebecca Portman, Joe Donovan, Chris Jackson, Kathy Pham, Rachel Reeves, David Furukawa

Write Up:
Several of us including myself and Rebecca met Katherine and Chris with an overloaded with camping stuff Jeep, and took off after about 20 minutes waiting for one more, and traveled up 400 north and other roads. We got to the campsite behind Amicolola Falls State Park, were shepherded to our parking spots away from more deeply rutted roads and to our campsites, and thankfully arrived before dark, with just enough time to set up our tents. The camp was pre-set up nicely by several people including Dawnmarie, Michael, and a few others who had come earlier. We all then joined the eating and festivities including consumption of burgers and hotdogs, and small amounts of alcoholic beverages, beer and finest wines. This was later to prove the most fun, focus and point of this adventure, the consumption of intoxicating beverages, laughing, telling stories, singing, and sharing camaraderie of and eclectic group of some of AOC finest. I did my best to aid in all of the above enterprises evenings, Friday and Saturday. The camping gods helped Steve make it to the party late on the darkened evening roads to our campsite. After all settled in, we sat down and enjoyed each others company; and most retired after a short time of meeting, greeting, eating, drinking and talking to brave the frigid temperatures we would all experience that evening in our tents, and Foz in his camping Hilton hotel - like large tent. We were all jealous of its size, luxury, and mostly the jacuzzi and two car garage. Foz was redeemed to many, by making great smores with Graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows, earlier in the evening. They were superb.

After many froze our collective butts off and unthawing, the following morning, we all arose at various times to join the nice breakfast of scrambled eggs, with peppers well cooked- -executed by the eggmaster (both mornings)-.Joe Donovan, who also did good bacon. Sweet rolls and Coffee were also consumed by many. Dawnmarie, besides the ton of gear brought in her car, was a large part of breakfast and all food preparations the whole weekend, as was Michael (the grill firemaster). After having people join us one by one for breakfast as they waited for morning light and more warmth than previous night had provided; and most having a great and filling breakfast, everyone decided on their days activities. These included hiking to Amicolola Falls, four wheeling on forest service roads, mountain biking, where all ate their chosen lunch foods (pre-packed sandwiches or trail snacks by the early hiking crowd (Phil, Bruce, Rebecca, and Steve). Then we all returned for a wonderful dinner which included chicken prepared in an experimental ground oven (started after breakfast) and beef, lettuce, salsa, etc. to put in taco shells. It was great (chicken cooked in ground was delicious), and hearty dinner, well cooked by AOC’s master chefs followed by more fun conversation. Our enjoyment (and downfall of many including myself) was later in the evening, in the consumption of copious amounts of intoxicating libations including many varieties of gourmet beers and others that will not be mentioned by name-not so gourmet. This was aided by imbibing in, a step above Boone’s Farm, fine wines purchased earlier by myself and others in Dahlonega during a brief tour and shopping trip. All had many laughs in the telling of many and various stories, including, redneck slang which Chris (M.r.ducks story) and I reveled in doing. I got a laugh out of Rebecca and others with use ‘witchjadijjaa’ in a sentence. (‘Ya dittent brang yer truuuckkk witchjadijja? (had to be there) Later in the same evening an ugly specter, silenced many, and grudgingly got some stories out of the guys, a little harder for us to admit and detail ‘worst date’ stories-more readily told by several women-- (optional ‘worst drunk’ offered later for the more private individuals) This was good for many laughs, in the re-telling of painful past experiences; as well entertainment of each others company all during the evening in telling of many other tales and wisecracks and jokes in general. As we chased off our promised ‘Banana-Boat’ dessert maker with the horror of exposing any ‘worst of’ stories; others stepped in to make the great desserts; involving bananas warmed in the peels, split and chocolate and marshmallows added to the middle. Many enjoyed them along with the songs we attempted to sing-with many fractured lyrics as the evening got towards midnight, and the abstinence from chocolate ceremony--to be broken at midnight (Easter) by Rachel (chocolate being her favorite substance abstained from previous week-I hope it was just a week.) As many counted down to midnight on various watches in different time zones (all several minutes different), the banana boat, as well as other chocolate items, bought in Dahlonega earlier, were offered up for sacrifice as midnight struck. Rachell gorged on her various chocolate treats, and shortly after, the lovely voices of Dawnmarie and Chris(who also played guitar) serenaded many ; and pale imitators Katt and myself chimed in the fractured lyrics contest, as many retired; one by one to their tents. The late group (David, Katt, Dawnmarie, Chris, Joe and myself sang Bobby McGee the best, except for the lah-lah’s at the finish; and American Woman my favorite of the evening; hung with me the rest of the weekend. Brief periods of rain earlier had interrupted the party and driven us under tarps (done by tarp-meister Phil Parkerson assisted by others); and would later wet our tents in the evenings sleep.

Those who imbibed too heavily-only a few, including this stories author woke with fragile heads and heavy feet-walked like Frankenstein to the mornings breakfast, Steve and I helped with preparation; later wonderfully cooked again by Joe, Dawnmarie and others. Many said good-byes early, in our now soggy environs, for various things that needed to be attended to in the big city. Many, including the hard working officers of AOC stayed for the lengthy tear-down and packing; the worst part; along with saying goodbye to a fun weekend with a good group of people. Special thanks to Joe for a couple of beers the first night, when I came unprepared and my tent fly for saving me from freezing to death Friday night.
Written By: Bruce Aldridge
Photos From: Michael Aubertine