Hangover, October 15, 2011

Prior to the big weekend, a huge rain front blew through to give us this glorious view.

The Hangover 2011 crew was epic. Not pictured are Skid, who decided to go up on Wednesday, Jacqui, who took this picture,  Jack, who arrived later that evening and James and Marianne who dayhiked on Friday.  I think that gives us 22, which ties the Hangover record!

But let's get to the matters at hand.  Our newbie initiates have the 3 W's to which to attend.  Here they complete the Wood portion.

The Water portion was supremely simple for them this year as the spring was flowing like we haven't seen in years, thanks to a three day rain.

And who is this?  None other than our own, long lost, Delta Dawn.  Jerry Brent Shands. He was accompanied by John the Red and Elwood.  Both married, with children and not to each other and on Hangover with the Clan.

The colors were raised by DVer John the Red.

Ab dispenses instructions to his camp attendant.  "I need some pringles out of the tent, get them now!"  (notice that Ab is on Hangover and not at a soccer game.  For someone who has 3 children, he manages to make it up most every year.)

Horace Greely, aka Joey, shows us various peaks of the Smokies.

And who do we run into but Tipi Walter, the Nantahala/Citico/Kilmer Legend.  Tipi has been a friend of these mountains for years and spends more time out than anyone I have ever known.  Do you detect some jealousy?  Dang right.  He is a wonderful guardian and mentor of this place and has been a personal friend to me and the Highlanders for years.  Any time I am able to come across him on the trail is a blessing and we were able to spend several hours over the course of two days swapping stories and catching up on life.  Tipi is someone who "gets it" and if you ever are lucky enough to be graced by his presence in the backcountry or otherwise, be still and listen.

Speaking of legends, how about a redlight redo?  Roxanne Spire, the stand up cyalume gobble.

Joey thought we invited him for the views.

And there were plenty.

Sunrise on Sunday, spectacular.

Just hanging out at sunset is a time tested Highlander tradition.

Roasting initiates is another. Here, Gobbie asks the camp servitude boys a few well though out questions.

Like, "why did you tackle me AND hit me in the mouth."  I wondered what folks would think about a coonskinned caped crusading crimefighter leaping across Saddle Tree Gap and tackling a person of interest in several investigations.  I watched several groups cross that field who seemed no more surprised at Super Dave's Garb than Raggedy Andrew's.

Super Dave and Andrew were accepted into the Highlander Fold and welcomed by all their new Brothers.  Congratulations guys, you both performed admirably.

Overall, a great weekend minus a few small dramas.  I was reminded by several that we may have become a little lax in our enforcement of certain Hangover rules enacted decades ago to prevent such events.  So, as requested, prohibition remains the 18th Highlander amendment, the repeal of which was repealed by the court Sunday Morning.  And that should take care of it.  

Hangover is our spiritual center and has been the site of many things over the years.  Laughter, feats of strength, awe and fellowship abound in this magic place.  As Joey, Tipi and I basked in the warm morning sun, a dark skinned man and woman passed on their way to the overlook.  As they returned, we spoke with them.  He is a Native American who resides on the Reservation in Cherokee. His home borders Raven Fork and he knows the Smokies better than any of us.  His words, so gently from his lips summarized it all.  "This is a special place." I would go on and on but already did so in the following article.  I guess you could say it bears repeating, so I will repost a link that captured my sentiments.    Hangover, A Spiritual Place

The only change of which I was apprised on the Hangover this year was within the TripOMeter.  Someone said there is a new "KING!" I don't know, since I rarely consider such.  Perhaps we will have to consult our statistician for an updated spreadsheet.  I look forward to seeing the various movements.