6717 – Moonlight hike, Valley View – January 28, 2018

6717 – Moonlight hike, Valley View – January 28, 2018

Write-up: Tom Smith
Leader: Tom Smith
Co-Leader: Nina Belmar

This past Sunday night twenty-seven intrepid hikers decided to put their safety and well-being in my hands as I led the group on a moonlit hike through the South Woods switchbacks.  I was aided by my trusty co-leader, the lovely Nina.  Nina was definitely surprised that so many people would follow me, but to be honest I was a last-minute substitute and everyone was expecting someone else to lead.  Actually I believe we would have had more hikers but quite a few had emergencies pop up that needed immediate attention once they discovered I was leading.  Strange, so many people with so many emergencies.

We heard it was going to be icy so a note was sent out to the club, letting everyone know to bring spikes. I thought that Yaktrax would suffice and suggested the same to Nina. Unfortunately, Nina listened to me, which turned out to be a mistake. We survived but the spikes would have been a much better choice.

As we set out Nina realized that with me leading we would need two co-leaders to offset my navigational skills.  I disagreed but she enlisted Darlene to be her assistant, which turned out to be a mistake. Once Darlene noticed Nina’s Yaktrax and the reason she wasn’t wearing spikes she spent the next thirty minutes lecturing her never to listen to me. She must have mentioned not listening to someone else also since I heard her say, “how could you ever believe anything that clown says.”  Not sure who the guy was but it was obvious one should never listen to him.

Off we went heading out on the Valley View Golf Course fairway heading to the switchbacks.  As we got near the entrance I saw a blazing fire that was welcoming us with its warmth.  But as I got closer I saw what appeared to be a mean old witch and her young assistant stirring a giant cauldron over the fire. (We’ll call them Sharon and Amanda although that’s not their real names, just something I made up.)   I admonished everyone to keep looking straight ahead and not to make eye contact with the witch.  Unfortunately several in the group succumbed to the allure of heat and headed over to the fire. I knew I should help them but I realized it’s better to lose a few than risk the lives of many.

Off we went hiking through some of the most difficult terrain known to mankind with only my wits and directional skills to navigate this backcountry wilderness. So with me chopping a trail through the thick forest we managed to complete our loop and head back to where the witch had her fire going. I once again admonished the group to look straight ahead and follow closely to me. But the witch was heating up hot chocolate in her cauldron and had a table full of liqueurs to tempt the unsuspecting hikers. The group headed to the bait like moths to a flame. I knew I should go for help but to tell you the truth the hot chocolate looked so good that I too made a beeline for the refreshments. When I got closer I realized that what I thought was a mean old witch with her young assistant turned out to be two nice and very cute witches from Hogwarts. I still kept my guard up as I slurped up hot chocolate like there was no tomorrow and talked of my exceptional job of leading the group back to safety. Funny though, about this time I heard quite a few of the hikers and the witches mention something about wanting to toss that clown in the fire. I still hadn’t figured out who this clown was that they kept referring to.

After everyone had a little hot chocolate and a lot of the liqueurs we headed back to the cars with me proudly leading.  At that point we had had no major injuries and only one guy temporarily lost his wife.  She was quickly found by the assistant co-leader and despite her protesting and screaming was escorted back to her waiting husband.

When we got back to the cars everyone was once again talking about the guy who they refer to as a clown. I heard them say, “I never thought I’d see my car again with that clown leading us.”
I pity that poor guy, who ever he is.

Thank you all for making the hike fun,
The Cool Dude
Sir Tom

Blog master’s note: That should be corrected to say “The Cool Clown.”

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