Last night, 2 people come to me to see if I would still be guiding in the morning. I tell them to catch me at my office and that I would be up early.
A few friends come by in the morning as I make waffles and coffee. I chat and share waffles with W and S. K arrives as planned and we spend a few minutes getting organized. K is from Portland and was one of the players in a performance, Dirt Stage.
We head up to the Grave of Vitus Bering, which stands near some especially find cedar stumps. The plan is to go cross slope in a reverse direction that I haven't gone before. There are drainages all along these hillsides that people who stay down on the "farm" are unaware of. Some of these are surprisingly deep. They also tend to have blackberries surrounding them. We run up against one and I take us uphill to round the thorn patch. When we hit the second, I take us up again onto what becomes quite steep and tangled ground. Again, I have led us to someplace I've not been to. The slope breaks back up above us just a few yards and I tell K that I need to go look at that. It is the diagonal road cutting across the slope. Again, we are close to the squatter's cabin, and K opts for a visit. As always, I stop before the cabin comes into view and let her go first to have a bit of discovery to herself. We talk about it. We climb up on the big boulder to see the view that the builder had before the brush grew tall. She is content to sit longer than I figured, which is okay with me.
As we walk back we find that we have a mutual friend from Portland.
At my office, something I hoped for happens. Last year, I told a story to a guy that I met at that years Lo-Fi. It was a story about a bully from when I was a Boy Scout, a story that came to mind as I held A's seed bomb in my hand. A story about an egg duel, cheating, and just deserts. He asked me if I knew what happened to that bully, and I did not. When I got home I began to wonder if that guy knew the bully (because I used his real name - since it was such a unique and proper name for a bully). I looked the bully up and found that he lived about 10 miles away from Smoke Farm (we were both from Minnesota). Well, the guy did not know the former-bully, but it was a fine end to a story that took a year to tell. That is Smoke Farm, more than you might think.