The Long Trail

I judge my winter camping trips with the Boy Scouts by the condition of the outhouse. This year it was pretty darn good. The smell was tolerable, probably because it’s been so cold, and besides a little ice on the seat, it was not bad at all. I took a picture, of course.

The cabins at Woodworth Lake are cold and rough around the edges, but warm up nicely when the stove’s well stoked. There’s a peculiar smell to these weekends, a mix of dirty socks, wood smoke, and grilled cheese that clings to your clothes when you leave. It’s a reminder of your adventure.

Many scouts have come before, and a lot of them inscribed signs that ring the cabin. Mostly they’re simple, but others look like they had some parental input, with neat lettering and a gleaming coat of polyurethane.

The oldest one I could find was dated 1994, from Cub Scout Pack 40 in Amsterdam.

That doesn’t sound like long ago, but a lot can happen in seventeen years. The boys would be in their twenties now, setting off down the road of life. Some will be businessmen, some work with their hands. Some will find success, others trouble. But long ago they all shared a cold winter weekend in the woods. They may not remember every detail, but I’d bet they would recognize the smell of that cabin.

10 thoughts on “The Long Trail

  1. HAHAHAHAHA “Latrine-O-Meter” Priceless!
    Seriously though, a double hole “er”, do two people ever really take care of their business at the same time in one of those things??

    1. I’ve never heard of two people using one of those at the same time — and I latch the door to make sure I remain alone. I think it’s about having a choice. Choice is good!

  2. ….I agree on the “Latrine-O-Meter”, Rob – it was all the more impressive in light of the daring menu choices for the boys this year which included Sloppy Joes & Corn… & Taco & baked beans….!! 😉

  3. We just did Camp Wakpomonee- No grilled cheese..we cheated and I drove into Lake George for pizza’s. Franks on 9.

  4. You don’t know about latrines until you’ve used one during a July day in the south. Sweet Jeebus, it’s breathtaking! Quite literally.

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