OVERHEARD IN GEHRING HALL: I’m cutting up cardboard boxes to make into shoe boxes. I’m making boxes out of boxes!”
Happy October vacation, Gouldies! I hope that all is well with you all over the world, wherever you are. I am here in Bethel, where we just couldn’t get enough of Mountain Day last week.
So we took another one.
This morning four of your intrepid teachers, and one intrepid teacher’s dog (who, in the spirit of full disclosure, is cute, big, and dumb) left Bethel to travel to far-off Randolph, New Hampshire (motto: Live Free, or Die on One of our Really Tall Mountains) to hike Mt Madison. I did some extensive research (Google) to bring you the following information on Mt. Madison: This lovely little hill is named after the fourth president of the US, Alexander Hamilton. It is 5,367 feet high. It is actually the fifth-highest mountain in the Presidential range, and really should be named Mt. Monroe, but between you and me, I think the Monroe family slipped the surveyors a few extra bills with a picture of Benjamin Franklin on them (Little-known fact: there is no Mt. Franklin in the Presidentials), and the fourth-highest mountain is Mt. Monroe, named for the fifth president, Marylin Monroe.
So anyways, up Mt. Madison we went: Misters Shifrin, Riley, Clarke, and Alford. Guess who consistently made it to the back of the line?
Go ahead, try this experiment- come up with an animal-totem that goes well with each hiker. It’s a bit like trying to figure out what one’s patronus (from “Harry Potter”) might be (Spoiler alert: Darth Vader is Harry’s Father!!). Between heaving breaths on the way up, I thought about this. Think about it:
- Dr. Clarke’s patronus is definitely a Bengal Tiger. He’s quick, silent, and eats you alive on the downhill stretches.
- Mr. Shifrin: His is a White Rhino. He’s powerful and has incredible stamina. Also, if you are in his way when he is moving fast, your greatest chance for survival is just to get out of the way and let the carnage run before you.
- Mr. Riley: No question, his totem is the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep. He’s strong, agile, loves mountain tops, and is unquestionably a pack animal. Just watch him jump from rock to rock!
And then, there’s me. I’d like to claim something really lithe and fast, like a leopard. But I’m more like a bear. Yup, that’s me- I’m a plodder on the trail, I love to eat all day, and occasionally I growl out loud. Especially when I’m hungry. Which is most of the time.
It was a really great hike, and we were sorry that all of you weren’t with us. Here are a few pictures to make you kinda-sorta feel like you were there (except without the 50MPH wind and mini snowflakes, sandblasting our faces for 30 minutes at the top):
Rock on Mountain Day! Rock on…..