25 Jun 2010

Interracial Super Friends

2011? Jesus, how did you arrive here - on your dinosaur? Click here to go to hencewise.com, and stop a weirdo holding a candle in the dark, looking all dramatic and old-fashioned.

After an amazingly healthy breakfast accompanied by proper, proper coffee at our hosts, the Littlefield family’s house, we got in to our borrowed car, and typed an address into our gifted sat nav and headed to our next destination: scenic Lake George, northern New York State.

After relaxing on the lake beach for a while, we started looking for somewhere we could camp for free – the more bear footprints and shotgun shells, the better. However, we found somewhere lovely instead. We went to the reception to ask how much it would be… $22.

Well, I don’t know what five and a half bucks means to you, but to me that’s a buffet. Staring out at endless acres of woodland, and endless miles of lake, I was less than keen. However, this is when fate stepped in. More accurately, this is where fate waddled in. The Universe had just delivered to us large happy crappy camper Steve.

Steve, first and foremost, is not made for the wilderness. He’s barely made for surviving civilisation, bless him. But he saw us, four youthful brain-trained individuals, with time to kill. He asked us if we could put up his tent for him.

‘Of course! Get in’, we said, hugely pleased to be of service.

So, it turns out, Steve and his friend Sam (think Bubba from Forrest Gump but a lot more blind) are the two greatest men on the planet. Not only are they cute, interracial super friends, they are recovered alcoholics, ceaseless world watchers, and amongst the world’s most generous, simple and lazy creatures.

After setting up their tent for them (turns out they hadn’t read the instructions), we also set up their camping cots, six electric lanterns, their radio and their torches – all of which were brand new for their trip (estimated cost: well over a thousand pounds). It would later rain, and we quite simply could not imagine where they would have been if we hadn’t helped them (though in the dark, wet and upside-down would be a good guess.)

What followed was a night and morning of insightful quotes, nuggets of wisdom and insights into the workings of two minds that couldn’t figure out a zip… between two of them:

  • At three in the morning, “hey, Steve! How do you make this zip work?! I’m having so much trouble I think Ima have a accident!”
  • Paul: “Bad news, there’s no showers. Good news, I saw a chipmunk.”
    Sam: “Oh yeh! I saw a chipmunk this morning… in the shower!”
  • Steve trying to take a group photo of all of us. Unfortunately for several minutes he is pointing the camera at his own face, despite being the one with working eyes.
  • They take us out for breakfast (and please bear in mind we are camping on Lake George):
    Steve: “Hey, look at this lake.”
    He points at his table mat. Sam looks from Steve’s table mat to his own.
    Sam: “Hey, I think I got the same lake!”
  • Sam, a cigar-smoking basically-blind man, meandering around the camp trying to get some photos of us on his camera-phone, and literally pointing it at anything that moved. He also insisted on using a flash, despite it definitely being the day. Steve’s photography was almost as wondrous. We asked him to take a photo of all of us together, but he protested that we wouldn't all fit in. We explained he would have to get up and move back a bit.
  • Paul: “Are you gonna do a fire later?'
    Steve: “Depends if the trolley comes by with some wood.”
    This is mostly funny because we were in a wood.

But it is difficult to describe what genuinely great people they really were. Charming, engaging, curious. We were so, so fond of them. Steve, apart from feeding us and taking us out for breakfast, gave us a $100 towards our fuel, for little other reason that he hoped someone might do the same for his nieces and nephews while they were travelling. Amazing. To sum him up though, please see this animated gif, shot on a self-timer over the course of about 2 minutes.

Pictured: Steve and the World that moves around him.

To read more, visit USA by Hammock.

2011? Jesus, how did you arrive here - on your dinosaur? Click here to go to hencewise.com, and stop a weirdo holding a candle in the dark, looking all dramatic and old-fashioned.