Friday of the first week were at Vogelsang was a holiday. July 4 fell on a Saturday, so the Friday before was a State Holiday, giving us a three day weekend. We used three day weekends for long 2-night backpacking trips. We looked forward to them. Anne came up with a great plan to head west around Rafferty Peak for some cross country hiking and visiting several lakes. However, this particular Friday I was scheduled for KP. Since it was a holiday and Patti, the cook, had the day off I was responsible for feeding anybody who was in camp on that day. As KP, I couldn’t leave camp to join Anne’s group.
I had one possible escape route. If enough people were going to leave camp for the weekend, the KP was off the hook and the few people in camp could fend for themselves. I thought this was going to be a piece of cake. I mean, everybody is going to going out for overnighters, right?
I polled the crew and found out that quite a few people were planning to do day hikes out of camp for the whole weekend, but a lot of people were going to be in camp for dinner each day.
I tried to ‘reason’ them into at least going on an overnighter. “You’ll have the next three months for day hikes out of camp. We’ve only got two three-day weekends. Get out and see some country!”
“Nah. We just want to stay close by. But just go with Anne and Jose anyway! We can take care of ourselves.”
Moose: “Nope. The rule is that the KP does duty if there are more than five people in camp. You have to stay.”
We reached an impasse. In this case, an impasse meant that I lost. OK. Fine. I know my job.
The next morning went fine. I made everyone a good brunch. Everyone got the dishes washed and then headed out for their day hikes. I took my mid-day break, reading David Copperfield in the shadow of Vogelsang Peak. After my break, I looked at the sign-out log. For safety reasons, anybody leaving camp had to sign out. The log listed the names of everybody in the party, date and time of departure, complete itinerary, and estimated time of return. I checked the log to find out what time everybody expected to be back so I could plan dinner accordingly.
And then I lost it.
The day hikers weren’t due back until 7:00 PM—three hours after the crew’s normal weekend dinner time. I hadn’t needed to stay in camp after all. If only these guys had told somebody they were staying out that late! I was furious. I was livid. I vented into the crew journal. My handwriting got bigger towards the end of the entry. I wrote some words in the journal that I should not have used. And then I got on with dinner preparations.