The Quest

The Mont

Gregor Oct 10, 2007

The Mont (or Vermont as you like) proved less than we hoped. Nicole and I arrived around 4 and began to prepare for the sweatlodge by gathering rocks to be heated and wood to heat them, and digging a pit for said rocks in the center of the lodge to be built. As the sun went down we had the fire started and the beginnings of the lodge built. We kept the fire going and our hazard lights flashing to alert the soon-to-be-arriving Dave Often and family to our whereabouts. Sometime a while after ten the hazards went out as it became apparent they were not coming. Somewhere off in a remote corner of the Green Mountain National Forest they drove on, after having come close and turned around hours earlier.

When we woke we were not ready to do the sweatlodge as it wasn't completed. This required the fire on the rocks to be reignited and stoked for a later start. More work and increasing soreness. Finally, the lodge was built; we had put in the first batch of rocks, his ashes, herbs, etc, closed up the entrance and began sprinkling some water onto the hot rocks. I invited Braedwyn to join us if he would like and no sooner were the words out of my mouth, than a downpour began. The heat the lodge had been acquiring was quickly cooled by the chilly rain, and we decided that our only hope was to just get all the rocks in and throw in our lot. If we left the other rocks outside in the downpour they would quickly become wet, cool rocks rather than hot, dry ones. Out into the freezing rain we lept half naked and, as quickly as humanly possible, got twenty odd rocks out of the fire and into the pit in the lodge and squeezed our own drenched carcasses back inside.

Ah, okay, sweatlodge — hmmm, what's that sound? Oh, a bunch of teenagers moving into a site about 150 feet away. That won't be distracting. Not any more so than the endless gunfire that had accompanied our day. All rocks on, water on, steam rising — not enough to beat back the relentless cooling factor of the thousands of raindrops landing on the outside of the lodge.

There will be no sweatlodge, instead there will be the packing of soaking things and the hasty retreat to a nearby motel... Ha! Motel, yes, nearby, no. Halfway back to Boston we finally found a place with a room.

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