Over the years that our kids have grown, our good friends Neva and Fredo have always made an effort to come see us, no matter what part of the world they were living in at the time. Now that they have a new one of their own, it’s our turn to travel to see them. Only, apparently not quite yet.
So instead, they bundled their baby into our car (which they have been taking care of in our absence) and drove from Boston to the Berkshires to throw us a spectacular picnic. We met them around lunch time and enjoyed fancy cheeses, good wine, fresh fruit, and other yummy treats. And, of course, we took turns holding the baby. They hiked with us to the top of a blueberry covered hill, then headed back to the car to drive around and meet us in the next town. For dinner we repeated the festivities at a picnic table in the motel parking lot.
On the trail we also had some atypical adventures. We met Warren Doyle, a hiker who has walked over 34,000 miles along the AT over the years. We waited for a train to pass before we crossed the tracks. We played in the ferns, picked berries, and waded in streams.
But weirdest of all, we came around the corner to the sound of a rhythmic thumping (like the banging of a distant drum), which is apparently the sound that Emus make. We were greeted warily by the large flightless bird, which Orion promptly chased into the brush. The bird quickly lost him in the bushes, circled around back upwind and popped out again mere feet from us. It stared us down as we warily walked past and Orion thrashed frantically through the bushes ahead of us trying to discover where the giant bird had gone.