The girl named Lisa Beran and the band Supertramp will forever be synonymous in my brain. We met in 5th grade when her family moved back to Connecticut from London. I had lived there for 2 years and heard about her from our mutual friend Lili harges. When Lisa and I met it was instantaneous friendship. We just clicked. We spent the next 3 years before she went off to Groton basically attached at the hip. Days were spent sliding in the mud, taunting poor Staige Grimes (I didn’t say we were the nicest crew), hanging out at Lili’s and the Silvermine Market (our ½ way meeting point) and attempting to spend the night in the cemetery (I had convinced several friends to do so – but couldn’t convince them to stay all night – we packed up and left before midnight).
There was something about Lisa, me and Lili. It was indeed a special union. I think some of it was that all of us were artists in different ways. Lisa – a brilliant painter, me the musician, Lili with the artist’s soul. After moving around a bunch before landing in Connecticut their friendship was a comforting and stabilizing force in a town of long-time residents, old money, and many kids who had known each other since before birth.
When Lisa announced that she was headed to boarding school my world changed. While Lili and I stayed friends the rest of our pre college years, Lisa and I saw each other only intermittently and didn’t reconnect until 11th grade. We continued to hang out through college, and even some of my Boston years. When last I heard she was living in Salem, Massachusetts. But that was too long ago.
Thanks to my uncle who is a mere 12 years older than me (more brother than uncle), I was aware of music before my time. Supertramp’s Breakfast In America album was in my brain during those childhood years with Lisa and Lili. You can say it was the soundtrack of that life. Songs of rebellion, one night stands and love – all I was too young to fully understand but somehow connected to anyway. Now that I’m old enough to understand, these songs take on a different meaning and somehow mean more to me now than they did back then. Perhaps that is the true test of good music – withstanding the years from innocent child’s ears, to adult’s wisdom or sometimes lack of it.
We didn’t mean to go on an 8 mile hike Friday – it was somewhat of an accident. We had done a quick hike to solstice canyon’s famous waterfall on Wednesday and on the way noticed a trail I wanted to take. So we made a point to go back on Friday and hike it. What we misunderstood from the sign and map was that it was a 4 mile roundtrip hike over the river (twice), up the mountain to another trail that was 2 miles roundtrip. Thinking we were lost we hiked down a bit, only to discover that we were on a service road that led nowhere. We headed back up and found the real trail back down towards the park. We were accidental tourists in a land of scenery, dust and a river. It was quite a trip!
Thank god for the river and my gps brain. After 3 hours of uphill climbing, and very little downhill action we found the river again (at it’s 2nd crossing). After a brief lunch – it was 2.30 and we feared light loss and becoming subjects of the show “I shouldn’t be alive”, I convinced abby to hike down the river instead if going back the still long way home. It was a gamble, for sure, but one I knew we should take even though abby isn’t a rock climber and I wasn’t sure my wrist and elbow having been broken 2 years ago would hold up. In my brain it seemed to be the most direct route – it was simple - we would head down and meet up with the 1st river crossing which would take us back to the trail head (which was a mile from the park entrance/car, in case you’re doing the math). Though abby initially thought I just wanted to do it because it would be more fun (that was part of it, of course), I convinced her that if we stayed on the river it would be the shortest way back and potentially the best way not to spend the night.
I was right. While It wasn’t always an easy climb down -there were some treacherous moments on huge boulders and gaping holes, it was a very cool hour of my life. It was probably my favourite part of the hike and our long way home – or at least back to the car. It’s amazing what you can do when you don’t mean to do it.
Thanks for tuning in…until next Monday…CHEERS!!