Into the Wilderness – PART I

In the spring of 1981, I participated in my university’s rugby tour to New England. I had just finished my BSc. I was going to work for a year before pursuing my BEd. I was soon to start a six month contract with the navy. Life was treating me well.

It was a ten day tour, during which we played six games. Some nights were were billeted by our host team, other nights we stayed in a hostel or a motel. Twice we simply slept on the floor of a frat house. It was all good.

Following a tough game against the Hartford Wanderers, my group was to be billeted with a fellow who lived outside the city. We exited Hartford and followed his vehicle down the highway. It was getting dark. He was driving quickly. We eventually lost sight of his car.

After a while we came to the realization that we had to come up with Plan B. As it was, I was travelling with the tour captain. There were five of us in his Ford Jimmy. He made a decision.

Gentlemen, tonight we sleep in the wilderness.”

Now we had to find the wilderness.

We knew we would have to get off the interstate highway. We took the next exit. We were on a secondary highway. We assumed it was taking us closer to the wilderness but we knew we would have to take another exit.

It was dark. It was very dark, and, as I recall, there was no moon. We continued.

Someone spoke, “Look, over there, I think it is the wilderness.”

Our captain turned his Jimmy off the road and down a slight bank. He drove up the other side of the bank. According to the flag before us, we were on the fringe of the sixth hole of a golf course. This, we knew, was not the wilderness. We turned around.

After a while we saw a dirt road to the left. It was very dark. Someone spoke.

This will take us to the wilderness.”

We drove down the road.

… to be continued

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