some people have too much time on their hands but they are using it brilliantly!!
Shane Steinkamp <shane@...
T'was the night before summit, and all on the ground,
Not a hiker was sleeping; no campsite was found.
The walkers were vexed by ground so unstable
No flat spot was found the size of a table.
The campers tried nestling on top of their packs,
but the lumps and the bumps were twisting their backs.
Try though they might, no rest could they find,
And one did exclaim, "My poor aching behind!"
When out from the trail there arose such a clatter,
They sprang from their bags to check out the matter.
Downward they looked with their aches and their pains
From their long sleepless evening they felt quite insane
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,
But a fantastic sleigh, and eight ginormous reindeer,
With a little old driver, with huge hiker gams,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Ham.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:
"Now, Speer! now, Hennessy! now Bana and Byer!
On, Bliss! on Jungle!, on Amazonas! and Lyer!
To the top of the hill now! to the top of the wall!
Now stop yo'self! stop yo'self! stop yo'self all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the switchback the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of hammocks, and St. Ham too.
And then, in a twinkling, he tossed out a sack,
then another, and another, and they all just stared back.
As my bag slipped away, and fell to the ground,
St. Ham jumped from the sleigh with one mighty bound.
He was dressed all in Gore-Tex, from his head to his foot,
And he looked quite refreshed with his well-rested look.
A bag full of tarps he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a thru-hiker opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled -- his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a Slim-Jim he held tight in his teeth,
And hiker stench encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and hands that were strong,
And as he strung hammocks, he sung a fine song.
"Woe to you groundling, with the rocks and the roots
Without enough enough sense to take off your boots!
Watch this now and closely, I'll just show you twice;
Once you can do this, you'll escape snakes and mice!"
He tied up the beds, and lined them with care
With pads and thick bags and a pillow to spare
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I would sleep like the dead.
He spoke not a word, but kept straight to his work,
He tied all the knots; which he cinched with a jerk,
He drove in some stakes, and strung up a tarp,
then pulled them all tightly in the quickening dark.
He sprang to his sleigh, to his teams gave a whistle,
And downward they slid off the hill like a missle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Hammocking to all, and to all a good-night!"
Camping tents Camping hammock Happy camper Outdoors
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