Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Came Back Alive

Well, as Ninquelote hinted at below, our trip was a success, although due to the rain and the convenient availability of an empty and well-equipped cabin at our campsite, we did not exactly go "camping" as I had suggested. Hey, it's December in Northern California, what can I say? I don't know about anyone else, but I left with two basic goals in mind: to get the hell out of the city and to win at least one round of Settlers of Catan. And I am proud to say I accomplished both goals. Highlights:

1) The Chicken Soup

Yoggoth and I stayed up late on Saturday night in order to cook the world's most bottomless chicken soup - Yoggoth having done a top-notch job of rounding up all the key ingredients (except, that is, for the chicken broth). The hearty concoction ultimately managed to feed four people, two times. And we didn't even have time to stir-fry the mushrooms!

2) The Cabin

Much hand-wringing was done on the way to the campground in anticipation of rain. Would we have to set up a tarp in order to cook? Where would we play our board games? How many people would fit in Ninquelote's tent? Such questions swiftly evaporated as we gazed upon...The Cabin. With a table, two bunks, and a woodstove, the only convenience it lacked was electricity. Ninquelote insisted we set up a tent, but Yoggoth turned to me and said, "Come on, is there any question about using that cabin?" Although it hovered around 40 degrees outside all evening, with a woodstove and a propane lantern running for hours the cabin actually had a propensity for becoming too hot. Now that's what I call roughing it.

3) The Marshmallow Cookie

In a supreme act of late-night indulgence, Yoggoth built for himself a sandwich out of roasted marshmallows and two Keebler's "M&M rip-off" cookies. I had been watching Ninquelote and the Mysterious Mister Ed take photos of every third redwood tree the whole day, but finally, I had seen something that was truly worthy of capturing on film, and I commanded them to get out their cameras and make Yoggoth's gluttony immortal.

4) Settlers of Catan

Many of you may be familiar with this new board game that is currently all the rage amongst the glitterati. I played it for the first time a couple of months ago and I knew my life would not be complete until I managed to parse its sacred secrets. Thus I was all geared up and ready to go this trip. After one swift initial losing round, I suddenly informed the assembled masses that I had formulated "a new strategy." They laughed, oh how they laughed. In the second round my new strategy was thwarted by a bad roll of the dice. But the third time was the charm, as I managed to build four cities and the longest road to amass the required 10 points for victory. The beginning of a championship run? Or an isolated taste of glory?

5) Powergrid

We consistently alternated all trip between Settlers and this newer game, similar to Settlers in many ways except the game runs about four times as long. Some players thrived while others dived. For my part, I couldn't understand how everyone else kept managing to generate more money than me at the end of each turn.

6) Late breakfasts on the road

There's nothing that makes cooking on a camping trip easier like eating meals at a roadside diner instead. Waffles, pancakes, breakfast burritos, coffee, toast, and eggs over easy taste that much better when you eat them around noon.


ninquelote said...

I still say we should have set up the tent to at least sleep in. We didn't really need to stay in a cabin to use it to play the games. It's not like people were lined up at the gates ready to flood Hendy Woods with activity.

herr zrbo said...

Just FYI, it's spelled 'Catan' and it's not quite what I would define as 'new', it came out in '95. Or knowing your tastes, anything after the death of Lennon might quality as 'new', so maybe it is...

Now you've got to try Seafarers of Catan, Cities and Knights edition Catan, 5-6 player expansion Catan, Starfarers of Catan, Settlers of the Stone Age, etc., etc. A whole world of Catan awaits!

Schrödinger's Penguin said...

What in the world is a glitterati?

Little Earl said...

glit·te·ra·ti /ˌglɪtəˈrɑti/
–plural noun
wealthy or famous people who conspicuously or ostentatiously attend fashionable events.

glit·te·ra·ti (glĭt'ə-rä'tē) Pronunciation Key
pl.n. Informal
Highly fashionable celebrities; the smart set: "private parties on Park Avenue and Central Park West, where the literati mingled with glitterati" (Skylines).

And I fixed the spelling of "Catan."

herr zrbo said...

And I fixed the spelling of "Catan."

The world is safe yet again...

but for how long?

Hey LE, if you're seriously interested in playing more Settlers I've got a friend in Redwood City who hosts a game day every couple of months, usually it's all Settlers all day. I'll keep you posted next time I hear from her.

Little Earl said...

Sure, let me know, although I'm a bit leery of actually becoming a series "Settlers Geek" (maybe I already am and I just don't want to admit it!). Otherwise, I think we need to get together again so I can beat you in person. Or can you tell us about the internet version? Maybe we'll all play on the web somehow.

yoggoth said...

Settlers all day sounds like fun.