"Don't worry about that," Grim said nonchalantly, pulling the shelter log over to himself and flipping it open to the blank back page. He took a pencil from his pocket and lazily rattled off, "We've got the numbers, 1 through 6, then you've got your 3 of a kind, 4 of a kind, Full House, Small Straight, Large Straight, Yahtzee and Chance... Then we've just got to add the bonuses here, 35 for the top section if you get at least 63 points... checks for each Yahtzee bonus... and then totals for the top and bottom sections. Easy."
Grim put his pencil down and looked up at us. We were staring at him like he had just performed a series of complicated gymnastics. He shrugged and said, "So what? I play a lot of Yahtzee," and poured out the tiny cardboard sleeve of 5 plastic dice onto the old weathered picnic table in front of the shelter. We were somewhere in the Shenandoah National Park, and Grim had either been holding out on us or had recently acquired a set of 5 playing dice. We never questioned the origin of the dice, because we were just too plum excited about having a fun evening activity.
The vast majority of Americans will turn on the TV at the end of their work day. Or, if you're among the younger generation like me, you'll stream the exact same television shows directly to your computer or tablet, all while feeling smugly superior that you aren't technically watching TV. Listen up, Clever Girl, just because you watch TV on a tiny, barely visible pocket square, doesn't make you any better than people who just watch the same content but on a larger screen actually meant for displaying said content. DID SOMEONE SAY SOMETHING? I HAVE MY HEADPHONES IN AND I'M VERY ENGROSSED IN CASTLE RIGHT NOW.
However, if your technical "work day" involves hiking for 15 miles and then having to set up your entire home for the evening, you don't really have time for TV. Not to mention that even if you happen to have some sort of media-playing device, you probably aren't in a place that has cell service. And even if you are in a place that has service, you don't want to waste precious battery on your device that you only get to charge once a week. And even if you have one of those fancy battery packs that allows you to charge your device over and over again, you probably don't want to spend 3 hours at night watching TV shows when you could be enjoying nature or absorbing yourself in the hiking community.
Or maybe you just hike with a 4 foot by 3 foot solar panel on your backpack and you spend every moment that you're not hiking binge watching M.A.S.H. If so, more power to you my friend. PUN. INTENDED. COMEDY. GENIUS. Well I might as well just quit writing now because it'll never get any better than that.
I have already written a post about how much fun it is to have a deck of cards with you, but other people also get creative in regard to having board games with them. Grim's poison was Yahtzee, which we would play for hours on end. Sometimes we'd play Triple Yahtzee, which is 3 Yahtzee games played simultaneously. I would love to tell you that this helped me keep my mind sharp because I had to do a lot of math, but Grim could do the math so quickly that we all had learned helplessness. If we ever played while he was using the privy or taking a nap, we'd all roll the dice and then just sit there staring at each other because we didn't know what to do next. Usually we'd just end up stacking the dice and trying to balance things on top of them, because we're adults!
At the beginning of the trail we met someone who was carrying a small pillowcase with a checkerboard embroidered on it, and inside the pillowcase were plastic chess pieces. Later on, there was one shelter that had a chess board and, miraculously all the pieces were there. Of course there is also the infamous two-seated privy that has a chess board on the wooden bench between the two outhouse holes. When we came across this particular privy, the pieces were long gone, and I can only imagine that wherever they fell, it was not to a better place.
At the end of the day, hikers find ways to entertain each other. Even if no one has the energy to build a campfire, the connection is still there. There is no television, so we are each other's television, and suffice it to say, smellovision has officially been invented.
|Chess - I like Whistle perching to the left.|