Nubist Colony | October 7, 8, and 9 @ Pinegrove Furnace State Park, PA
What: Nubist Colony at the 10th annual MAHHA hang
Where: Pine Grove Furnace State Park; 1100 Pine Grove Rd., Gardners, PA 17324; Map of Area
When: October 7th - 9th 2016
With steel gray thunderheads swiftly moving in overhead, courtesy of a temperamental Hurricane Matthew charging up the coast, those brave enough to withstand rain and wind, hung their hammocks in the pristine and remote Pine Grove Furnace State Park for the annual MAHHA PA hang. Friday afternoon was cool yet charged with a frenetic energy as hammockers from all over the US carefully drove into the group hang site. Everywhere you looked was a new and different hammock-camping system finding its way to the sky- from the carefully crafted DIY to the high-dollar manufactured. As the sun sank below the horizon, strangers became friends and uproarious laughter could be heard from round many-a campfire. The culprit at ours- Exploding Kittens. No PETA was not called, Exploding Kittens is a card game akin to Skip-Bo but modernized and filled with well...cats.
The next morning everyone gathered in the Furnace Stack Pavilion to enjoy a potluck breakfast. The food was simply amazing- both in variety and quality. The day had dawned gray and cold but the pavilion was filled with warm energy. As the large group disbanded to hike, bike or hang out, many stayed behind to converse and enjoy each others company- talking gear and get-togethers. By dinnertime the pavilion filled again with folks invigorated by their various outdoor activities. As the tables at the South end of the pavilion slowly filled with gear for the raffle it grew quieter and quieter; everyone stared hungrily at the mounting pile of hammocking goodies.
After the last piece of gear was raffled off, we all shared another potluck meal with every imaginable, delectable dish: bacon-wrapped jalapeños, smoked barbecue, potato salad, scalloped corn and even a beautiful cake! After everyone was stuffed to the brim we all hobbled back to the campsite and enjoyed an evening around the fire, chatting and roasting marshmallows until the moon was full overhead. During the night, Hurricane Matthew let his presence be known in a big way. The howling wind was so strong that trees were whipped around like matchsticks. Miraculously, everyone's hammock systems remained firmly in place- a true testimony to the structural integrity of everyone's systems.
The next morning was bittersweet- saying goodbye to new friends always is. We're reminded of the good that's left in this unpredictable world and that true community still exists if you look in the right place. As for me, I can't wait until April when we all will get together again and I will finally win a round of exploding kittens!