the Clamb, anus clenching adventure

Vincentoli Blanteev
Half Ass Expedition Guide

and G. Mount Da Gomerly



A star, one that wasn't really there, appeared in the night sky over the Bigelow Range in January 1998. For the entire weekend the star had been moving over the mountains, unseen by the rest of the team below. The "star" was Mark's imagination, since the sky was a blocked from view by clouds. It was the beginning of the winter season in Maine, that interval of time between the two planker invasion and the onset of the summer gomers when, historically, expeditions in the backwoods were least successful and the imaginary light Mark thought he saw would be considered a hallucination by the local donut squad.

The Rangers, a group of over paid state workers indigenous to Maine, many of whom now live in trailer parks in Portland, derive a substantial part of their incomes from flatland gomers and the half assed expeditions that come to the mountains. Some hand out tickets and citations; others suckle the teat of the state income and sit in the donut shop and talk of harrassing the tourists.

By 1998, in the 18 years that have passed since the first attempt to survive the New England winter wilderness, a whole bunch of people have died in the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire. Almost 90 percent of those fatalities had been gomers. So when Mark and JB enter the woods, the Rangers take notice.

On December 29, in his dusty basement of his ramshackle house in Natick, nestled between the bustle of Boston and the Brazilian throngs of Framingham, Novak held a bong-a-thon, a ritual consumption of JB's stash. That evening, the team sat in a circle and passed the haebar. Since Novak wasn't on the expedition and Fife was somewhere in Seattle, extra smoke would fill the basement before JB and Mark would escape to the mountains. With quiet reverence and a bow of thanks, each of them took a hit and coughed until their eyes would water.

Half Ass Expeditions (HAE) started back in the '80s as a joke among four guys who go winter mountaineering in Northern New England. HAE's hiking style developed over the years into a peripatetic, rambling, seat-of-the-pants modus operandi. JB was enthusiastic about making a website and was sure our exploits would earn them notoriety of local renown, most notably with our families, friends, and professional colleagues. It was hoped the team could convince gomers to send them money just to be seen with them.

Blanteev, in his early forties, was something of a legend in his own mind. More than any other hiker, except for perhaps Novak, who with Mark Niermeyer, hiked the whole Appalachian Trail, would espouse his wilderness accomplishments as marketable. A website was built and a bunch of red eyed hikers' trips were exaggerated to unbelievable tales of endurance and misadventure.

HAE had been successful in flavoring the stories with some humor and outright lies. When HAE takes to the wood, they sometimes don't act much different than a bunch of mountain trash yahoos chasing down a 12 pack of beer. So there was a whole lotta' of drinking, smoking and 'cussing going on, and of course, they bring along quite a complement of saws, axes and machetes to thrash and burn wood, just like the locals. If by idealistic standards such questionable behavior in the sensitive wilderness areas may seem to affront sensibilities, or possibly even be outright shocking, one must realize that our attitudes and actions were our own choice, and HAE was not there to make any apologies, only money.

yo yo yo..

Chapter 2, The Abraham Invitation... CLICK

Copyright 2000 John Bellantoni