In my search for sober Saint Patty’s Day plans I decided to plan an overnight camping trip with Sarah in the White Mountains. I figured that the farther I could get away from the Southie Parade in Boston the better. I’ve gone to the parade every year for the past 4 years and while it’s a great time, it can be hugely overwhelming, mostly due to the sheer mass of people on the street, not to mention their rampant public urination, vomiting, etc yay. Regardless, it’s fun to dress up in green, do a power hour, and hit up Southie for the spectacle that is Saint Patty’s Day in Boston. However, this year I chose snow and mountains instead of beer and shamrocks.
In my college days (sigh they’re over), I spent many weekends up at the Tufts Loj hiking, camping, climbing, biking, and generally just taking part in outdoor shenanigans. They almost always culminated in a growler of beer from the Woodstock Inn. While these outdoor weekends usually (read: always) involved beer, it was far better for the liver than having stayed on campus. Being in a college environment close to a major city like Boston, it can be easy to fall into the binge drinking culture common to both scenarios. I can definitely say that the Tufts Mountain Club was (and is) my anti-drunk. The club definitely kept me physically active while moderating my alcohol intake whereas staying on campus every weekend would have likely resulted in a beer gut, sleeping in until noon, and generally having far too many weekends not worth remembering. We definitely had some crazy weekends at the Loj, but putting down more than a few beers after an 18 mile hike or a day of rock climbing usually leads to a nap instead of partying, not a bad deal given the circumstances. I’d trade light beer in a frat basement for a hike, a few micro-brewed beers, and a nap by the woodstove anytime.
Being a yuppie in Boston still exposes me to the binge drinking culture, it just happens to be with higher quality alcohol and as a result, way more expensive. The bar scene and my growing affinity for high percentage microbrews takes a toll on my bank account. Having a resource like the Tufts Loj even as an alumni is a fantastic thing. It’s a great basecamp for many northern adventures, it allows you to drop knowledge on the undergrad n00bs, and it has the added bonus (depending on your perspective) of reduced alcoholic intake compard to a weekend in the city. The beers become celebratory instead of just something to do for fun.
Here are a few of my photos from the weekend trip:
It was kind of nice to take off Saint Patty’s Day this year. I enjoy Guinness and Shamrocks just as much as anyone else but it just felt right to be totally alone (with Sarah) in the middle of the woods, a large contrast to the scene in Southie back in Boston. I didn’t really miss it at all actually, falling sleep to the sound of a brook after a tough day of exercising was amazing. Moral of the story is that I’d take sore quads over a sore liver any day so I didn’t mind sitting this year’s parade out.