PERILOUS JOURNEY - 12
Copyright 2012 by Carl Mason
All rights reserved. Other than downloading one copy for strictly personal enjoyment, no part of this story may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, except for reviews, without the written permission of the author. However based on real events and places, “Perilous Journey” is strictly fictional. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental. As in real life, however, the sexual themes unfold gradually. Comments on the story are appreciated and may be addressed to the author at email@example.com
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This story contains descriptions of sexual contact between males, both adults and teenagers. As such, it is homoerotic fiction designed for the personal enjoyment of legal, mature, adults. If you are not of legal age to read such material, if those in power and/or those whom you trust treat it as illegal, or if it would create unresolvable moral dilemmas in your life, please leave. Finally, please respect yourself and those around you by practicing safe sex.
(Revisiting Chapter 11)
Only minutes passed before their "Captain" knelt outside by the side of the car, an arm wrapped around the shoulders of a dark haired fourteen year-old...a scared and exhausted fourteen year-old. "The hospital said Kip could handle the trip," Rob murmured, looking at Hunter. "Ross has some clean bandages and directions for taking care of his friend. He does need to see a doctor ASAP and have the second bullet removed. The other two boys, by the way, are doing fine, but they aren't ready to travel." With that, Robbie rose, ceremoniously slugged Kip on his upper arm before guiding him into Hunter's arms, and reached around the two boys to shake Ross's hand. "You done good, podnuh," he said in his best western (New York State) accent and walked off, muttering, "Gotta rock and roll". An obviously pleased Ross grinned at his older brother. Over to the side, a thoroughly amused black Police Chief watched (and admired) the young man at work.
(Continuing Our Story: Into the Adirondacks!)
Leaving Ithaca, the boys headed north, quickly reaching Syracuse and then Watertown on the flat Lake Ontario plain. Though the northbound traffic was relatively heavy and the State Police presence massive - and, one guessed, intentionally obvious - it was an uneventful trip. After pausing in Watertown for the briefest pit stop (at that point only 25 miles or so south of Canada), they headed east on NY-3, driving through a low, rolling terrain dotted with many small ponds. Swamp areas and small brooks were common. Although there were extensive stands of virgin pine and spruce, the hardwood growths were less impressive. Clearly, the effects of the severe northern climate were beginning to be visible. Further, many of the hardwood sections had been heavily logged and burned years ago and were only now recovering. Though there were few farming villages, a few small towns were scattered along NY-3 even after they had entered the Adirondacks State Park. Not surprisingly, they gave every sign of being rooted in their logging history. Some were obviously trying to convert their economic base to tourism, although most had the look of barely hanging on. In any case, only about three and one-half hours after leaving Ithaca, they found themselves well into the Park, approaching the tiny village of Cranberry Lake. The eleven square mile lake was surrounded by wilderness.
Wolf Jervis, one of Scott's endless friends in the Adirondack Park area, ran a public campground and day-use area for the State. Though it didn't open for camping for another month, Wolf had argued that the picnic area and beach would allow the boys to have a relaxing lunch, as well as work the kinks out of their muscles. Rob remembered Scottie's saying that Wolf always seemed to manage an attention-getting entrance. In this case, Wolf and a couple of his college-aged staff members suddenly appeared, rolling a large BBQ whose increasingly thick clouds of aromatic smoke gave promise of glories to come! ("If that doesn't wake the carnivores up, nothing will!" snickered the boss.)
Immediately, Wolf was with them, glad-handing his way through the boys who sat happily at a long table not that far from the edge of the lake. Reaching Robbie, he offered his hand in respect and then enveloped the young man in a bone-crushing hug. "If you would go over to that yellow-doored shack, Rob, and get two or three more chairs for us?" he finally asked. "No problem," Rob murmured, turning and jogging over to the storage shed some ten yards away. Pushing against the rough door, he entered the shed, immediately spotting the folded chairs opposite some tall shelves on the far wall. In a minute or two, he was on his way out of the shed. Just before he reached the door, however, a dark figure stepped in font of him, blocking his path. It took several minutes for Rob's brain to even question the belief that Scott Thayer, his father, was dead. As it slowly crumbled, the two stood entwined, sobbing. Promising that he would tell him more as soon as possible, Scottie whispered that while still at the State College professional meeting, he had been ordered to serve the Federal Government in an advisory capacity. He had worked under a complete blanket of silence until last night when he was sent to the Adirondacks. He was to serve as the eyes and ears of New York's Gov. Morton in terms of developments about to unfold. They would have time together soon, but now they had to return to the group.
Joining the happy luncheon group, Scott was simply introduced as his father by a simultaneously overjoyed and emotionally exhausted son. Scott Thayer had been trapped in rubble at his university in Timothy, New York, discovered by a rescue team, and hospitalized. When sufficiently recovered, the State Police had informed him that Cranberry Lake was the nearest place where he might catch up with his son. As the youngsters consumed the piles of food and drink that finally lay in front of each of them, Wolf and Scottie told them a few stories of the Adirondack Park. Finally, Scott asked, "Well, guys, what do you think?" Other than happy faces, there weren't any takers until Hunter, who hailed from California, replied, "Well, I like your 'North Country', sir, but it sure isn't much like our national parks in the Sierra Nevada." "How is this park different?" Scottie asked. "People...a lot of people...living right in the Park," Hunter responded, "land that you can buy lying right next to land that the sign said was to be 'forever wild'. There's your road map that says even bigger towns are straight ahead...Tupper Lake and Saranac Lake, each with some 5000 year-round inhabitants, and Lake Placid with a couple thousand more. I mean...Professor Thayer...we've got our towns in the foothills and resorts in the mountains and around Lake Tahoe. When you go on a backpacking trip in the High Sierra, however, the land is really wild and remote. You get a choked feeling in your throat as you climb up onto the spine of the massive mountain chain that seems never-ending as it stretches far to both north and south. Frankly, I go when and where I'm not likely to encounter that many people! If only for a short time, the sight of the mountains and lakes, and the sound of the wind drown out the clatter of beer cans and little kids!"
As Scott grunted and reminded Hunter that the name was "Scottie", Grant Tyson suddenly broke into Hunter's emotional outburst with one of his own. "Speaking of mountains," he asked, "where the hell are they? It sure doesn't look much like my home in the Alleghenies. I had always heard about the 'wild Adirondack Mountains'!" The Professor laughed and commented that it wouldn't be long before they'd see some nice mountains - and, maybe, before long, the country would grow on them. "There's a lot of variety," he murmured, "in a six-million-acre park that's larger in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier and Grand Canyon National Parks, combined!" At that point, the boys' attention was drawn to Wolf who stood tensely whispering with a staff member who had suddenly appeared.
(Signs of Things to Come)
"I think we're in for a rough season," Wolf said quietly to Scott, Rob, and Hunter whom he had drawn aside. "It's still real early and we're already having to deal with the scum who come here to ruin others' vacations and destroy what it's taken us years to turn around. And now...this year. . . Come with me. We've got an emergency. I let a nice bunch of kids stay overnight in one of the upper campgrounds." Piling into one of the staff 4x4s, the boys and Scottie, who insisted on joining them, approached a secluded campground after only a few minutes. Two Park Rangers had already arrived and were poking around. The site was a scene of chaotic destruction, smashed camping equipment, all sorts of debris littering the ground...and two bodies. "There's no sign of the other kids," one of the staff members grunted. "We did hear a pickup truck full of drunks pass through the village a couple of hours ago," volunteered the other. "We discovered this scene on our regular rounds and called headquarters." One of the Rangers had already leaned down, checked the first body, and shaken his head sadly. Closely checking the second body, his face brightened. "This boy's alive," he said gravely. There was a bad gash on his chest and what seemed to be blood slowing seeping through his hair from a wound on his skull. "Looks worse than it is", he mumbled.
The head Ranger's comments were terse. Learning that a half dozen youngsters had been given permission to stay overnight in the campground, he was determined immediately to put his resources - and Wolf's - into searching for the four still missing. He also wanted to get the last lad to a hospital, but felt that he was not a top emergency case and would have to wait, if only for a short time. "The Adirondack Medical Center?" Scott asked. "Yeah," replied the Ranger. "I'm on my way home...south of Lake Placid," Scott noted. "Could I drop him off at the Saranac Lake hospital?" Showing immediate interest, the Ranger asked, "You one of the 'High Peaks' Thayers?" "Yes, he is, Ranger," Wolf Jervis interjected. "I'll vouch for him and his son. Scottie's a good friend. His is one of the oldest families up here in this corner of the Park. They're part of the history of this place...the good history."
The Ranger stuck out his hand and said in a friendly voice, "Rick Anderson. Why not take him to the Medical Center in Tupper Lake, Mr. Thayer?" he asked. "It's a little closer." "Name's Scottie, Officer," Scottie responded. "You're correct, but the Saranac Lake hospital is larger and equipped to deal with more medical problems. Further, if he were closer to Camp Thayer, my friends and I might be able to provide a little backup later on. (Unfortunately, there's no full-service hospital in Lake Placid.) Having been born here and patched together a few times when I was growing up, I also know several of the people who staff it. Never hurts..." Nodding his head in approval, the Ranger told Scott that Saranac Lake was fine. He was also to tell the hospital staff that he'd be by tomorrow to get a statement from the young man.
Thayer and his crew had turned and only taken a few steps when the Ranger called out, "There's a wicked storm headin' this way from the south, sir. With the Canadians closing their border later today, a lot of pure shit is going to back up into this area...more, I think, than the local authorities will be able to handle. If any regular Army units start thinking about mutiny, as a Mid-Hudson Valley Reserve unit did yesterday, I don't know what we'll do. There are already New Yorkers of all classes who want the non-NY coastal people out...no matter how it's done or what the price. Their battle cry is 'To hell with any outsiders who try to interfere. Be careful. Take precautions." With an informal salute he returned to his conversation with Wolf.
(The Final Approach)
With Rob taking care of the wounded young camper who still appeared to be in shock, Scott took the wheel of Rob's Jeep and drove east with an even greater sense of urgency. Not only did the other boys begin to pick up on the heightened tension, they began to be excited by the terrain. There were some mountains to be seen as they drove through the town of Tupper Lake, but as they headed towards Saranac Lake, some twenty-one miles further on, the forest-and lake-dominated setting increasingly included mountains. Though they had wondered earlier, it was now becoming clear to all that this was awesome country!
Arriving at a good-sized hospital built beside a scenic lake, Scott (joined by Rob and Kip Peirce) helped the latest victim of social insanity to begin his recovery. Still extremely confused and physically dizzy, he seemed to have retreated into himself in an effort to avoid serious pain. Though they hadn't even ascertained his name prior to arrival, they had seen and heard enough to share important data with the staff. After the other lads had tried to encourage the newcomer, Scott stayed behind for a moment, ruffling his hair and speaking calmly and positively to him. Promising the staff that they would stop by the next day - and reminding them of the Ranger's visit - they were ready to begin the final leg of their trip. Only Kip appeared to be a little "down," trailing behind the others as they returned to Hunter's SUV. Boys from both cars crowded around him, clearly concerned that something was wrong. Scottie was perplexed. His confusion grew as he heard a couple of whistles and a clear giggle rise above their massed bodies. As they stood back, laughing their heads off, Scottie could see that Kip was tightening his belt. Seems that the second bullet he had picked up in Ithaca had worked its way closer to the surface of his right buttock. When a doctor had checked him out, he took one look and carefully removed it with little more than his fingers... almost as if it had been a splinter! Kip hadn't been able to resist showing off his "battle wound"...and the bullet that had caused it!
His arms draped over Grant Tyson's shoulders, holding the solid mid-teen close to his body, Scottie brought the troops together for a moment before driving the remaining nine miles to Lake Placid and then to his family's property further into the "High Peaks". "Only one more stop, guys!" he chortled. "Obviously, some bad stuff is going down all around us. I've known the Assistant Chief of Police" in Lake Placid since I was a kid. I'd like to compare notes with him - for just a few minutes. While we're talking, anyone who wants to can go into the store right across the street. Food and drink have already been delivered to Thayer Lodge, but you might like to pick up a little something to munch on before dinner." Approving shouts greeted his announcement as he grinned and waved for Rob to join him.
(The Olympic Connection)
After first introducing Rob as his son, Scottie leaned back against the filing cabinet and talked informally with Ted McCoy, Lake Placid's Assistant Police Chief. "Oh, sure, Ted. I want to get out to the Lodge, but I had to give the troops a whiff of the Olympic Center on our way here. I think that every one of them is hot to see that video of the 1980 Soviet-American hockey match." "A Miracle on Ice?" Rob inquired. "Sure enough!" Scottie answered. "Right now I think they're buying out the week's supply of Pogey Bait across the street!" [Author's Note: "Pogey Bait"? There's a funny story here. Check the expression in the Urban Dictionary, entry #1.] "Let's face it. I also wanted to check in with you and thank you again for keeping one eye on the Lodge." "No problem, Scottie... At least it hasn't been a problem so far. There's always someone in the Sheriff's office, in our shop, or who works with the Park Rangers who's patrolling out that way. It's easy enough to take a swing past parts of your place. Paul Hampton is up there now and has things in good shape for your arrival". [Author's Note: Hampton, the caretaker, lives in Lake Placid with his family, but keeps his eyes on things for several summer residents. Traditionally, he's part-time, but is always present to open a property up for the season and close it for winter. He hires local help as needed.]
"I'm glad you're here with a few friends. I know, by the way, that you spoke briefly with Rick Anderson back at Cranberry Lake. Truth is, the details of the uniforms we wear don't matter much. I think all of the uniformed guys in the Park agree that what's coming looks pretty grim. In that regard, Scott, I'd appreciate it if you'd monitor the police frequencies. We'll keep you filled in. I hope it's not necessary, but we're here if you need to contact us." "Thanks, friend," Scottie responded. "Same way I hope you know that all you need is a loud yell to have us by your side." "Yeah, Thayer, I've always known that," his friend grunted.
His mood changing mercurially, the chief said sadly that the Park Rangers had found the remaining four teens. "All murdered," he growled. "Saranac's pretty nurses have the young man you brought in awake and talking, by the way, His name is 'Woody Harris'. Hails from Newburgh on the Hudson - that's only about sixty miles north of the New York City. The blast leveled everything down that way, but schools were closed because of the emergency. Woody and his classmates were exploring one of the Catskill Mountain caves when the blast came. On returning to Newburgh, nothing could be found of their families. They ran...just not fast nor far enough, I guess. Do what you can for him, Scottie. He's seventeen. Under the circumstances, I don't think that our agencies can do much for him. Ok?" "I'll see what I can do, Ted," Scott replied. I'm going back up to Saranac tomorrow. I'll keep you posted."
Quickly extracting a promise from Ted to stop by for a steak and a beer before May was out, Scottie got to his feet. Rob joined him, shaking hands with the Assistant Chief. Scott was truly happy to have eyes and ears available in Lake Placid to keep him abreast of what was happening. Little did he know how important Camp Thayer would be to many citizens in northeastern New York State before the summer was out!
(To Be Continued)