From Strangers to Friends

If someone had told me when I was a little kid that someday I’d be calling total strangers I met on the internet my friends, I would have:

  1. Asked if the internet was something having to do with spiders or catching frogs. And while we’re at it, would you like to meet my frog named Thomas?
  2. Told you that was NOT how you make friends mostly because of #3. Approaching children in school yards and asking “Will you be my bestest friend EVER!?!” is way more effective.
  3. Mom said not to talk to strangers, especially those in creepy vans offering candy. Also if they show you a cute puppy, don’t get in the van.

But, now at 27 – I have to admit that the internet (which evidently is not related to spiders or fishing nets) has been pretty darn useful. A few years ago I stumbled across the chaotic world of Twitter, met a few cool people, and next thing I know I have this incredible network of surprisingly amazing people all across the world. And despite the advice of my mother, talking to strangers is probably the best thing I’ve ever done. (Sorry, Mom)

That whole convoluted process of meeting internet strangers ended up leading to me meeting David (who does in fact own a van and will be living in it soon, but has not offered me candy so I guess we’re still okay). Rob and I met David in person in February and went snowboarding in Colorado, and then David ended up being shipped out to work in the forests of New Hampshire for a month… so we had to go visit/harass him. And that ended up leading to us meeting Holly (his seriously rad co-worker). In summary, the internet is amazing. Strangers rock. People in vans can usually be trusted, even if the van is a creeper van, and people with big dogs are the best.

In all seriousness, yesterday was nothing short of awesome. After much anxiety on my end of “What the heck do you show people from Colorado?”, it all ended up being perfectly amusing, interesting, and undoubtedly fun.

We started off our adventure with an exciting introduction to Yuri (the husky), who instantly had the difficult decision of whether to focus his love and kisses on David or Holly. Despite the initial flirting with David, Yuri decided Holly was the best thing ever. We made our way over to the trailhead for Arethusa Falls in Crawford Notch State Park. It ended up being the perfect length trail at about 1.5 miles each way with a pretty spectacular waterfall at the end. Despite what I had read about it prior to our hike, the waterfall was totally accessible. We weren’t at all dressed for it, but David, Holly, and I just had to go in. It was freezing, but so well worth it. Yuri did so well too. He’s gone from a socially awkward feral husky to a perfectly mannered hiking partner with wonderful trail etiquette. We could barely make it a few hundred feet without someone commenting on Yuri!

Cold, but totally refreshed from Arethusa Falls.

Cold, but totally refreshed from Arethusa Falls.

After that, Rob and I took the crew to Cathedral Ledge (one of my favorite spots in New England). Both Holly and David are climbers like Rob and I, so the impressive cliffs of both Cathedral and Whitehorse didn’t fail to impress. It was oddly nice to getting to hang out with outdoor savvy people up there. I’m always worried about clumsy or reckless folks while standing close to a cliff edge, but this group didn’t worry me at all. Even Yuri was just happy to sleep on the rocks while we took in the view.

Holly was the clear winner. Yuri loves her!

Holly was the clear winner. Yuri loves her!

Finally, we found a dog friendly restaurant in North Conway (Black Cap Grille) and devoured some dinner over great food and even better conversation. Of course, no trip to the Conway area is complete without a visit to Zeb’s General Store for an obscene amount of candy, so we wrapped up the day with an undisclosed amount of fruit slices, chocolate, and more.

Of course we took GoPro selfies while on a cliff.

Of course we took GoPro selfies while on a cliff.

All in all, it was one of the best days I’ve had in awhile (and this coming from the girl who has been flying all over the country this year). Good friends (or at least awesome strangers) can make all the difference.


4 thoughts on “From Strangers to Friends

  1. Of all the “motherly” advice I could give you growing up, the only one you could recall was the “don’t talk to strangers”.
    I told you not to climb rocks too and look what that lead to 😉

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About Jillian Bejtlich

Hey! I'm Jillian Bejtlich. I’m a lifelong New Englander with a serious love of the outdoors, adventure, and a pretty serious inability to sit still. I’m plagued by the travel bug, and it seems I’ll try any relatively sane and safe thing once. My big goal in life: Get people outside!