| Maiden Voyage 7 founding members
and Ben Rupe as the Beaver
It all started with "The Music Man". Glen, John, Ben and Chris were in a Grinnell Community Theatre production of the musical. After a two month production schedule, we decided a break was needed. It's unclear who initially came up with the idea to go camping, but it was John who picked the spot. The reasoning was that the Yellow River State Forest was close to the Wisconsin border. Back then, the legal drinking age in Wisconsin was 18 (& the drinking age in Iowa was 19). As luck would have it, two of us were 18 years old. How convenient. So we borrowed a tent from Monica (thanks again, Monica) and off we went. This was going to be great!
We made it to the park without incident armed with a boom box, a couple coolers of food, our sleeping gear and other, um.... supplies. We were very selective about the grounds where we would set up camp. We didn't want to be spotted from the road and we didn't want to disturb anyone else. We found the perfect spot and had it made. Trying to set up the tent was a minor challenge, thanks to Chris's outdoorsmanship. If not for his expertise, we probably would've ended up in the vehicles, stacked neatly three high per seat. We realized that most of us had very little idea of what we were doing, which is why there are no pictures on this page. Nobody remembered to bring a camera!
Next on our agenda was to secure beer! We went into Wisconsin and did so without any difficulty until Glen's car refused to start. We had concluded that for some reason the battery was dead and we needed to jump start it. We got John's mom's truck into position and... had no cables. Tim, Greg and Ben went to a gas station to borrow some cables and were initially refused. We offered to have someone stay as a hostage until the other two brought the cables back. After some effort, we got the car started, sprung our friend from the gas station and were on our way back to camp.
When we got there, we no sooner popped our first brew and sparked our first spiff, when this car came down the road and slowed to a halt in front of where we were congregated. Our first thought was "Oh no. Fun time's over," when some guy stuck his upper body out of the window of the car and howled as he threw an M-80 which went off a few seconds later. We would soon come to know them as Frank, Dan, Dave and a woman whose name no one can now remember. We made friends that day and we would love to make contact with them again, but we don't know where to begin so it is with great affection towards these fine people that this page is respectfully dedicated. There was singing and dancing and drinking and smoking and torpedo juice and a burning picnic table and a burning parking post and Jeff and Ben convincing each other that Greg was in fact God. It was a great night.
Somewhere along the way, due to a couple of near misses with certain death (Glen almost fell off a ledge at the Effigy mounds, Chris got bitten by a snake and Greg just disappeared for about a half hour) we were convinced that we were all going to have a great time or one of us was going to die, because that would leave six for pall bearers. Well, we all survived, and we all had a great time. So great, in fact, that we did it again, and again, and again and again.....