The story that is dominating the news here in New York State is the escape of two convicted murderers from an upstate prison. Aside from all of the questions this escape raises, like how the hell could the prisoners use power tools in their escape without drawing attention, and what role did a prison employee play in the jailbreak?
Reading about the manhunt for these two fugitives, I was reminded of an incident that occurred about twenty years ago. Back when my friends and I had more free time on our hands, a bunch of us would travel to the Adirondacks and spend a weekend in a friend's family's cabin on a lake not far from Keeseville. We'd spend a weekend swimming, hiking and getting "back to nature". Sometimes we got back to the Paleolithic- there were two nearby hills, "Rattlesnake Mountain" and "Blueberry Hill"... paradoxically, Blueberry Hill was home to many rattlesnakes and the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain- you got it- was covered with wild blueberry bushes- I remember climbing Rattlesnake Mountain with a friend and the two of us just squatting down on the summit, cramming tiny, sweet blueberries in our mouths and communicating in grunts and monosyllables.
One year, we gathered at my friend's house in Yonkers and loaded up a couple of carloads of passengers and impedimenta after getting out of work for a night caravan to camp. One of my friends, whose father owned a transportation company, was driving a company vehicle, a Lincoln Continental, and I rode shotgun while my friend's sister and two of her classmates rode in the backseat. The ride was pretty uneventful (seriously, riding in this car was like sitting on a sofa in a moving living room) until we got to the vicinity of Lake George and were stopped at a roadblock set up by the state troopers. After a cursory glance into the car- two clean-cut, well-spoken guys and three girls peacefully dozing in the backseat- the trooper who stopped us informed us that a couple of prisoners had absconded from a work-release party, and that we shouldn't stop for any reason. We rode north and noticed the lights of the search parties in the woods to either side of the highway.
After we passed the area of police activity, I turned to my friend and said, "Do you know what this means?"
"What does this mean?"
"Every law enforcement officer in the county is on the search for the prisoners."
With that, my friend floored the gas pedal and buried the needle. The car was so smooth riding that we didn't seem to be going as fast as we were. After a couple of miles, the novelty wore off, and we agreed that it wouldn't be cool to crack up the car with the girls sleeping in the back.