This past Saturday was our second field trip, and what a trip it was.
We all suited up: Multiple layers, boots, an extra pair of pants and a whole lot of excitement for what lay ahead. The Wolf Sanctuary of PA was our destination, the wolves, fire and friends await our arrival. The drive started out quite normal, a straight-shot up through Lititz into the dark unknown. As a Transplant, I had no idea where this place was or how to get there. We followed the GPS through white and barren landscape, the road eerily whipped with snowdrifts. We shivered at the thought of exiting the car and I admired how deceptively far the sanctuary was from Lititz.
Speedwell Forge Rd. was upon us, only a few more minutes now. As we made our way down the winding path, Diane’s phone rang with an urgent tone.
The sanctuary was closed. CLOSED. There had been some sort of accident. No parking. Something about plowing. Not happening tonight. Sorry.
My heart sank, I was deflated. But we had so many layers on….
To Plan B: The Bull’s Head. I had planned to grab a drink with everyone afterwards, but it seemed only appropriate to howl our sorrows over a pint.
Phone call after phone call, our car was only 3 minutes away from the sanctuary. I wanted to wait, to see if we could catch any others. Diane and I had racked our brains thinking who to call, telling everyone to head to town instead.
I flagged down another driver to ask him if he was here for Lancaster Transplant.
“No. What, I don’t even know what that is.”
“Oh, ok, well it’s a shame about the tour. Have a good night!”
“Good luck with your transplant.”
We managed to wrangle the last of our group and get everyone headed to the next destination.
After driving a few miles in the wrong direction and working up a sweat in our multiple-layer dress, we circled back around the tiniest housing block I had ever seen, and then headed back into the night towards civilization. Luckily the parking was a breeze, and we piled out onto the sidewalk and headed to the bar.
Inside it was packed, but we found our group and carried on. Most of us had never been there, myself included. It was a pleasant surprise, something similar to bars I used to patron in Philadelphia. (Many of the details I cannot recall, as I was still a bit focused on the fact that I’d see no wolves this particular evening.) It had a lot of character and a lot of energy, but not much space. We moved into the next room, setting up at a table in the ballroom. With chandeliers, plenty of bodies, and a guitarist with questionable music taste, it was unlike anything I was expecting.
Familiar faces surrounded me, some fantastic people, Transplants and Locals alike, those who had attended other events and those who had come for the first time. My mood lightened a bit, as we had managed to salvage the night, to spend time together and have a fine time. The music was loud and imposing, so we decided to bring the gathering back to Lancaster and head to Diane and John’s.
Wine, snacks, whiskey and records were shared. New friends were made and old friends caught up. We did exactly what was intended in the first place, with Jessie the hound to act as our wolf and the night, with its ups and downs and winding roads, to lead the way.