The year was 1995. Was it really that long ago? Our group was now called the Gonzo Adventure Club. No use pretending that we were really runners anymore. The occasion was the 3rd Annual Gonzo bike trip. This was to be Claudia's first bike trip with the group.
We were 10 people but the whole group was together only 3 days. Bruce Murphy came on Thursday. He was off to a wedding in New York after the bike trip. Robert drove down from Montreal on his motorcycle on Monday. Larry and Carolyn dropped their kids off in Fredericton. Larry had to fly out to San Francisco before the end of the trip. Bruce Duffy, Gordon and Ross worked a basketball game in Halifax on Saturday night, then drove down overnight to meet us in Conway during the first day's bike. Claudia, Betty and Chris just drove down on Friday. How pedestrian!
The night prior to the first bike ride, we were all ensconced at Robert Sherburn's farmhouse in Franconia, New Hampshire. We had rented Pie Alley, which gave us a common room/kitchenette, bathroom and 3 bedrooms with various bed configurations. Nice to be a schmooshed together like that. Very social. Everyone has to give and take a little. There was a little beer and wine flowing, as compared to these days, where there seems to be an open tap running.
People were packing up and Claudia was having a hard time defending all the junk she wanted to cram into her bike saddle-bags. Gonzos LOVE to root thru your stuff and embarrass you about the garbage you have decided is necessary for the trip.
Claudia was learning a lot. She was also drinking wine with Betty Boop, a Gonzo whose total lack of sense of direction provides ongoing material. There came a point where Claudia's packing had to be abandoned. There is just too much frivolity that surrounds Betty whenever she cracks a bottle of wine. Serious gear packing, Betty and wine tippling do not go together. The 2 ladies got so silly, that someone named them "The Giggle Sisters", a tag that has stuck thru the years.
Now, whenever there is a Gonzo trip, and there are women involved, and they get into the wine and some silliness, someone will certainly start calling them the Giggle Sisters.
When I remember Claudia, it's that night at "The Farm". She was one of the Original Giggle Sisters.