When Jed said he was going to fly a kite, I asked him what it was code for.
Inspired by a mud pit and a gorgeous sunny day, our camp hosted the first official Redneck Games.
The first of which was an uphill 3-legged race. John and I strategized, gave ourselves a very convincing pep talk and then came in next to dead last. Then I dropped our egg on the first toss of the egg toss game – ankle deep mud does very little for agility.
But alas, my moment to shine arrived: the paired 6”x6” run
We have 10 foot wooden 6”x6” beams to build drill pads and use recreationally for redneck games. Admittedly, Dan did most of the carrying when we ran like hell in the mud and came in first place.
I felt like a rock star, but my moment didn’t end there.
During a lovely conversation I heard my name and stepped directly into the path of a high-speed egg. Thankfully the crowd was warning me to get the hell out of the way instead of aiming at me.
Seemingly, everyone except for myself was paying attention to “David” who had made a sling to hit “Goliath” with an egg. Goliath was a helicopter over 100 feet away and Nicole was a civilian casualty.
It was like I was shot in the leg with a potato gun.
Fifty people got very quiet very quickly. I was in shock enough to play it cool until their attention was diverted with a wrestling match. I then spent 10 minutes avoiding eye contact trying not to cry. All I could think of were whisky and cigarettes. I was like a poor little beggar girl, but I did not shed a tear.
I have significantly fewer stories to recount of from that point on.
The bruise I got is 3.5 inches in diameter; I know that with the precision of a measuring tape. The center is red with an outer circle of white and a feathered purple outline further from that. I didn’t even know bruises could do that!
Poor “David” provoked Goliath. He was pelted with 5 eggs and thrown into a moat by the crowd. I actually feel pretty bad for him, it was a complete accident and he’s beating himself up over it pretty bad.
The party didn’t end when I collected a few more bruises stumbling up to my room and fell asleep like a corpse. Breakfast was a hilarious recount of the goofy things that happened. Everyone greeted one another the next day with a bashful grin or burst of laughter.
A serious looking foreman did a headcount and asked “Do you know if any of the girls have a driller in their room?”
It was my first day back to work and I didn’t make it back into the mining exploration camp I call home. I will no longer refer to my camp by it’s name because my blog started getting too many Google hits from “!@#$%^&* Camp”!
Anyways, our helicopter flight in was so foggy we had to stop on top of a random mountain to wait for better visibility. The hours passed and my feet got too cold for exploring, so I started to read the book my friend got me: The Art of Non-Conformity.
Literally trapped on a snow-capped mountain overlooking a glacier, sitting in the front seat of a helicopter, I read: “When you focus on escaping the humdrum of the cubicle, or wherever you spend your workdays….”
I found it funny.
We finally made it into !@#$%^&* after being stranded in a neighboring camp, it became apparent that about 5 feet of snow had melted..
Imagine what that looks like!
Doors literally open into vast drop offs, stairs exist where they didn’t before and orange snow fencing marks off hazards seemingly everywhere. It’s like living in a giant cardio-demanding Slushie…tip toeing across snow packed paths that threaten to throw you under buildings. Our roads meandered into wherever you can stay up on 2 feet or 4 wheels.
In a previous post I mentioned how a snow storm created a 1 foot snow stair to get out of my bunkhouse. There is now a 2.5 jump to get back into that bunkhouse.
I feel like I’m in an obstacle course for the TV show Wipeout, or in the next arena for the Hunger Games.
Despite it all, I am pleasantly surprised to discover how much I enjoy the mud. I love conquering puddles with my oversized rain boots and driving a bit too fast, only to show up to the office with a speck of mud on my cheek.
I remember going down the back ally begging not to be let go. They let me go and I fell, skinning my knee and shattering my confidence at sports. You see, I never got much better than that at anything sport related. Frisbee’s on the roof, rollerblades in the closet and my best soccer skill was reminding Mom to pack oranges on game day.
So here I was, 24 and having a lovely family birthday. I had consumed far too much wine to even consider riding my bike, but I took a photo with it, tags on the helmet and in my favorite dress.
I had been making fun of my sister for wearing her helmet compulsively everywhere, but I get it now. Stopping in the house to pee – why bother taking it off? It’s very practical once you learn to account for the extra room you need for your head when navigating through the house.
And yes, I wear my helmet. I have to be a role model to the extent that doesn’t compromise my lifestyle choices.
So there it is, I have a new hobby. It’s something that doesn’t involve alcohol, getting on a plane and isn’t as completely self-absorbed as blogging.