Tuesday, September 21, 2010

They're All Circles

On a gorgeous Saturday a couple weeks ago, with blue skies and temperatures in the mid-70's, a group of our friends convened near Paw Paw, West Virginia. Back in the spring during March Madness, the eight men play the pool and the pay off is a round of frisbee disc golf to be played in the summer when they all can get together. Dano flies in from Anchorage for the weekend (!) and the others drive from Arlington and DC to this 18-hole course traversing over 40 acres of hills, woods, 2 ponds and fields. The course is just on some man's property, 6 miles off the main road on the most twisty turny gravel road.

All were gung ho to begin. Their particular game is a drinking game. Not to say they don't take their golf seriously, but drinking plays a big part. The winner of the pool gets to drink good beer for free.

The loser carries the cooler for all and has to drink cheap beer. The others have to buy beer and get to drink it all. This is a long course, up hills, down hills, around ponds and takes about 4 hours to complete. This year Tim carried the cooler. He's a big, strapping young man and carried two coolers so no one would run out of beer. Anything with wheels is prohibited.

This is what the 'hole' looks like. It stands about 5' tall, has a metal basket that the disc is thrown in to with the chain helping to guide it in (and not just bounce off the pole).

There are two water hazards, ponds with green algae covering them, devouring the disc under green slime.

Disc golfers use an array of discs with varying weights, lips and sizes. Serious biz.

There are even professional disc golf bags but I'm sure you'd get beat up if you showed up with one of these!

Every tee off is marked and is numbered with the par, determined by distance and degree of difficulty. Arguing is allowed and even encouraged.

One keeps their own score and includes birdies and bogies and strokes. Disagreements about actual scores are discussed nearly every hole.

And lots of chillin' and hangin' and drinkin'.

Trapper (the little blob on the left) did the first 9 holes with them. I'm sure he ran twice as far as the players and was whooped by the time the guys came round for refills.

I hung out in the 'Woodshed' while the men were off throwing their shoulders out. Back in the day, I traveled around playing disc golf and still play some, but I'm not very good so I stayed back and had an awesome time hooping and knitting.

I brought my boom box and found electricity in the barn (yay!) so grooved to the tunes that Beth made for me 'Hoop 1', Hoop 2', compilations of dance music just right for hoopin'.

Practicing some shoulder moves

some hip action

lift off!



Dave had a go of it. Total determination.

Garrett walks up to give some pointers.

and easily takes charge. Yea, this is how it's done Dave.

You put it on your hips and it's just simple waist action, just a little.

then, oops, it's not supposed to do that! Dave is seriously studying this move.

and Trapper just watches the madness.

A great day with jolly good friends, and another year gathering together to bond over this silly, yet fun sport of disc golf.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Six Mile Farm

I went over to Penny and Keith's farm to check on their horses and cats while they were away. It's always a pleasure to take a stroll around the farm. The view from their house overlooks Sugarloaf Mountain, the long view, not the up front short view that we have. Now that the hot weather has hopefully left us until next June, the skies are blue and clear. We don't have what I call vaseline skies where it looks like you're peering through a lens covered in vaseline.

The puffy white clouds are back and the light is amazing. Everything has edges now and the colors are deep and rich. I feel like I've taken a Claritin and I don't even have allergies!

They have an old log structure that sits between the house and barn. It has no chinking and is an 'open air' space. I can't imagine living in such a tiny space, especially with the walls closed in.

My favorite building though is the large bank barn. It is always free of spider webs, neat as a pin, and smells like fresh hay. They have a barn party every year and this year was a special event. Unfortunately we were hosting the Miller reunion so could not attend. Some of our friends are in a band "Rhododendron Road" (perfect for a barn party!) and set up right in the barn. Tables were set outdoors in the front. It was a perfect summer evening, the humidity had cleared and I hear everyone had a great time. Sorry to have missed it.

The cat saw that I was there and came from some hiding place to get a bite to eat.

Keith has lots of big farm toys.

Up near the house is a beautiful sculpture of a female and male turkey. Turkeys frequently wander by, perhaps attracted to these two.

Upon returning home, I look across the road and am thankful for our beautiful view and to the beginning of another season in Barnesville.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Water Dog Tryouts

Trapper and I went back to Little Monocacy Creek for another lesson in becoming a water dog. I explained to him that Labrador Retrievers like the water, they work in the water, they retrieve birds from the water. He sat there apparently paying attention, finding the only little safe bit of island in the water.

Step one: Get up the courage to go into the water.

Step two: Put a paw into the scary water.

Step Three: other paw in

Ok, I'm in! and it's kinda ok.

All right! I'm feelin' it! Yahoo!

This water is stuff is AOK.

fun fun fun fun fun fun fun

Did I pass?

Monday, September 06, 2010

Burning Man

Well, another year went by that I did not attend Burning Man. It's on my bucket list. Burning Man is an annual week-long event held on a dried up lake bed in Nevada, in the burning heat, with 10,000 people self expressing themselves, clothing optional. Sound like fun?!!!!
An entire city is set up in a horseshoe grid system. The streets have names, there's various camps set up and you have to bring EVERYTHING you need to exist in 110 degree heat for a week. Like water. Lots of it. When everyone leaves, there is no trace that 10,000 humans have been there. One needs to read the first timer's guide before even going because you could die out there!
(btw, all these photos of Burning Man Fest are borrowed cuz I wasn't there... yet!)

Started in 1986 on a beach in California, a few guys burned a hand made wooden man in a bonfire as a form of self expression. Twenty four years later it has grown into a wild, whacky, wonderous (and sometimes 'what was I thinking?!') art fest. Everyone is a participant and nothing is too weird. The small wooden man has grown to 40' tall and is set off on Saturday night in a pyrotechnical extravaganza.

I really don't know how folks do it, because they have to bring all the materials with them, then build it, and light it and move it again. But there are such amazing pieces of art, installations and costumes. The light show at night must be awesome, LED's rule! Various camps are set up, this year there were a few hundred. Each camp has a name and theme, 'A Shack of Sit', (our sit don't stink, come and hang awhile!), 'Tangoed Up in Blues', (stop on by and dance), 'A Tissue & a Plan', (yep, come get a tissue and they'll give you a plan too), 'Safer Sex Camp' (you know), 'Soft Long Pants Camp', (they serve Chai tea, duh!) and 'Camp Oh No You Didn't!'

How he do dat?!

Road Warrior type vehicles abound.

It seems no sculpture is too large or extreme.

Someone brought their little nest

Last year there was even an artificial turf slide!

So who's with me next year?!!!!

Back track 5 years. In the summer of 2005, my husband and son, Garrett, biked across the states. Bev and I joined them on Leslie and Marshall's ranch in Montana. We did not invite 10,000 people to our party but we did have a fair number to have a good time. Mild vs. wild.

In honor of Burning Man, the boys took it upon themselves to make their own Burning Man. They found some 4x4's, plywood and other stuff and in no time, had assembled a figure with outstretched arms and legs.

Little Burning Man (LBM) was loaded into Marshall's turquoise Dodge

and slowly driven up

the hillside

where he was lovingly unloaded and set up to oversee the prairie. It doesn't really seem so high up but coming back from getting supplies, we saw LBM from 12 miles away!

We all did our best impression of Burning Man, with LBM way up on the hill.

We did try to burn LBM. We stuffed dried sage into his armpits and crotch, built a nice bonfire under his legs, set all that on fire. But LBM did not want to burn to his death. So OK, we sat around him and marvelled at the scenery around us, and were quite glad that 10,000 other people were not sharing our quiet experience.