Dare Mighty Things

"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those timid spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat." -Teddy Roosevelt

Monday, April 20, 2009

Dirty Moose Adventure Race

As outlaw "adventure races" go, this one went pretty well. Originally conceived as a team "adventure run", like many things that go bump in my brain it evolved into something much more involved (and interesting...I think). Eight pairs of acidotic RACING teammates (plus one team of 3) raced against the clock and each other in this two part two hour training session. An initial 40 minute prologue familiarized the group with the trail network and prominent features of my own training playground...Mt. Blue Job. The race began on the summit of Little Baldy with teams given the following riddle to solve;

More powerful than God;
More evil than the devil,
The poor have it,
The rich need it,
If you eat it, you'll die.

What it is?

The race "began" for teams as soon as they solved the riddle. During the prologue, the answer to the riddle was actually revealed to all the teams. The answer, written as a word jumble appeared on a sign near an important feature known as Porky's Cave. Some teams astutely took note of the clue (before it was revealed as a clue) and memorized the letters. When teams correctly solved the riddle they were able to proceed on to the first section of the race, a geocaching game of Worst Case Scenario. Several teams answered the riddle within moments of receiving it including Brent & Tim, Ri/Austin & Sherpa, and Nick & Justin. Following closely behind them were Amy & Dana. Three teams choose to send a 'mate down to the base of Little Baldy (approximately 200 meters) to find the answer; Jim & Brayden, Jen & Carolyn, and Erin & Jake. Teams then spent the next 60 minutes finding a series of seven geocaches. Each geocache contained a question and series of possible answers from the game, Worst Case Scenario. Points were awarded for 1.) successfully finding the cache and 2.) correctly answering the scenario. For instance, the first cache contained the following question;

A. Eat a concoction made from willow leaves and bark.
B. Lying flat on your back, place a smooth cool stone against each temple.
C. Eat raw grasshoppers; they contain salicin, which is a substitute for aspirin.

Each cache contained the directions to the next cache. Three of the caches included additional *BONUS* tasks that teams could choose to perform for extra points including lifting information from a old family graveyard in the woods, a rock wall scramble leading to an animal print identification, and a ledge strewn bushwhack contouring rope tying challenge. In the final part of the race teams had to carry three short logs, a medium sized rock, and a 5-6 foot log (weighing from 15-35 lbs) over a roughly 1.5 km bushwhack leading back to the summit of Little Baldy. Once teams arrived at the summit with their "materials", one teammate was blind-folded while the other climbed a 2 meter glacial erratic and cued their "blinded" teammate in the assembly of a specific pattern with the logs and stone. The final "catch" were the forbidden words that the cue giver couldn't say. Naturally, they included words like "long", "short", "log", and "rock". The winners were determined by the total points scored with finish time as the tie breaker. Although Brent & Tim were the first team to reach the summit and successfully assemble the pattern, the trio of Ri, Austin, & Sherpa scored the greatest number of points...followed closely by Brent & Tim.
After the event many of the contestants joined Karen & I at the homestead for a BBQ and "beer festival". The beer was provided thanks to our great friends at Redhook and featured a couple of my new favorites, Longboard Island Lager and Fire Rock Pale Ale from Redhook's sister brewery Kona Brewing Company. Everyone had the opportunity to take home "door prizes" in boxes of 6...know what I mean? Although still recovering from her minor setback, Sarah was a trooper and scampered around taking video of much of the action. As soon as she sends it along I'll try to post it on this blog. What's the answer to the question and riddle? A and "gniothn"...it's still a word jumble.

[Photo credits: Ri, Austin, Sherpa with Jen & Carolyn at the Warden's Cabin on Mt. Blue Job; Amy & Dana on the summit of Little Baldy; Tim & Brent at the start; Jim & Brayden rushing back from Porky's to solve the riddle; Snakes on a Mountain]

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