Friday afternoons I usually cut out of work early and get out for a hike (if I’m not driving somewhere for the weekend), but this last Friday I stayed late and collapsed on my couch around 530. I had expected to drive to Leavenworth, but the weather made climbing unattractive, so my weekend was unexpectedly open. I didn’t even want to think about making plans.
About 10 minutes later I was just drifting off for a nap, when my friend Jeremy called. I was tired. “Can you be at my house right now?” [10 min away by a vigorous bike]
“What’s the gig?”
“Well it’s a treasure hunt with a historical trivia game, adventure race, and math problem inside. Oh, and there is $1000 for the winning team…”
“But I have to be there right now?”
“No, the race is tomorrow, but we gotta strategize. And there is a pre-race meeting.”
“And we’re going to win, right?”
Todd (in helmet) sprints for the opening clues.
I have a willingness to get my rump off the couch that never fails me. That willingness is also rarely wrong, which helps. The event was “Brains and Brawn” and was a fundraiser for the Headwaters Dance Company. It may also have been the most fun single event I’ve ever done.
Headquarters for “the Prize Spies” – no team with a pirate flag can be defeated.
Todd and Amanda put the team together, and we called ourselves the Prize Spies. Amanda and Jeremy locked down basecamp to handle research and communications. Joran elected to the 20km trailrun, I jumped on the 40km bike ride, and Todd blew up his packraft to get in the river. Joran left first for the clue at the end of his run while Todd and I picked up each of 4 Missoula historical clues, the last of which sent me on a trip to the Milltown overlook state park. I picked up my clue and called Todd who was waiting to put his boat in the water. All of the clues we picked up had part of a geometry problem on it. Amanda and Jeremy solved the geometry to create a map that pointed to the treasure. With Todd and I both thrashing around on the south side of the Clark Fork for 40 minutes, the second place team had ample time to eat up the lead we had put on them in the biking. At the last minute I recognized the driftwood T, and picked up the spray painted treasure chest just ahead of team #2.
Typical sample clue.
Finding the treasure in a neck and neck race is amazingly fun. Thanks to all the participants, but especially my amazing teammates. That was a whole lotta fun.
After the race I was still feeling spunky, so I hit the climbing gym and some ugly weights. My unexpected empty weekend was getting full fast. I raced home, grabbed a shower, made dinner with Steph, and met Simon at a party with my cello. Somehow, he convinced me that joining an epic mountain bike ride on Sunday morning was in order.
We left at 10am, and climbed straight uphill until noon. The race, and the squats from the gym left me feeling gassed at the start. Needless to say I didn’t make it all the way to sheep mountain with the boys. The solo trip back down the single track got very, very cold, and I was happy to spend the rest of Sunday in a coffee shop with a hot drink. I haven’t bonked quite that hard in a while, and it makes me understand why I see so many mountain bikes here. Good thing I need another adventure sport like I need a hole in my head… Thanks for a fantastic ride boys, and thanks to my stellar roommate Paul for the loaner bike!
Tougher than me. Nick, Simon, and Jack head onwards to Sheep mountain.