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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Summer vacation 2008, part 2


Up at 6:30, and I take a few pics of the sun on Lake Sunnen. We need to kill some time before our scheduled breakfast, and I decide to do some blogging. Thus is born Part I. We head down to breakfast a bit later-- for me, French toast, cheesy omelet, hash brown casserole, milk and cappuccino.

After breakfast, we all take Calliope to Explorer Camp (shhh- it's for 4 and up). She's the only little explorer today. One of the counselors is Daniel from last night's Musical Canoe adventure. Then, Brandon & I have the Alpine Tower to conquer at 9:30am. A three-sided tower with all the choices in the world as far as how you climb. We climb simultaneously, but I reach the first platform first, about 20 feet up. Brandon chose climbing up the side of the inclined cargo net- pretty hard. I wait for him a bit, then begin my climb up the inclined telephone pole with rock wall holds. Then I get to a straight vertical pole & have to climb up it. My muscles begin burning and my fear of heights is REALLY nagging me. I make it to about 40 feet and perch myself on a single cable, hugging my telephone pole to save my life.
Brandon hasn't really left the platform yet, my muscles are spent, and I realize I'm not gonna make it to the top. I wait it out a few minutes as Brandon climbs below me, but it's no use. I have to rappel down.
Brandon continues his climb and eventually makes it to where I was. I snap photos from the ground of his ascent. From there, he stutters, but keeps on truckin' all the way to the top. 50 FEET UP! Wow! Nice job, dude!

Only 10:00, and already it's HOT! We are drenched in sweat. We go back to the room to rest a bit & I practice my Jew's Harp a little. Brandon goes swimming for a little while, but I'm not movin'. Heather has run into town to get some more supplies, so Brandon & I chill a bit & check out some YouTube vids.

Once Heather gets back, we all go get Calliope and head to lunch. I have two bowls of chili and some milk. Then, it's off to Arts & Crafts to paint some pottery. Calliope makes the ugliest damned ice cream cone I have ever seen. Black ice cream? Really? Yuck. I go for a tiny chiminea, Brandon paints a monkey, and Heather begins work on an enormous mug.
We run out of time, because Brandon & I have the Summit Zip at 2:00. Heather is the only one not finished, so she places hers on the "unfinished" rack and we go back. Brandon & I do our afternoon zipline & then some rifle shootin' while Calliope lies down for a nap & Heathehr hangs out in the room.

Zipline was cooler this time vs. two years ago, cuz we got to race. They put in a parallel zip. So I climb up first, then wait for Brandon. We sit next to one another on the platform. It's FRICKIN' HOT! 3, 2, 1, Go! 30 feet up, 500 feet long. Awesome run, and Brandon wins. We get it done just in time, because at that point they begin shutting down the more strenuous activities due to the heat. The temperature today reaches 102, with a heat index of 116. Luckily, we have a less strenuous activity scheduled next- riflery.

So we drive partway down and walk the rest of the way to the rifle range. We take the second round for our turn and take a seat at the guns. It's hot, man. I have my glasses off and the safety glasses on, plus we have our ear protection-headphone-thingies on & the sweat is dripping down into our eyes while the goggles fog up from the inside. Aiming carefully, we let fly with our guns. Brandon hits the target all five times, including one bullseye. I manage all five bullseyes (again, just like two years ago), with two in the same hole, Robin Hood-style. Found something I'm evidently good at, despite the shitty vision. Perhaps I should hit the firing range sometime.

Brandon & I make our way back to the room where Calliope is still napping. We regale Heather with tales of our exploits & chill out for a bit. Once Calliope wakes, we all go out to the beach. Calliope & I build a sand castle and we all do some lake swimming. As it nears dinner time, we start to head in. We gather our stuff and come in for showers before going up to dinner.

I have a big salad with cottage cheese, chicken 'n dumplings, tater tots and corn, with Mountain Dew to drink. After mealtime, which of course was delicious, we come back to the room and pop "Robots" in the Mac, lie on the beds & kinda let Calliope have the run of things for a while. Come 9:00, Brandon & I head out for our final event of the day, the Moonlight Zip.
We go in a group of about 15 on a dark hike about 100 yards into the woods, to the site of a zipline. Here's the deal: You hook in, take off running down a pitch-black hill, and eventually the ground disappears out from under you. You zip over a valley for about 300 feet and rise up on the zip cable. Your only illumination is the stars in the sky, through the treetop canopy. Gravity brings you back down the line to your starting hill, where you go to the top and then run down to do the same thing over again. Three times each. Very cool, very enjoyable, worth the 90 minutes and $20 each we invested in it.

Then, back to the room where the girls are in bed. We take turns showering (still friggin' hot as hell out there) and hit the sack. Aaaahhhh......