Friday, May 1, 2009 was the Cheat River Race. Rick organizes this race and for the last three years I've helped him. Oh, I didn't do much--I'm more like a support person up until the race, doing little things on the computer side of things. And then, the day of the race, I do registration with a woman named Liz. Mostly, I type things into the computer. If I'm quick, I can get all the names typed in before the start of the race. But just barely.
I never get to see the start of the race. It's real exciting too, because it's a mass start. This year we had 118 kayaks (a few were rafts) in the water plus additional safety boaters. I stayed behind to pack up our registration things at the booth and when Rick came tearing back up from the put-in, I was ready to go. We jumped in the car and raced (literally!) the top kayaker to the take-out. We got there oh---about 5-7 minutes ahead of him. He came in at 55 minutes and 10 seconds!
Once again, here my help consists of typing into the computer. We had a few people keeping time and as quick as I can, I get this information entered into the computer. It's not always easy because when you are sitting up on the rocks above the river and trying to see race bibs pulled over full kayaking gear it's very hard to read the numbers. Triply so if several boaters are coming across the finish line within seconds of each other! The last two years I've been really fortunate to have gotten everything entered in in time before it's time to leave the take-out. This year went especially well; when we got back to Mountain Streams it took less than 30 minutes for Rick to run all of the sorting programs. He had the results for the individuals, the classes for men and women, and the team results. We finally got to attend the after party and eat dinner!
It's the first Friday in May....and that means it's the Cheat River Race today!!!! Rick has been the race director for quite some years now (5? 10? more? dunno, can't remember) and last year was my first year to get to go to the race and help out there in addtion to the website.
We'll be leaving shortly; right after we get the kids to school, get the car packed and make copies of registration forms and....you get the idea.
Here's a few pictures from a past race until I take some more of today's race:
The race is part of a weekend event where there is a festival and lots of kayaking and such from many other people. The race helps earn money for Friends of the Cheat which helps restore, preserve and promote the river and its watershed.
We purchased a new wire for the camera today!! Since I have quite a few pictures to share, I will keep my words brief. Today consisted of treadmill, housework and playing with the kids for me. The kids of course played all day. After lunch, the kids and I worked on our Top Secret. With luck, it will be ready to show everyone sometime next week.
To escape the heat, Rick suggested that we go up to Ohio Pyle this afternoon. It was a good suggestion =)
Waiting for Rick to put on
I found it amusing to spot this guy talking on his cell phone seemingly oblivious to the beauty around him. I prefer to think that he was sharing it with someone on the phone by describing what he was looking at.
The river was fairly empty; only a few people were on it. Rick is on the far right.
I have no clue what Rick is looking at. Hey! We're upstream!
Finally! It's time to swim! Mean Mummy that I am I made them wait while I took some pictures of Rick.
Near the rocks we were sitting (and climbing) on is a giant eddy that is perfect for wading and swimming in as long as you don't go out too far. Tristyn, Maia and I did go in deeper but only after I put the camera down. I was too wary of dropping it in the water! Eventually, Rick tired of playing in the first rapid and came to shore.
Tristyn's first ever paddling!
Maia went next.
Everyone was very tired as it was very late, but not too tired for ice cream on the way home!
Today, we met a new(er) neighbor who just started kayaking. Literally, just started kayaking in June. Apparently, he's been seeing kayaks around our house this summer and then after today and yesterday of seeing the playboats on top of Rick's car (we were a little slow getting them down after yesterday) he decided he was going to stop by to say hello. Rick called me over to introduce me to Matt.
Turns out the person he's been taking lessons from is a good friend of Rick's. They spent some time talking about various river stuff and then exchanged numbers. Rick and I have been debating kayaking or a long bike trip this upcoming weekend and if we kayak Matt might come along with us. With luck, my new prescription sunglasses will be ready by the weekend (with luck this will be a major improvement over trying to whitewater kayak with contacts and lots of splashing) if we decide to go kayaking. It'll be nice to have someone close to my skill level since if I kayak the next 20 years I'll never catch up to Rick. But that's okay, because when I feel discouraged about not being anywhere close to being a quarter as good as Rick I just remember him trying to learn to rollerblade so he could do it with me. hahaha =D
We had plans to go over Andrae and Angie's house and it took some squeezing to get my bike ride and Rick's run in but we managed. Barely. We were racing around to shower and dress before it was time to go. It was our first time visiting at their house and they have a very lovely home. I was so happy to see that someone else out there was very 'brave' with their colors. Their home was beautifully decorated. We had a good time, though Maia was a little upset that she forgot her crayons. We made do with a pen and pencil and drawing little mazes and dot-to-dots.
Dinner was at the Waterfront and rather early; more like a 'linner.' Or a 'dunch.' (Maia calls it linner, Tristyn dunch.) There were a few things we needed at a few stores and we picked those things up before coming home for everyone to either relax or play. The kids spent a good chunk of time furiously digging in the sandbox. I've had a bit of a 'stressful' week and Rick suggested I take a break and go to the bookstore for a few hours. I took his suggestion and spent about two hours this evening looking at this book and that. I needed that. I came home feeling a little bit better. =)
A couple of hours passed all too quickly and it was time to head to the take out to meet Rick and Nate. We ended up getting there a little early but didn't mind because we got to watch rafters and other kayakers go by. Quite a few of the rafts were getting stuck on the one rock. It was funny to watch each raft that got stuck have everyone in it sort of stand up and jump up and down trying to use their collective body weight to shift the raft off of the rock. The kids also kept busy clambering over the racks (with me saying repeatedly 'don't get to close to the edge').
Tristyn and Maia found a really ooey gooey pile of sandy mud and built mud castles while we waited. I can't say I enjoyed watching them get filthy but they were having a good time doing it, we didn't have anywhere else to go that a change of clothes couldn't remedy and more importantly I didn't have to worry about them falling off a rock!
Here come Rick and Nate!
Nate and Rick pose for pre-take-out picture.
Here's Nate dumping the water out of his boat and not caring at all about sun safety. I took this picture for you Becky!
And this one too!
The kids took a turn. Note, this is not proper river safety but Rick and Nate were right next to them and the kids weren't going anywhere (not with me ready to leap in camera and all if necessary). I just cropped Rick and Nate out of the picture 'cause who needs them when the kids are trying to look all grown-up?
Rick and Maia. =D
We met up with Becky shortly afterwards and made plans to meet back at Rick's mum's house for dinner. Nate cooked us quite the dinner--as Rick described it 'it was the perfect man meal!' It consisted of cheeseburgers, barbecued ribs, barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, chips and fresh guacamole (courtesty of Becky). The rest of the evening was very pleasant.
After a hectic morning of taking Maia to dance and squeezing in a run while she was in class, we hurried
home so we could jump in the car with Rick and Tristyn and head to Ohio Pyle. My sister-in-law, Becky, and her husband, Nate, were meeting us there. Becky was going rafting with some friends of hers, Rick and Nate kayaking and the kids and I were planning on spending the day having a picnic lunch, exploring and generally having a good time outside. I took LOTS of pictures and though I plan on posting quite a few what I'm posting is probably only about 1/4 of the pictures.
Ohio Pyle Falls
Lunch was on some large rocks overlooking the river. The kids had mini-make-your-own-pizzas. They made smiley faces out of the sauce but Maia ate half of hers.
We could see Rick and Nate from where we had lunch but just barely. It helped when I zoomed in with the camera. Here, they are about to practice surfing on a small wave just up ahead.
I'm not sure what type of bird this was so I took a picture hoping someone might be able to identify it.
Sitting on the rocks in the hot sun for lunch made it necessary to cool off a bit afterwards. We climbed up the rocks, up a hill and across part of the park, making our way back up stream and above the Falls where there is a popular wading spot.
Here it is! Proof that Tristyn does run on occasion. We were heading towards the 'Gnome Home' that we visited a few months ago. But this time...
with a better camera! Tristyn immediately plunked down to start making stuff--I think for the gnome?
If you look carefully, you can see that Tristyn is tying two sticks together with grass. He said he was making the top part of a helicopter.
Meanwhile, I swiveled the camera around just in time to surprise a fairy!!
This is quite possibly my favorite picture. Ever.
come back late tonight to water my grass some more!