Saturday afternoon, I was contemplating taking a long nap and then get at
the end of the food line, and then rush straight back home to Arcola. I
was mentally torturing myself as to whether I should instead just hit the
road then, and head home. I can attest that it sucks to have to be in 2
different places at the same time.
Anyways, I barely made it to the end of the food line. After stuffing my
face, with quinoa, stew and salad, I just did not have the will to drive
So I ended up staying the night and sleeping in late Sunday. The weather
was so awesome for car-camping and the gnats were gone.
Here are some observations.
Probably 200 people camped. They either returned to their camps shortly
after the first few matches of mud-wrestling or headed to the hot tub, or
like me just wandered around socializing. Everybody was nice to me and
offered me a beer. I drank 2 Smirnoff Ice's Saturday evening which is
the most I have drank in my entire 52-1/2 years.
I can only guess 100 or more people left shortly after the mud-wrestling
Mike Walsh was distributing a CD with some info on his
Bill Rupley provided an ambulance. I am not sure how reliable it was had
there been a critical accident. But it gave the appearance of a safety
Gill Edigar kept an inventory of the liquor and there was plenty left over
for the next caver party.
Some very lucky person, ( Sara Ranzau, I think ) , bid on an antique
watercolor speleo-art-piece and got it for just $ 10.
A young lady won a small Yeti cooler in the door-prize giveaway. Another
caver won a Zebra headlight.
The cannon salute was a great way to end a eulogy. Some good pictures were
taken of the cannon firing. [ Sidenote: I think in Jim McLane's case
though, some caver should someday launch a weather-balloon into the upper
atmosphere and drop a Go-Pro attached to a minature robot.]
Emily at Speleobooks made a faithful effort to sell stuff, but it looked to
me that people were too involved in other activities to go shopping. Or
like me, had already blown their budget. Hopefully, Emily had better luck
Early Sunday morning the Sea-Aggies packed up The SpeleoBarge and split for
Vico Jones made a giant pot of a delicious Mexican stew called, "Pozole."
There were a hundred cavers stirring about saying their goodbuys and
Walt and Rae Olenick drove off in their infamous Subaru camper.
Fritz Holt and his girlfriend drove off.
I drove off, as so many people were breaking a sweat to de-rig TCR. Most
of those same people working were there when I arrived Thursday night.
That is some kind of dedication. And many of them have been doing it year
Was this the perfect TCR ? I guess it depends on who you ask. I do not
think there was a live band this year ? I did not see any vendor selling
vertical gear or LED headlamps.
Is there a way to trap the gnats before TCR ? Do bug zappers work ? Too
bad there is not a flying mammal that eats gnats.
I tried my best to chill and relax and enjoy everything, but I found it
very hard to take my mind off the worries back on the homefront. I am
expectating a challenging day at work on Monday.
It was great seeing you all. Please look me up on Linkedin, and Facebook
and Google+, however I plan to try to stay off social media.
See you all in 2017. I hope we can all stay above the green grass.
NSS # 27639
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