Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Wrapping down

Another year in the can for Camp Moses Merrill, and what a year it was. My brother Andy recently figured out that the sledding hill is around 700 feet long, and this weekend, thanks to his pocket GPS, also discovered that when soloing on a snow tube, one can achieve a top speed of nearly 27 miles per hour. I made the run dozens of times, mostly on a $20 semi truck tire tube I picked up on the way out of town from a seedy place called Saint Paul Tire just off of 35-E. While it was not the fanciest tube, and did not come with any sort of gripping mechanism such as, you know, handles, it did not lose one cubic inch of air throughout the weekend, which was a great advantage (to give credit where credit is due, though, I must offer mad props to Evan, my brother Andy, and the rest who brought Snow Tubes. Thanks, guys!). In addition to myriad solo runs, we also attacked the downhill slope in groups of two, three...even five or six, loosely tangled together with an amalgam of boots and arms intertwined enough to retain group cohesiveness until the flat spot two thirds of the way down the run, at which point all groups disintegrated in a flying mass of rubber and Thinsulate. No serious injuries this year, thank God, though my brother Tom did fly backwards into a hay bale at the bottom of the run, with his fiancee taking the brunt of the impact. She's doing fine, though, as is her camera which I mistakenly took for a ride down the hill in my coat pocket.

But the real highlight of the weekend? Seeing, and spending time with, lots of good people. All my brothers were there, and many of my friends from high school and college including one I have not seen in quite some time. He even brought his 15 year-old brother, with whom we all got along quite well and whose presence we greatly enjoyed. This was our eighth trip to the cabin as a group of friends, and the weekend was spent actively enjoying one another's company an hour away from civilization, fueled by a near-endless supply of frozen pizzas (all purchased by Evan and his wife. Thanks, you two!), hot chocolate, popcorn, and gummi bears. Thanks for another great trip, everyone. And here's to many more.

I should also say a special thanks to Sarah, who went to Lincoln with us and spent the weekend enjoying the amenities that my more or less adoptive hometown has to offer, such as (what else?) Amigo's, Valentino's, and my eminently hospitable parents. The three of us, on Sunday night after my return from the cabin, even had time to spend a few hours with my sister and her husband, for which I was very grateful.

Ok, I'm out like trout. Time to wrap this up and down some more Fiery Habanero Doritos before heading to bed.

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