Even though weren't in the same van, I got lots of great time with my friend Billie Jo. We met because our husbands were both saddle bronc riders and we both got married in 2005. One of the sweetest girls I know.
Loved all the great costumes like these:
We were so far ahead of all the other teams I feel like we missed out on some of the craziness of it all which is both good and bad. We had great parking at nearly all of the exchanges and the traffic was never very bad.
Last year there was apparently some shrimp hid under the carpet of the van leading to a very smelly van at the end of the trip. Everyone who was on this team last year was very paranoid about pranks and we were under stict orders not to leave our van unattended. One of our an keys was lost right at the start of the race..great.
After the race a couple of the team members were cleaning out the vans and found a baggy of weed, some rolling papers and a partially smoked joint. After much speculations about how long had that been in our van and how could we not have noticed, it was discovered to have been a plant in the van and was really dried basil from Sarah's garden. They had quite a time attempting to roll a "joint". After that the joke was about who had been smoking the basil.
When we got the second van exchange at the fair grounds we parked by a bunch of other vehicles, but apparently they were all walker vans because soon we were parked there all by ourself and when the other runner vans started to show up they were routed to another area so we were parked all by ourselves in a big grassy field, with our own row of Honey Buckets. Made it easy to find our van and we had clean Honey Buckets all to ourself.
Speaking of Honey Buckets, we had clean ones all the way. The cleaning crew seemed to be at every stop we were. Awesome. We never ran out of toilet paper or had to hold our breath in one. That is great service.
Before we left Seaside we had removed all the magnets and stickers from the van so now we were just driving a big white van. We started to notice that people were really looking at us when they passed us. We remarked how it made us feel like the van still said Team Beef or something with the way people were still looking at the van. We all stopped at a rest area off the interstate to eat a picnic lunch and that was when we noticed the other van had been nice enough to put a "I love gay porn" magnet on the back of the van. Explained a lot really.
The other van was waiting for a runner to come in at night and were listening for our number 606. Pretty soon they heard 909 being called out and saw Amory coming in. Turns out he had put his number on upside down. He did mention though when it was upside down it still looked like 606 when he looked at it.
I loved seeing the same teams at the exchanges and getting to visit with them a little bit, although the further we got into the relay the less teams we saw. :(
It felt like the walkers weren't very into it, or maybe to into it, or maybe they didn't want to be associated with the walkers. Seemed like they weren't as friendly at the exchanges.
I loved how green it was. It is so dry in eastern Montana, all shades of yellow and brown right now, so I was soaking up the green.
We ate at Baked Alaska in Astoria Saturday night and loved watching all the barge traffic. Seems so incredibly different from what I am used to. Also loved just walking along the beach at Seaside, so peaceful. I can see what people have vacation homes along the coast.
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