Monday, April 16, 2007

Helping with Trail Tribulation

Buffaloes (left to right) Wonder Calves, Dr. Rose, Devil Dawg, and the Fire Marshal at the aid station campfire at McNaughton Park near Pekin.

Limey (my buffalo buddy Tracy Thomas), always a colorful character, in a not-so-subtle hat.

Twelve-year-old Jessica, daughter of the Fire Marshal and Party Marty, pauses while sawing wood for our campfire. We were accused of violating child labor laws, but she insisted on working.
Duane Frichtl, the revered Wonder Calves, one of the founding fathers of the Buffaloes.

It is always rewarding to see other runners trying to reach their goals, so the trail race at McNaughton Park near Pekin was a special event this weekend as the buffaloes manned an aid station on the course. Arrived there Friday evening and handed out food, drink and words of encouragement to runners until almost 6 a.m. Saturday morning. When I finally did get to sleep in my tent, the sound of raindrops woke me up after about an hour and a half of sleep. My tent passed the test with no leakage. A continuous campfire and an always interesting array of weary runners through the night made the time go surprisingly fast. Mohawk and Dr. Rose were entertaining conversationists throughout the night by our campfire. I also worked the aid station much of the day Saturday. Some of the Buffaloes finished the 50- and 100-mile distances. None of the herd was entered in the 150-miler, the first of its kind in the U.S., but of those runners entered, several managed to finish. Amazingly crazy people.

I had a chuckle Sunday morning after getting a good nights' sleep at home after the race. I had placed my buffalo hat on a bench by the front door to air it out after campfire smoke had permeated it. A guy with political flyers walked up to my door and took a long glance at the furry object on the bench. He left the flyers at the door and walked away, still staring at the hat. The horns couldn't be seen, so it looked like a furry animal of some sort.

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